WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
The Tropical Mary movie train rides again, with the axe-wielding Stygian Mole acting as our bodyguard against the b-grade horror. Admittedly, going in, the three of us didn’t expect much from a movie called Trailer Park of Terror. The fact that this was our 16th movie in 38 hours also meant that the mind wasn’t as strong as it once was and the line between reality and fiction was beginning to blur. Despite these rather significant odds this was actually one of those rare gems we occasionally find in the mountain of otherwise crap movies that I’ve managed to accumulate. If, like myself, you’re a sucker for a southern woman with a penchant for murder then this movie is definitely the one for you!
You know things are gonna get really trailer up in here when a movie opens with a shot of a doily on top of a TV and a woman wearing a scrunchie. Meet Norma, a lovely young thing with blonde hair, supple body and big dreams. She’s gone done met herself a strapping young fellow who’s everything she wants in a man (ie. he isn’t old enough to be her father, he isn’t a raging alcoholic and he doesn’t sell possum and racoon meat). To be honest the standards going around are relatively low, but that’s perfectly understandable given Norma’s humble (and dysfunctional) upbringing. Before going out to a dance Norma and her beau are accosted by some of the park’s residents; one thing leads to another and the boyfriend lands up impaled on a broken fence. Norma, justifiably pissed off, makes a deal with the devil and blows everyone and the trailer park to kingdom come. The tragedy that was Norma’s life came to an end that evening… Or did it?
Flash forward to a future with a lot of missing persons posters in the area of the old trailer park and Pastor Lewis is trying to bring a few lost souls back to Jesus. What part of ‘let’s stick half a dozen troubled teenagers in a bus together in the middle of nowhere’ sounded like a good idea I’m not quite sure but they’re here now so we might as well do something with them. While travelling out of a little town the brilliant Pastor Lewis plows their bus into a strangely abandoned truck. With the rain coming down in sheets they run off to find shelter and come across a conveniently placed trailer park run by a lovely woman named Norma. Sounding familiar? Norma’s delightfully southern, in a tiny red dress and only too happy to do whatever it takes to make this little group comfortable for the night. After all, southern people are known for their hospitality. They’re also known for making cheese grits, but that’s a separate story.
Of course every trailer park comes with its own ghosts, and these ones happen to be particularly vindictive. After killing the inhabitants of the trailer park Norma damned them all to haunt the place because of the deal she made and they’re now super psycho versions of their mortal selves. Red necks, angry Asian masseuses and an overly ‘voluptuous’ woman with a mild racoon meat addiction are the order of the day for our group of misguided youths. As a bunch of sex addicts, drug addicts, adulterers and cowards they’re really gonna have their work cut out for them if they’re gonna have any chance of surviving the night. Prepare yourselves for blood, beheadings and some epic undead drag racing to the edge of sanity and back!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Hold it in for too long and you will start peeing acid.
- A trailer park isn’t a trailer park if there are no pink flamingos everywhere.
- If a man is a good lover a woman’s face will actually fall off while she’s having sex with him.
- You’re overdoing a back massage when the spine starts to rip through the skin.
- Many of the undead are trained to use landmines.
- Fresh meat brings all the undead to the yard.
- Proper food hygiene is a highly overrated practice.
- You can pray for forgiveness before you’ve actually committed the sin.
TRAILER PARK OF TERROR TRAILER
BUY TRAILER PARK OF TERROR AT AMAZON.COM
Year of Release: 1987
Genre: Horror / Comedy
IMDB Rating: 4.9 / 10
Level of Awful: Medium – High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I’m rarely at a loss when it comes to deciding how bad a movie is, but this one had me stumped. Judging by its IMDB rating I was under the impression that this one was going to be good (because I have low standards and most things over 4 are quite watchable in my opinion). It wasn’t. I’m not sure if ‘good idea’ is quite what I’m looking for, but it certainly was an interesting idea. Where did it go wrong? Sometimes you get movies where the actors have all the acting capability of a plank of wood but in The Video Dead the planks of wood were outperforming the actors and sadly it wasn’t the kind of bad acting that you can make fun of. At the end of the day it’s not a good b-movie, but it’s not bad enough to make you squirm with discomfort.
When the dead come back to haunt the living there’s always an Institute for Studies in the Occult involved somehow. This time all these people have done is place their trust in a delivery company that haven’t the foggiest idea how to deliver a parcel, but when you’re dealing with zombies and demons and ghosts (oh my!) you really need to have your ducks properly in a row. The delivery company is currently in possession of a haunted TV that appears to be a portal to the dark side but, instead of delivering it to the Institute for Studies in the Occult they obviously read the address incorrectly and delivered the TV to an alcoholic writer in a leafy suburb instead. Now bear in mind we have travelled back to 1987, a time before coffee cups had to come with warnings that stated ‘contents of coffee cup are hot’, so the haunted TV certainly doesn’t carry any kind of warning sign or advisory label saying that it contains 6 or 7 cannibalistic zombies. Our dear writer is not amused with the TV because all it seems to play is this random black and white zombie movie that never wants to end so he turns it off and walks away. The TV’s persistent though and wants to play its movie, even if you pull the power cable out of the wall. Being the rather devilish TV that it is as soon as you turn your back it starts getting up to mischief, spewing out zombies left, right and centre who killing our poor writer.
