Trailer Park Of Terror: Unrated
R1 - America - Summit Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Jeremiah Chin (27th October 2008).
The Film

Horror movies are alternative forms of teaching and thanks to their insight I know that you should always look out for hillbillies or other folk in isolated houses on rainy nights. From “Psycho” (1960) to “House of 1000 Corpses” (2003), you can learn that even though the rain may gets you soaked, taking comfort in the houses of isolated strangers can also get you soaked... in blood. Following in the long traditions of killer hillbillies emerges Steven Goldmann’s “Trailer Park of Terror” (2008), based on the comic series of the same name.

Norma (Nichole Hiltz) is the queen of the trailer park, whose boyfriend is an outsider and not welcome around these parts known as the “Trucker’s Triangle.” After meeting him outside the town one day, some of her neighbors start pushing him around until they push him through some fencing, making Norma take up a deal with the devil and go on a rampage; killing everyone in the trailer park, including herself. 20 or so years later a group of outsider teenagers involved in a Christian summer rehabilitation camp get caught in the middle of a rainstorm and are force to take refuge in the trailer park. Soon they discover that the trailer park is filled with the zombified versions of the former residents, out to kill and eat all the kids before the sun rises.

The fact that the film is upfront with it’s campy values and entertainment makes it a whole lot more fun to watch. The story is routine for the material, but it doesn’t aspire to be much more and doesn’t need to. All I wanted to see was some crazy hillbilly zombies and that’s exactly what I got. Timothy Dolan’s script gets the job done and Roach the Rockabilly Zombie (Myk Watford) has some classic lines, but other than that it’s not terribly memorable. All of the actors know what the script is too, which is good, however the script doesn’t really take the whole exploitation-styled zombie fest to its full capacity which leaves me a little wanting.

However, what gore and practical effects that are there are good. Head pulls, dismembered limbs and deep fried teens abound in the ‘unrated’ version included on the disc, and they did a good job of what’s there. (There’s also an ‘R’ rated version included on the disc which is a nice extra, but honestly, why risk the chance of missing out on killer undead rocabillies?) Even better, a lot of the gore is used for some good comedy in some of the scenes, but there are some where the jokes just try too hard, even for basic eating-people-pun type of humor. The zombies themselves look pretty good, especially Miss China's (Michelle Lee) character if you get a good look at her face has half of her face ripped off yet they put together the prosthetic to allow the portion of her lips that’s still on her face to move, a nice touch.

Goldmann’s directing definitely has a Rob Zombie inferiority complex. The opening scenes and the crazed southern people eaters definitely have the feel of Captain Spalding and the gang from Zombie’s 2 great films, but are not nearly as fun to watch or be around. A lot of the colors and the way some of the music is used tries to mimic Zombie as well, but again doesn’t quite meet the mark. Yet overall, “Trailer Park of Terror” is a fun, gory romp through the backwoods that has a good amount of blood, but falls short on some key points of the genre. While there are some great characters too, especially Roach, some of them are just plain annoying after a few minutes and can grate on the nerves a little bit.

Video

Presented in 1.78:1 widescreen, the video transfer is good, though could use some work in the original lighting and some of the depth of color in the transfer. While the early scenes have some good use of lighting and color and look good in the transfer, later night scenes at parts get lost in their own lighting where even parts of a character that seem to be lit in the scene sort of blend in to the rest of the image.

Audio

The English 5.1 Dolby Digital track sounds nice and clear, there really aren’t any pops or drops in the sound levels and most of the music balances out fine with the rest of the audio in the film. It’s not super crisp, but it’s clean and audible. The soundtrack itself fits the movie well, a lot of it comes out of the Roach the Rockabilly Zombie and matches the action fine.
Optional Subtitles are available in both English and Spanish.

Extras

The only special feature is “Life at the Trailer Park of Terror” a featurette which runs for 9 minutes and 35 seconds. All of the actors are interviewed in character, in full makeup, talking about their different places, roles and lifestyles in the trailer park. There are some jokes that just fall flat, but the featurette is especially good for getting a closer look at the makeup on all the different zombies. Michelle Lee’s face prosthetics are well done on a closer look, though it’s a shame they didn’t get more screen time.

Overall

The Film: C- Video: C+ Audio: B Extras: C Overall: C+

 


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