Lionsgate // 2005 // 91 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 21st, 2006
The road ends here.
Another low-budget horror movie is launched from Lionsgate HQ. Does it sputter and fall limply into the Sea of Japan, or has the studio known across the land as the one of the prime distributors of righteous crap scored a hit?
Stop me if you've heard this before. A group of teenaged friends go on vacation in the middle of the woods, where they are systematically picked off by an anonymous psychopath. Yes, Motor Home Massacre is about as formulaic as these slasher poseurs tend to be, but the question remains: is there enough good stuff to make it worth your time? We shall see.
Our main character is Sabrina (Shan Holleman), a fetching blonde bombshell currently nursing her emotional wounds in the aftermath of a messy breakup. Her friends convince her to hang with the crew for a trip in a motor home, a getaway guaranteed to be fraught with liquor and fornication. She reluctantly joins, and the friends are off. But danger looms.
You see, the land is supposedly cursed. Some time back, a couple out camping was brutally murdered (a scene that opens the film), and since then no one has dared tread anywhere near the site of the murders. Just so happens, our motley band of hornballs stakes their RV right where the alleged malevolence went down, and wouldn't you know it, a night of terror and stabbing awaits them.
Motor Home Massacre is crap, but its humor and tendency to not take itself seriously almost makes it a contender. Almost. By the time the credits roll, you will almost surely be saying "That sucked, but..." and I think that can qualify as a moral victory for this dopey little movie.
This is what the flick has in its corner: from the get-go, the tone of the movie is one of horror-comedy. As such, you, the viewer, won't have to dig your heels in and endure a lame attempt at serious scares, especially since Motor Home Massacre looks like it had the budget of an eight-year-old's weekly Pokemon allowance. The characters are stereotypes (all the women are busty and relatively attractive, the guys are horny a-holes, there's a good-hearted protagonist, and rednecks run rampant) and play to their one-dimensionality. For the most part, no one really pissed me off, except one guy whose schtick was "white boy hip-hop wannabe," and he couldn't die fast enough. Everybody else: fun to look at or not-irritating-enough-to-make-me-want-to-punch-myslef-in-the-throat.
The story these cardboard cutouts inhabit is far from engaging, and serve sonly as a backdrop to get as many of these clowns carved up and covered in Karo. You know the drill, masked killer, inhuman strength, sharpened blade, likes to waste people while they're in coitus. It's all here, and the plot progresses in textbook style -- one by one the victims are whacked until the two people you knew who were going to make it discover the true identity of the killer and take care of business and then an ultra-weak twist is foisted upon us. Present and accounted for, and said twist is hugely stupid. But by then, we've all (viewers and filmmakers and actors) agreed that Motor Home massacre is a moronic farce and should be viewed as such. I mean, for Pete's sake, one of the girls is tied to the rear bumper of the RV and dragged down the highway at 70 mph, and survives! Then again, she did have the biggest breasts of anyone.
Last thing to note: the gore effects, while primitive, were abundant. The highlight was one guy who had his back scraped off with a machete. Not bad, grasshopper.
Technical aspects are fairly okay. The 1.78:1 widescreen transfer looks find for the low-grade camera used, but it's not anamorphic. My disc case says the audio mix is 5.1 but it's so front-loaded, consider it stereo-lite. For extras, you get an alternate opening and an alternate ending (which is even dumber than the existing ending), some cast and crew interviews and trailers.
The movie's stupid, but I appreciate the humor and the fact it's not supposed to be "true" horror film (though Lionsgate has marketed it as such). No one takes anything seriously, so I guess you don't have to either. Not nearly as horrendous as I expected it be.
Guilty and sentenced to whatever crappy movies are sentenced to, but the bench acknowledges it could've been a lot worse.
Review content copyright © 2006 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Cast and Crew Interviews
* Alternate Ending
* Alternate Opening