3 months later and with all that murderous unpleasantness behind us we get to meet Jeff and Zoe, two young siblings who move into the old writer’s house to get ready for when their parents come back from overseas. Now, as a warning to all my readers, neither of these kids is particularly good-looking and this movie makes excessive use of close-ups so you might want to start looking away after the first 30 times. Jeff, being the younger and more inquisitive brother, discovers the TV in the attic when it whispers through the dark that it wants to do some terribly PG-13 things to him and moves it into his room. This time, instead of channeling zombies, it channels a demonic naked blonde woman who tantalises the young boy before disappearing right back inside. You see it can’t channel the zombies because the zombies never went back inside after they killed the writer, which means that they’re still out frolicking somewhere in the woods surrounding the house. When these undead hooligans start to make a nuisance of themselves a strange man named Joshua Daniels rocks up at Zoe and Jeff’s house to help them out before they land up becoming a light snack.
Now this is the point when you really have to put your concentration cap on and pay attention because you’re about to be schooled in zombie psychology. For a mobile decomposing corpse these zombies are remarkably complex creatures that experience a surprising array of complicated emotions. Jeff isn’t the brightest spark out there and Zoe, being a woman, shouldn’t be out chasing after zombies so to defeat this horde of the undead you need to know exactly what you’re dealing with. Firstly, put mirrors up everywhere. Zombies are very self-conscious and don’t like looking at their own reflection to the point that they’ll run away from it. Secondly, zombies don’t like it when you express any fear since they themselves cannot express emotions so keep a constant grin on your face. Thirdly, zombies like to think that they’re still alive so treat them in the same way you would treat any living member of the human race and they might be a little less inclined to eat you. Lastly, a zombie is very good with a stick so avoid dangling from a tree with a chainsaw that they can get hold of and use against you. Follow these simple rules and you might just survive an attack of the video dead!
Speaking of The Video Dead, as a technical point, at no point is there a video, be it Beta or VHS, anywhere in sight but, at the end of the day, that really is the least of your worries walking into this one.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Younger brothers often walk like the dead.
- Women take their degrees in aerobics and music videos very seriously.
- Skunks don’t like to mate with poodles.
- Poodles are kinky and like being sprayed on by skunks.
- Zombies have a very simple but strange sense of humour.
- Zombies can only die when they think they’re alive. In this way when you attack them they will think they are injured and convince themselves that they are actually dead when they really aren’t because they can’t experience pain. They will remain ‘dead’ because they’re fooling themselves into thinking that they are until someone points out to them that they’re not in which case they’ll get back up and try again.
THE VIDEO DEAD TRAILER
Year of Release: 2008
IMDB Rating: 3.1 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Zombie movie fans of the world unite and bring me the head of director David Prior! I love post-apocalyptic movies, and when the end of the world comes at the hands of a horde of the undead I’m in my element. And what hurts me the most with this movie is that the premise was good! It could’ve been the Daybreakers of the zombie sub-genre! But no, this good concept was left in the hands of a fool with no budget and we’re left with this hot mess of a survivalist zombie movie.
It’s 50 years from now in a world ravaged by a zombie apocalypse. The ghostly voice of the narrator tells us that nobody knows how it happened, most likely because the budget didn’t allow for an extensive back story. Across the land small pockets of survivors have set up camp and go about the daily struggle of foraging for food, supplies and ammunition while dreaming about these ‘cities’ they heard their parents talking about when they were young. On the last expedition to find other survivors and supplies our beefy, studly hero David manages to rescue a band of virginal, supple females from a horde of zombies. You see these are smarter-than-your-average zombies that have learned that they can cultivate humans as a renewable food source. The rescued girls have lived their entire lives with the zombies and have no way of communicating with the other people in the camp but one of the girls, the blonde and delicate Star (named by David) has all she needs to communicate with her hero.
To ensure a bountiful harvest of human flesh the zombies have built themselves a farm in the middle of the woods where they’ve learned how to grow and breed humans in a sustainable fashion, securing themselves a food source while keeping their carbon footprint low. In a move of expert organisation the zombies decide to attack all of the human settlements in the area one night to try and increase their stocks and David and Star are taken captive and David quickly learns that the key to survival at zombie camp is to keep your mouth shut (apparently human speech offends them). The zombies divide their captives into groups and decide what person is best suited to what job and David is put out to stud. Now let’s face it, if you were captured by zombies and forced to work, constantly sexing would probably be the best job to get. Tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Now while we’re all praising the zombies for evolving a thought process and hierarchical system of governance, there’s a little more to this human farm than initially meets the eye. David can believe they’ve learned how to grow food for their captives, build cages and take photographs of the new arrivals but he’s not entirely willing to believe that they can manufacture soap and preserve and can fresh fruits and vegetables. Someone, somewhere, for some strange reason, has to be helping the zombies out and providing them with the goods to keep their humans alive. It’s now up to David, his friend from zombie camp Sliver (which the director confused with the word ‘slither’) and the newly educated and sexed up Star to find a way out while his friends and brother back at the base camp try to figure a way to break in to help him escape.
Up until this point I was willing to give the movie a ‘Medium’ Level of Awful, but then the ending happens. And after you’ve sat for nearly 80 minutes watching the poorly designed zombies achieve very little in the way of killing this ending will be enough to make you stand up in fury, rip your TV off the wall and throw it off the balcony. If you don’t have a balcony walk the streets until you find one; it’s the only way you’re gonna feel better when the Zombie Wars ending roles round.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Zombie skin and clown makeup are remarkably similar to one another.
- Zombies only rot in their face.
- You don’t need to worry about aiming; no matter where you shoot the bullet will find its way to the zombie’s head.
- Bitch slapping is an excellent interrogation method.
- Human quality control is both an involved process and an exact science.
- Zombies are good at managing resources.
- Zombies control and manage bustling trade routes.
- Zombies are excellent businessmen.
- You should always use your dumbest soldiers as sniper guards at border controls.
ZOMBIE WARS TRAILER