Eye For Film >> Movies >> Trailer Park Of Terror (2008) Film Review
Part comedy, part horror and part vigilante movie, Trailer Park Of Terror is an in-house project from Drac Productions, Oscar-winning make-up artists behind the likes of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Mask, Hannibal and Apocalypto. Directed by a guy who usually helms country music videos, and with a soundtrack of southern-tinged hick rock, it’s certainly a strange grab bag of influences.
It focuses on a group of six troubled high school students, led by the pious Pastor Lewis (Matthew Del Negro), who find themselves taking the wrong road into a near-deserted trailer park, somewhere in the Deep South. They soon find out the park inhabitants are actually high-functioning zombies with a taste for weird sex, death and flesh consumption.
The zombies are led by the glamorous-looking Norma (Nichole Hiltz) an almost-been, who tried to escape from the trailer park more than 20 years previously. Unfortunately for Norma, her boyfriend is killed in front of her on the verge of her escape. In revenge, she naturally makes the decision to forge a pact with the devil, and takes vengeance on her trailer park compatriots, shooting them all down in a kill-crazy rampage.
There are definite shades of early Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi about this comedy-horror. Although shot on an obviously larger budget than, say, The Evil Dead, it possesses a similar hilariously tasteless sensibility. Echoes of Raimi’s tree-rape sequence can be felt in scenes that include lethal combinations of sex and decapitation; sex, massage and vertebrae splitting; and sex, videotape and attempted strangulation.
Director Steven Goldmann gets a surprisingly competent cast for his debut feature, who bring some much-needed life to the paper-thin characters. Sometime Desperate Housewives heart-throb Ryan Carnes has fun playing the token obnoxious jock, The West Wing’s Del Negro hams it up at the hypocritical holy man and Hiltz, who has been seen in various US dramas including Bones and Smallville, is trash on a stick as the self-proclaimed trailer park queen. Indeed, to get a good image of the feeble characterisation, you only need to look at the DVD’s making of. Apparently one of the characters is a recovering drug addict… it was news to me.
It’s a cut above the usual generic horror fare, and one that is probably going to go down well with Fangoria fan-types. The decent cast, the unusual soundtrack and the imaginatively sadistic set pieces are all good value for money. The film does take a while to launch into full-blown horror territory; almost half the film goes by without the zombies showing their true colours. Although there’s nothing much Trailer Park Of Terror does that people weren't doing 20 or so years ago, for a rainy Saturday night, you could do a lot worse.Reviewed on: 13 Feb 2009
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