Director: Steven Goldmann
Writer: Timothy Dolan
Producer: Jonathan Bogner
Starring: Nichole Hiltz, Lew Temple, Myk Watford, Matthew Del Negro, Michelle Lee
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 91 min
Country of Origin: USA
Toronto After Dark Film Festival
Sometimes some of the least likely to entertain do the exact opposite. Of course when it comes to crazed out zombies I’m truly biassed; but with Trailer Park of Terror, what we have aren’t exactly zombies, not exactly vampires and certainly not werewolves or ghosts. Just horrifically scarred humanoids that like nothing better than to terrorize and kill anyone who ventures into their realm. They certainly are among the un-dead variety though.
The movie starts off pretty typical for this type of film. A bus full of troubled teenagers on retreat, along with their pastor, breaks down in the middle of nowhere and they seek refuge in an out-of-the-way trailer park. What starts out as fairly hospitable company, quickly devolves into a hellish nightmare of torture and depravity.
There are two things that make the movie a bit more interesting than most of its ilk. The first is the fact that we get the backstory of this trailer park as the movie evolves in a non-linear fashion. Bits and pieces of how things came to be are given to us throughout the picture, interspersed with what is happening in the current. This backstory is actually some of the most brutal and interesting to watch.
The second is the music and make-up effects. For those that enjoyed Robert Rodriguez’ From Dusk til Dawn or Planet Terror, you’d be right at home in the Trailer Park of Terror. The creature effects seem to be of very close relation in look and feel as those in the aforementioned films and they work extremely well. These critters are realistic looking and quite scary. Of course, competently lit sets help for this effect to work as effectively as it does as well.
One of the key charcters provides much of the music in the movie. Much like in From Dusk til Dawn, several key action sequences are supported by characters providing the music. In this case a skeletal remnant of an old blues guitarist lets fly with dirty guitar riffs and nasty lyrics from atop an abandoned trailer while our protagonists run and beg for their lives.
Throw in a bit of Raimi-esque, Evil Dead type of comedy here and there and all in all a quite enjoyable, though arguably exploitative time in the theater. Unfortunately I was only able to see the “R” rated version at my screening, but apparently the DVD that is to be released has the director’s vision of the film with much more hard-core kills and thrills. Again, surely not the cream of the crop when it comes to action/horor – especially at a genre-film festival, but one could do a lot worse and I actually had a great time with it. Would I watch it again? Most certainly.
Click “play” to see the trailer: