TAD2008: Trailer Park of Terror

Andrew Mack, Contributing Writer

A bus load of at-risk youth are on a trip with a church outreach group. Led by Pastor Lewis they are taking a trip into the country where they are to be challenged to change their lives and turn from their evil ways. As they drive to their destination on a dark and stormy night they are involved in an accident and are stranded in the middle of nowhere. They happen upon a seemingly abandoned trailer park, except it is not. Led on by their host, the voluptuous Norma, this trailer park's former inhabitants, hillbillies from hell, will rise from the dead and hunt down our hopeless and hapless teens one by one; as all hopeless and hapless teens should be. Get on the bus, it’s time to go to the country and meet the neighbours over at the Trailer Park of Terror!

Trailer Park of Terror starts with the promise of seeing the teens dying by methods of their own vices. When drug addict Tiffany dies partway through a drug trip or Pastor Lewis ‘gets head’ during an act of infidelity I thought, this is cool; this is payment for their sins. The viewer is led this way for a bit and for its sake the means to their ends, the kills in question, are really good. No shiatsu massage for me, thank you. But we are abruptly redirected back to the psycho zombie hillbillies and the remaining kills don’t impress as much. The moments are squandered and you feel like they pussied out.

Case in point, one of the boys is captured, tied down and lowered into a tub of boiling oil. Now, if I get a spit of grease on me when cooking bacon I cry like a little girl. Stings like a sonuvabitch. This guy gets his whole body lowered into it and it looks like he has dipped his big toe into the whirlpool. No thrashing. No convulsing. It’s like the synapses and nerves endings just got and left, ‘Ah, we see what’s about to happen here. We’d best be leaving now’. He just lies there and cries out. Still, I cannot for the life of me remember how Amber, the chocolate sexpot, who cried and screamed for half her role, died. Anyone? The first couple kills? Nice. The rest of them? Zuh?

Trailer hits another snag in the final act. The editing. I thought the editing really killed the pace of the film that had been set in motion in the second act once the hillbilly zombies came out for the kills. From then on everything is cut into blocks and before one scene could build up any tension or excitement we were cut to another scene and trying to do it all over again, only then to cut to another scene. Gosh darn it! A little less time at the editing board and letting the scenes play out and it would have felt more complete and fulfilled.

To writer Timothy Dolan’s credit the zombies in Trailer are some of the most entertaining there have ever been. Though dead and passed on they retain their southern ilk and trailer park traits. Redneck zombies are an unlimited source of entertainment and comic value. But Trailer Park of Terror belongs to Nichole Hiltz. Norma is the Southern Belle from Hell. Not only is she ‘dead’ sexy [chortle] but Hiltz clearly has a lot of fun with the role. At the end it is not about survivor girl. It’s all about the sexy zombie Norma and her chance at some sort of redemption at the end of the film.

Trailer Park of Terror is at least an entertaining ride through the back country of Hell.

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