Monday, 15 July 2013

5 Vacation Horror Movies!

 **Please note that there may be spoilers throughout the blog**


Everybody has terrible vacation stories.  The hotel lost their room, they had to wait in line for hours to go on rides at famous mouse amusement park or they got a flat tire on the way to where they were going.  All terrible mishaps but not so bad in comparison to these stories of stalking, satanic cult chasing and organ stealing.

Here's 5 Vacation Horror Movies!


5. The Mutilator (aka Fall Break) (1985)  - Young Ed Jr. is getting ready for his dad's birthday and is gonna surprise him by cleaning his guns.  He sits down in the den and starts polishin' the old rifle when it accidentally goes off and kills his mother with a load of... buckshot.  His father gets home to discover that his wife is dead and his son is the one who killed her.  Haaappy Birthday?
  Ten years later, Ed is in college and he and his friends are on Fall Break(?) but have nothing to do.  Ed gets a call at the local pub from his dad, asking him to come up to the beach house for the weekend to shut everything down.  Ed tells him, "No way, do it yourself!" and heads back to his table.  His friends ask him about it and he tells them that his relationship has been really strained with his dad, since he accidentally murdered his mom.  He tells them that his dad wanted him to go up to the beach house and close it down for the winter.  The gang thinks this is a great vacation getaway idea and they convince Ed to call his dad and tell him that he's changed his mind.
  The gang pack up their shit and head down to the cabin.  When they arrive, the beach house looks as though it was burgled, but Ed assures them that it was just his dad and his drinking buddies tying one on.  They clean up and right away the group starts pairing off for sexy time.  Unfortunately, the gang doesn't know that their is a madman in the garage waiting to cut them up into little pieces.  Can this group of students survive the weekend at the beach house or are they doomed to end Fall Break as bloody mess?
  I have mixed feelings on this film because although it has some of the worst acting I've ever seen and one of the most irritating characters imaginable, this film does have some surprisingly good gory scenes.  Also there is one of the cheesiest songs about Fall break that is played during the opening credits that will astound anyone who enjoys music.  The story is pretty braindead but I've seen worse with better actors.  It's a good movie if you're having a few beers with you friends at your father's beach house.





4. Turistas (aka Paradise Lost) (2006) - Straight laced uptight Alex, his free spirit sister, Bea and her hot friend, Amy are in Brazil on vacation.  They are on a bus heading to their resort, when the bus topples over.  Luckily everyone gets out of the bus safely before it falls down a cliff.  While waiting for the next bus, Alex and Bea make a number of new friends and find out that there is a bar on the beach just down the road.  They head down to bar with their new chums and discover a beautiful beach, with a fully stocked bar and gorgeous senoritas.  The gang decides that they'll catch the bus tomorrow and party tonight.  However, the bartender calls her shady boss to let them know that she has a gang of gringos at her bar.  Her boss tells her to keep them there and puts together a team to collect his new victims.  At the beach, the gang drinks the night away and end up passing out there.
  The next morning, the group wakes up and discovers that they've been robbed of their money, passports and bags.  Realizing that they must have been drugged, the gang wanders back to bus stop but they are told that it doesn't come back for days.  They walk to a nearby village and find a motorcycle that belonged to one of their new friends from last night, who has gone missing mysteriously.  When inquiring a local villager about it, Alex sees a kid wearing his hat and the group chases the kid to find out where he got it from.  One of their new British pals hocks a rock at the kid to slow him down but ends up hitting him on the head and knocking the kid out.  The villagers are angry but luckily another new friend from last night, Kiko is from this village and he rescues them by rushing them away from the angry mob.  Kiko convinces them that they should come with him to his uncle's house and they can get a lift back to a larger town.  Little does the gang know, that Kiko works for the same evil person as the bartender and he's leading them to a trap.
  On the way to Kiko's "Uncle's" they stop for a swim and after hanging out with these Gringos and showing them his secret cave, Kiko realizes that he likes them and he doesn't want them to die.  He tells them that the should go back to the angry village and he can get them a ride but the gang would rather just get to the "Uncle" house.  Then, Kiko hurts himself diving before telling the group the truth and they carry him the rest of the way to his "Uncle's" house.  What kind of horrors await these travelers and will they be able to escape or will they be begging for mercy in the wrong language?
  Probably the best movie with Josh Duhamel that I've seen.  This was okay, it took a long time to get to the reason why they were being brought to the Uncle's cabin in the first place.  There were a couple of gory scenes but the horror section of the film seems to be rushed.  Director John Stockwell (Blue Crush, Into the Blue) sure has a boner for under water shots, which kind of bores and confuses you to tears at the end.  It wasn't all bad but the end didn't really make sense and if these people were visiting my country and acting like that, I may have wanted them dead as well.  Good thing to watch before you visit an exotic lo cal, so you know how to not act like a douchebag.





