By Jeremy Azevedo
|Midnight Movies is an irregularly occurring feature whose purpose is to showcase little-to-no budget films that play at late night theaters in the slums of America and the bombed-out megaplexes of the former Soviet Republic Eastern Bloc!|
Even if you’ve never heard of Drac Studios before, you have no doubt seen quite a bit of their work. They have done special effects and makeup for everything from X-Men, Pirates of the Caribbean and Titanic on down to Ugly Betty, Friends and Power Rangers. These guys have had their hands in everything, and are just about unparalleled when it comes to the lost art of live SFX. It’s only fitting then, that they should dabble in a little full-scale production of their own.
Trailer Park of Terror, which is based on a comic series by the same name, is the first feature length, in-house production to come out of Drac Studios. As you can imagine, a horror film made by a shop that has been nominated many times for achievements in makeup and effects makes a lot of sense. Even on a smaller budget, it is possible for them to use their own resources to give make a horror picture look like it had a multi-million dollar effects budget. Horror fans expecting gruesome thrills, explicit torture scenes and horribly disfigured zombie/demon monsters will not be disappointed in the slightest.
Director Steven Goldmann, himself a country boy and a comic fan, took great care to infuse Trailer Park of Terror with actual Appalachian bumfuck Ozark American flavor, gathered in his experience as a prolific country music video director. Granted, much of that aesthetic was already present in the comics. But little touches, like the way one character is injected with salad dressing like a turkey about to be roasted, or more noticeable elements like the soundtrack, come from Goldmann’s influence.
The breakout star and central character to the plot of Trailer Park of Terror is Nichole Hiltz, who is perfectly cast as sort of a substitute Jaime Pressly (who is herself something of a sexy white trash icon). The character that she plays, Norma, in the comic book is more of a “Crypt Keeper” type character that weaves tragic tales of murder and the supernatural. In this film adaptation, they opted to keep the ironic twist common to most “Tales From the Crypt” stories but dispense with the narration and include the recurring characters in the central plot, which is your traditional “horny teens in peril” horror story. The results are kinda what you would expect, not particularly risky and even a little forced at the end, but honestly, with effects this good, no one will give a crap if there are problems with the plot.
All of the monsters in Trailer Park of Terror look so gruesome, it sets a new bar for zombies in film. There’s plenty of blood and dismemberment, too… I won’t describe any of the kills specifically, as that would ruin much of the surprise and fun of watching a film like this. But suffice to say, those with a weak stomach may never want to eat beef jerky again after watching Trailer Park of Terror. The only thing that is missing, in all honesty, is boobs. Even the unrated version of Trailer Park of Terror has a conspicuous absence of boobs that is largely unexpected for a direct to video horror release. It’s a little strange on account of how much sex and implied prostitution is present in the film, almost to the point of being unintentionally humorous. Then again, a little unintentional humor never hurt anybody, especially when there is some decent intentional humor to back it up. See for yourself now, Trailer Park of Terror should be available at video stores and seedy drive-ins near you today.