Summit Entertainment // 2008 // 97 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 8th, 2008
"No happy ending!"
Have you asked yourself recently: "How come there aren't more movies with white trash zombies?" Fellah, I'm about to make your day!
Our story begins with a beautiful young blonde woman named Norma (Nichole Hiltz) who lives in a trailer park populated by weirdos. One day, they push her too far and she makes a deal with the devil and uses her new infernal power to slaughter the entire the community. Fast forward a bunch of years and a bus full of juvenile delinquents on their way back from a church retreat ends up in that very same park.
Too bad for them it's now overrun with zombified versions of the dead residents. The teens have one night to make it out of the accursed place with their lives -- but it's not going to be easy, what with all the zombies and their desire and ability to kill the kids in messy and exciting ways.
Not a bad splatter film, this. And if you go in expecting a tongue-in-cheek slaughterfest, there's an excellent chance you'll walk away more than satisfied.
Trailer Park of Terror might have an uninventive name and sports a derivative plot of a group of obnoxious teens receiving their comeuppance in grisly fashion, but the film earns a recommendation through its execution: it's fast-paced, funny and drenched in old-school practical gore effects.
Hillbillies are the go-to villains in slasher films these days and an argument can be made that they're overused, but director Steven Goldmann goes all-out and uses every redneck stereotype available to over-the-top effect: the morbidly obese woman that can't get enough "meat," the trigger-happy militia-man whose explosive ordnances backfire on him in a big way, the freak who makes his own jerky, human and otherwise, the deep-fried guitar player with the Elvis-doo. There's even an Asian masseuse who gives the most horrifying Happy Ending ever captured on film.
Once the kids land at the trailer park, after just enough exposition to give us a sense of their personalities (even though they're all little more than cannon fodder), Norma shows up and almost immediately the @#$% hits the fan and for 45 minutes, it's unending bloodshed. The film strikes a nice balance between goofball antics and startlingly grotesque horror. One moment I was chuckling at the idiot zombie who blew himself up and was fondling his intestines and the next I was averting my eyes from a truly horrific sequence where a guy is flayed and deep-fried alive. You can also count on decapitations, forcefully rearranged spinal columns, castration, de-limbing, internal electrocution and more. And this stuff doesn't transpire off screen -- these guys do not shy away from milking their effects budget, so the bloodletting is copious and graphic.
Props to the props department. The gags are all expertly staged, done with just a hint of CGI (the exploding zombie and Norma's occasional facial rearrangement were the only visual effects work I caught) and slick enough to unsettle my stomach. That human jerky thing is one of the most depraved things I've seen this year. The zombie make-up is all top-shelf.
The disc includes both the R-rated and unrated versions (go for the latter if you want the full gross-out experience), presented in a clean 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, supplemented with a 5.1 surround mix that will bleat out that Southern rock with extreme prejudice. Extras are lame, though -- a comedy bit featuring interviews with the "Trailer Park Zombies."
There's a touch of humor, and that makes the mayhem a little more palatable, but Trailer Park of Terror is something all gorehounds owe it to themselves to scope out.
Guilty of grossing me out -- no easy thing to do.
Review content copyright © 2008 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Summit Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 97 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Character Interviews