3. Funny Games (1997) -Anna, Georg and their son, Georg, Jr are driving their boat up to their summer home and playing the classical music guessing game on the way.  They stop to say hello to their neighbour, Fred and ask him to come help them but the boat in the water.  Fred says sure and will come over in a little bit to help.  Anna and Georg notice that there are two young men with him that they have never seen before but they think they must be related some how.  Anyway, Georg and his family head to their summer home and unpack their belongs.  Fred comes over with one of the young men and introduces him just as Peter.  While they are putting the boat into the water, the other young man, Paul goes to the house and asks to borrow some eggs for Fred's wife.  Anna gives him the eggs but he drops them and asks if he can have more eggs.  Annoyed, Anna gives him 4 more eggs and sends him on his way.
  Unfortunately, she hears the dog barking and moments later she hears a knock on the door.  It's Paul again but this time Peter is with him.  Paul claims that the dog knocked the eggs out of his hands and he would like more.  Anna is fed up and asks them to leave but they won't.  Georg comes in and asks them strongly to leave but the refuse, politely.  Peter makes an offhand comment and Georg slaps him for his rudeness.  Peter retaliates with a hitting Georg with a golf club and crippling him.  Anna and Georg realize that they are not friendly young men and that they are in a lot of trouble.  Will Peter and Paul play there game with Georg's family and leave or will Anna & George losing everything, including their lives, in the end?
  Director Michael Haneke (Amour, Funny Games U.S) puts together an interesting thriller that leaves an incredible pit in your stomach.  He also allows his lead villain to break down that fourth wall and interact with the audience.  It's very bizarre and entertaining at the same time.  Most of the violence ends up happening off screen, which is different especially when most films nowadays want to show you everything.  The actors are very good and I prefer this one to the remake, I think it's more fluid and realistic. I think this a great film and although, it's more of a thriller than a horror film it's creepy enough to be on any awful vacation lists.   





2. Race With The Devil (1975) - Roger Marsh and his buddy, Frank Stewart buy an RV and take their wives, Alice and Kelly on a vacation.  They hit the offroad trail and set up camp deep in the desert.  Roger and Frank grab their dirt bikes and race around and the wives get drunk and talk about wife things.  Everyone is having a great time until Roger and Frank witness a girl being murdered during a Satanic ritual. I hate when that happens!  As they rush back to their RV, the satanist start chasing them and try to stop them from escaping.  Luckily, Roger shakes them off and the satanists only break the rear window of the RV.
  They report it to the police and the local sheriff and his deputy drive over to where the incident took place.  Unfortunately, all the satanic debris as been cleared out and the only thing left is a puddle of blood, which the sheriff says could be from an animal.  Unsatisfied with their finding, Roger and friends decide to get to Amarillo to speak with the authorities there.  Before the go to Amarillo though, they need to stop at the RV park for a dip in the pool and bite to eat.  Those satanists can wait.
  At the RV park, they make some new friends and go for supper but when they return, their dog is dead and they are attacked once again by Satanists!  They rush off to Amarillo to get help!  Not knowing who to trust and with the Devil's minions on their heels, can they make to Amarillo before they become the next sacrifices for this community of evil?
  This is more of any action/horror and a good chance for Peter Fonda (Easy Rider, Ghost Rider) to zip around on a dirt bike.  It does have some pretty intense moments, especially when the satanists are performing their ritual and during the big chase scene near the end.  Rumour has it, that director Jack Starrett (Slaughter, Cleopatra Jones) hired real satanists for the picture, which could be true, cuz the people cast as the townfolk give off a pretty creepy vibe.  Fonda is great and so is Loretta Swift, who plays his friend's wife, Kelly.  There is also a great scene with snakes as well that might give you a new fear of them or at least a great prank idea for Halloween.  There isn't a lot of gore but there is a pretty decent body count and a very strong ending.  Fun film that reeks of 70's cheese and road trip terror!   





