Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Trailer Park of Terror

Rednecks and zombies. They go together like peanut butter and…well, peanut butter goes with almost anything. The most recent example of this is Trailer Park of Terror, a 2008 adaptation of a comic book series.

Norma (Nichole Hiltz) is a young woman living in a trailer park populated with riff-raff and ne-er-do-wells. She is alone, since her mother was killed by the sheriff during the making of a porno movie (Norma had to take her place). Norma dreams of getting out, and her hopes are pinned on a young man from outside who has asked her to a dance. Unfortunately, when her date arrives, the denizens of the park decide to amuse themselves at his expense, and the roughhousing ends with the unfortunate suitor lethally impaled on a wrought-iron fence.

A despondent Norma walks away from the park where she meets the Devil, played by country singer Trace Adkins (I would have thought Toby Keith would be Satan). We know he is Satan because he is peeing fire. He strikes a deal with Norma, gives her a gun, and she returns to the park and murders everyone there, then kills herself and destroys the park by blowing up some propane tanks. This doesn’t get her off the hook, as in the years to come, she and her victims haunt the park in a semi-zombified ghostly state. A large number of disappearances occur in the vicinity.

Cut to the present, where the pastor of Vertical Trinity Ministries is taking a busload of troubled teens to a mountain retreat. The teens are each a stereotype of what a fundy might seem as troubled: a kleptomaniac, a druggie, a goth, a supposedly gay boy, etc. The bus has an accident near the site of the old trailer park, naturally, and the group takes shelter in the trailers, invited in by a deceptively normal-looking Norma. In the night, however, the true nature of the park is revealed, and one by one, the teens and the pastor meet their grisly dooms.

I thought the movie was at best okay, better as a concept than in execution. There are obviously supposed to be comedic elements, but the jokes fall flat. The much, much lower budgeted Hide and Creep did a far better job in that regard. As strictly a horror movie it is also flawed. None of the teens come off as anything other than extremely annoying, so it is very difficult to care about their fate. Everything is competently done in the movie, from a technical and a casting prospective, but there is just something missing.

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