If this exclusive clip from the new Discovery Channel series “Clash of the Ozarks” (premieres Feb. 25 at 10:00 p.m.) reminds you of the opening credits of HBO’s “True Blood,” you aren’t alone. While “Clash” doesn’t have vampires and werewolves, it does feature a clan war, a guy named Crowbar, and plenty of bad (if not true) blood.
Deep in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas lies the town of Hardy. For the loyal folks who live here, there is no place they”d rather be. Those native to the area believe that it is the best place in the world to live, hunt, fish and raise families. As one of the town”s key patriarchs puts it, Hardy has “survived time,” and still very much resembles a town right out of the Wild West. This lack of progression has turned Hardy into a land where emotions and territory conflicts outweigh a law-abiding society as the townspeople fight to protect what is theirs. Two local Hardy families are locked in a feud that dates back many generations, and continues to cause hostility – even to this day. The new six-part series will put viewers right in the middle of this present-day clan war between two of the town”s oldest families: the Russells and the Evans”.
The war began over a hundred years ago at a town dance, when a member of the Evans family started a fight that allegedly resulted in three deaths. The bad blood between the Evans” and the Russells escalated steadily throughout the years, and today, tensions are running higher than ever, forcing all who live in Hardy to pick a side – with Crowbar or Kerry.
Crowbar Russell is the patriarch of the Russell family. Everyone in Hardy has their own story of how Crowbar got his name, but one thing is certain: Crow and his clan are not to be messed with. Crowbar”s ancestors moved to the Ozark Mountains to avoid being drafted into the Civil War. Once safely in the mountains, they married into the Cherokee nation and developed a deep bond with the land. Today, the Russell family owns hundreds of acres in the area, which they are prepared to defend at all costs. Known for stocking up on homemade canned goods and being the best anglers in the state, the family works hard at being self-sufficient. Everyone in town knows the Russell clan and many see them as outlaws, but others see them as generous and hard-working church-goers. Crowbar seeks only to work his land and hunt for what he needs to survive. He wants his family to continue doing things the way that they always have, and thus he is opposed to any form of change or progress that might disrupt his way of life. It is for this reason that he has great disdain for Kerry Wayne Evans.
Kerry Wayne Evans” family has been in Hardy for six generations, dating back to the 1850″s. Raised on the south side of the tracks in a tiny one-room house, Kerry”s family struggled to make ends meet. They survived by working hard and learning to live off the land. The Evans” are forward thinkers who are fiercely protective of everything they have worked for. Kerry believes people should police themselves and be self-sufficient rather than relying on the authorities. This outlook has gotten him beaten, stabbed and arrested more times than his scars reveal. He is a savvy businessman whose sole purpose is to bring progress to the sleepy town of Hardy, and to improve life for those that live there. This means change, a word not everyone is comfortable with – least of all Crowbar Russell – and Kerry”s intentions aren”t entirely selfless. He has a fondness for money, and he”ll do just about anything to build up his empire.
Hardy is full of quirky characters such as Jimmy Haney, a mountain man who doesn”t own a pair of shoes and hasn”t lived in a house for years, and Sevella, a tough gun-toting elderly woman who is fiercely protective of her family and is rumored to be clairvoyant. Inheriting grudges born out of inter-clan murder, territory disputes and everything in between, the modern generations of these two families must find a way to share the same hills if they”re going to survive. As Crowbar puts it, “Your land is everything and you”re nothing without it. It”s code in Ozark Hills. Protect your family. Defend your land. Destroy anyone that gets in your way.”