1. Tourist Trap (1979) - Eileen and Woody get a flat on their jeep in the desert.  Woody grabs the flat tire and heads down the road to find a gas station.  He eventually finds one but it seems deserted.  He goes inside and he can hear voices in the back, so he goes to investigate.  When he goes into the room where the sounds are coming from, the door slams shut and locks, then he is attacked by puppets, mannequins and varies debris. He is eventually killed with a metal pipe.
  While Woody is gone, the rest of their friends, Becky, Jerry and Molly pick up Eileen on the side of the road because they are all vacationing together(?).  So, Eileen jumps into Jerry's jeep and they go to find Woody.  Unfortunately, their jeep dies in front of the Slausen's Museum of Useless Shit.  Jerry stays with the jeep to see if he can fix it, while the girls go wandering in the woods.  To the surprise of the girls, they discover a gorgeous oasis and decide to go skinny dipping.  Once the girls are in the water frolicking, old man Slausen comes over to have a gander.  He tells the ladies that he used to charge people to swim in that water until the new highway took away all his business and that they should watch out for the snakes that come out a swim in there sometimes.  The girls freak and get out of water and tell Mr. Slausen about the issue with the jeep.  He invites them all to wait at his museum while him and Jerry work on the jeep.  They except and head over.
  Mr. Slausen's museum is full of knick knacks, oddities and animatronic mannequins, like Jesse James,  a bank robber and Slausen's dead wife.  That's not weird at all.  Slausen tells them that his brother made all these and he moved out to work in California or something.  Eileen wants to use the phone but unfortunately the one in the museum doesn't work.  Eileen notices a farm house behind the museum and asks if there is a phone in the house.  Slausen warns them not to leave the museum because of... wolves and leaves with Jerry to fix the jeep.  After some talk of how weird Slausen is, Eileen decides to risk the wolves and head down to the house.  The other girls don't want to go so Eileen goes down by herself to the dark foreboding farmhouse.  When she doesn't come back after a while Becky and Molly decide to go look for Eileen and head down to the house.  When they go into the house, they find Eileen but she's now a mannequin!  And then they are attacked by a masked killer!  Can they ever escape this museum of horrors or are they destined to become part of Slausen's tourist trap?
  There is something about this film that makes it really really creepy.  This is a Charles Band production and it's directed by David Schmoeller (Puppet Master, Crawlspace), so I expected a lot of weird puppet horror but the FX team really hits a home run with this one. The killer's mask is one of the creepiest I've ever seen and the mannequins just give me the shivers. The movie isn't perfect, there are some serious plot holes and confusing moments, like introducing a new character in the third act for no reason or why isn't the killer using his psychic powers all the time? Buuuuut they can be looked over because it's pretty campy and it's what you would expect from a Full Moon picture.  Great cast, Chuck Conners (Summer Camp Nightmare, Soylent Green) is terrific and cheesy as Mr. Slausen and Tanya Roberts (BeastMaster, A View to a Kill) is hot, I mean.., really good in this as well as one of Eileen's friends.  There isn't a ton of gore but there are some terrifying moments here.  Great film to watch to keep you away from roadside attractions.



So, when you're on your next vacation and something goes wrong, like getting sick on the first day of your staycation or it rains for most of the days while your there, remember at least there isn't a gang of psychic mannequins trying to kill you and that should make you feel a little better.


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