Film review: Trailer Park of Terror

May 13, 2009 by
Filed under: Film reviews 

tpoterror1Based on the Imperium comic book series and including a nice little colour mini-comic of its own, Trailer Park of Terror’s redneck horrors have sneaked into the UK shops unannounced much like The Dark Hour, albeit less successfully, and with a completely different vibe.

Initially Trailer Park of Terror follows a bog-standard template: a bus load of delinquent teens with attitudinal problems and their group leader are stranded as said bus crashes in a massive rainstorm. The argumentative bunch find themselves in Trucker’s Triangle, a haunted patch of dusty land that the Devil himself (in a suitably black Cowboy outfit) has frequented, doing all manner of deals with the locals over the years, especially pretty lil’ Norma, the cursed, and now very dead owner of the abandoned Trailer Park.

The kids argue, muck around and are just plain irritating (thus allowing us to dislike them enormously and increase our hopes for swift and bloody retribution) and inevitably attract the attention of the luscious make-up coated Norma and other returned resident rednecks who made Norma’s life a misery all those years ago, until the aforementioned Devil gave her a big gun and she took appropriate revenge. These white-trash characters include a colourful guitar-wielding ghoul, a monstrously fat cannibal, and a jerky obsessed butcher (and it’s not beef), all of whom take great glee in torturing and killing the deserving teens in fashions relevant to their previous lives, whilst cracking tasteless jokes of questionable redneck wisdom as the gore flows.

Via convincing fx and EC-inspired creatures, decent directing and a fun spiky country soundtrack Trailer Park of Terror almost manages to tap into the same vein of humour as can be found in The Evil Dead, and Roach the rockabilly ghoul is as strong and fun a demon as Ash was a flawed hero. But it cannot be denied that Trailer Park of Terror is a very basic story trying too hard to be truly scary through gruesome set-pieces. There are no surprises and not much inventiveness, but then it never promised any I guess, so it sits uneasily on my DVD shelves, possibly never to be watched again.

Trailer Park of Terror, 2008

Director: Steven Goldmann; Writer: Timothy Dolan

[This review was originally published in the Easter 09 edition of Prism, the Newsletter of the British Fantasy Society]


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