Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Deliverance: An ode to the Chattooga

Kennebec River  
The Kennebec River...not the Chattooga

Until this weekend, I had never seen Deliverance. In fact, I'm a little embarrassed to admit this (whatever), but I kept getting it confused with The River Wild with Kevin Bacon. This past week Deliverance came up at work during a coworker's going away celebration. It was shot on the Chattooga, and it turns out a few staff have some interesting stories (funny, colorful tales that I'm probably not allowed to tell for legal reasons :-)) of their own time on the river. I considered it serendipitous that I saw the DVD on sale for $5 this weekend. After I got over the shock of it starring Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight instead of Kevin Bacon, I tossed it in the cart.

Dudes! Why have I never seen this movie? Burt Reynolds opens the movie with an environmentally charged rant against dam building and the killing of this wild river that is pretty indicative of the time in which it debuted. If you know anything about what I do, you know this is my bailiwick (well, a more radical version of my supposed pragmatic bailiwick). I also didn't realize how much this movie has infiltrated pop culture. Dueling banjos and so many other lines were surprisingly familiar.

Let's talk a little bit about the hillbillies (mountain people, rednecks, whatever). They were made creepier because they reminded me of my own run-in with the locals on a project several years ago. I wish I were exaggerating when I say this, but two guys with just as few teeth as those in Deliverance did their best to convince us to get in their pickup. This, of course, was shortly after another local fishing near the river called me a bitch with a southern slur when asking me to move my car. Thinking back, it's probably best I hadn't seen this movie earlier in life.

P.S. That river...gorgeous! The Chattooga clearly stole the show.

P.P.S. Has anyone seen Cabin in the Woods? Was the seen where they stop at the gas station on the way up the mountain satirizing a eerily similar scene in Deliverance?

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