Tuesday, October 07, 2008

31 Days of Halloween - Day 7 Movie

Apparently, "Trailer Park of Terror" (2008) has been an audience favorite at a number of horror film festivals. Granted, for a low budget horror movie it has good production values, it's directed and shot competenntly, the sound is good, the make-up effects are well done, including a superior severed head, and the cast can act. However, as entertainment, I found it lacking.

The movie sets up a slew of negative trailer park resident/redneck stereotypes which become murderous zombies then pits them against a group of stereotype troubled teens pairing both sides up so that the teens get their poetic just desserts. To be honest, I was actually going along with it, and found myself enjoying about the first third or so of the movie, but when all the killing started, I found myself getting really bored.

Part of the problem is that everyone in the movie is really unlikeable. You feel for the character of Norma in the prologue, but once she's one of the undead, she's just another piece of undead trailer trash. All of the teens are pretty detestable, except the nerd who has no role, and no character in this movie. When the teens are split up, and sent to their varied tableaus of death, the film seems to wander all over the place with no focus and no tension whatsoever. The filmmakers try to add a lot of humor to the redneck zombie characters, and some of it is funny, but it makes the characters cartoons and completely strips them of any threat they might have been.

It's not hard to make zombies scary and threatening. We've all seen other, successful zombie movies. The fear of them is pretty primordial. They're like us, but not us, and they want to eat us. Just ahving them crowd around a character is enough to create tension. Here, the zombies, which are stereotyped southern hicks, are smarter than regular zombies, but not at all scary. There's never a moment, as there is in films like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" or "The Devil's Rejects" or any other movie where agroup of people venture into someplace they shouldn't, where in the back of your head you want to warn them to get the hell out of there. As I said no tension, and no characters to root for.

For gore fans, the blood and guts effects are done well, and there are deaths by Asian erotic massage, air compressor, amputation, beheading, demolition derby, flaying followed by deep frying if you're into that sort of thing, but none of it really seemed distressing.

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