Written by Old Bluffer 29th Jul 2007
In this early Wes Craven video nasty, the Carter family are a respectable middle class family, on an ill-fated road trip, and soon crash their camper wagon and mobile home deep within a desert that nobody visits.
I say ill-fated, but really they are not entirely blameless, as they chose to take a detour into the nether-regions of some American wasteland where anyone with over six teeth would be considered to be the local pretty boy.
The US military obviously realise this, so use the area as a nuclear testing range, as any resulting mutations will blend right in.
Unfortunately for the Carters, one such mutation was born many decades earlier, weighing in at over 20lbs and having "more hair than a monkey". This chubby little fellow was by all accounts a naughty little tyke, and the final straw was when he burned down the family shack, killing his mother in the process. His father Fred (who looks like Uncle Jesse from the Dukes of Hazzard), disowns him after this matricide, and just so the message is clear, takes the opportunity to whack the child in the face with a tire iron and then leave him for dead in the desert.
The child doesn't die though, and once he grows to adulthood, kidnaps a whore and starts to father further "devil children".
Old Fred has therefore had to eke out a living, whilst his unholy offspring gradually destroy the local community and economy by brutally robbing anyone foolish enough to venture out on the roads.
It's all a bit unclear about Fred's relationship with his freakish
grandchildren, but the only girl, Ruby, goes to visit him to trade
By the start of the film, he has had enough, and is all set to leave, but like an idiot tells Ruby, who of course goes and tells her father, now going by the name of Jupiter - or "Papa Jupe" to his kinfolk.
Papa Jupe has obviously been plotting revenge on Fred for years, and he's not about to let him escape now. Fred knows this and has taken the precaution of arming himself with a firearm, and looping a noose over his head in case he misses (later events in the film fully justify this precaution - it is definitely not good to be captured alive by the mutants).
As it happens, the eldest member of the Carter family, Bob, arrives at just the wrong moment, and scares Fred into shooting his weapon. This allows the cantankerous old-timer about two minutes of screentime to explain the family history above. Plot back-story delivered, Papa Jupe bursts into the house and brutalises his old dad with a tire iron (quite possibly the same one that was used on him all those years ago). He then uses it to skewer the corpse to a shed door, which is something of a shock to Bob Carter - but he has an even worse fate awaiting him...