In Mudhoney’s gallery of rural grotesques, none is more grotesque than Sidney Brenshaw. Amid toothless madams, popeyed rubes and limping preachers (whose physical perversions are emphasized in a series of wide-angle close-ups), no one quite compares to Brenshaw. As played by Hal Hopper, his leather face continually (and unnaturally) contorted into an oily hee-haw laugh or twisted into high-pitched howls of rage, Brenshaw makes for a suitably outrageous villain. Drunkenly swaying about town in a dirty suit and cowboy hat – and never seen without his bottle of corn liquor – he’s a man of pure libido, working his tongue slowly, horrifyingly across his lips whenever he gets aroused and then pouncing with jolting savagery onto any number of unsuspecting woman. If the film’s energy inevitably lags whenever Brenshaw’s absent from the action, his frequent onscreen presence ensures that the film rarely lacks for demonic force.
To read the rest of the article, please continue to Not Coming to a Theater Near You.