Bad Movies Done Right — How to Survive a Horror Movie

Certain movie deaths lend themselves to more street credibility then others.

Going out in a hail of gunfire as you battle an unstoppable army of razor-toothed, acid-blooded alien monsters is an honorable way to die. Being chased down by a lone zombie who can barely move a foot without literally loosing his foot is a downright shameful way to shuffle off the mortal coil.

From the themed displays at your local video store to any one of the late night marathons on cable television, Hollywood’s scariest are waiting to be watched. But with a glut of gory programming available, many disregard the genre as a whole, preferring to spend their viewing time with something a little less horrifying.

Apathy towards scary movies, my friends, is the surest way to find yourself under the blade of a demented clown-themed killer. If only you had taken the time to watch a few scary movies and jotted down some notes, you too would have known how to survive any clichéd horror movie plot.

Luckily for you, I’ve taken the time to prepare a few handy tips that will put you on the right track towards survival.

Horror movies may be formulaic and derivative, but that’s exactly why surviving one is as easy as pumpkin pie.

  • When asked to put the lotion on the skin, politely decline. Your captive is trying to preserve your delicate epidermis in order to later harvest it in construction of a woman suit. In fact, take extra care to add to the deterioration of your overall appearance by taking up smoking and consuming greasy foods. Nobody wants a human-skin suit with acne scars — just look at Edward James Olmos and his long history of not being a human suit for a serial killer.
  • When attempting to learn the running speed of an approaching zombie, throw a rock at it. If it stumbles along at a snail-like pace, the zombie can easily be avoided by running away. If it charges at you with an uncanny speed, question your motive for throwing the rock in the first place.
  • When faced with an eminent exorcism, remember: The power of Christ compels you… to run away as fast as you can.
  • When walking down a dark alley, do not advertise yourself as a victim. Instead, bring along a small child as a decoy victim.
  • When filming a documentary about a local urban legend, remember to go prepared. Essential supplies include plenty of batteries, a compass, a map, a flare gun, enough food to last you a few days and a tripod in order to hold the camera strait for more then two freaking seconds.
  • Werewolves are cunning beasts that can easily overpower their prey. Wait until they transform back into their weakened human forms before hitting them over the head with a two-by-four … made of silver.
  • If you receive a phone call telling you that you will die in seven days after watching what looks to be some disturbing glimpse into a film student’s psyche, upload it onto YouTube with the tags “Star Wars Kid,” “Paris Hilton,” and “Pants on the Ground.” College frat boys everywhere will be unable to resist downloading it — spreading the curse to somebody far more deserving of death by creepy television girl.
  • Do not forget to wear garlic around your neck when combating a vampire or trying to woo the heart of Mario the Plumber.
  • If you suspect your next-door neighbor to be an alien out to replace you with a pod person, call La Migra.

Bad Movie of the Week — Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever

Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever is not for the squeamish.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure if it’s even for those with a gut of steel.

The film, a sequel to the movie that introduced the world to Eli Roth, picks up immediately after the end of Cabin Fever, with the original film’s star Rider Strong reprising his role as Paul.

A college student who was infected with the flesh-eating bacteria during a trip to a cabin in the woods, that favorite vacation spot for horny teenagers and grim reapers alike, Paul was left to die in a creek at the end of the first film. Unfortunately, Paul survives into the sequel long enough to contaminate a town’s water supply and provide audiences with one last explosive finale — leaving the Boy Meets World actor with little more then a thankless cameo.

From there, the movie focuses on a group of high school students as they prepare for prom by drinking from contaminated water bottles and swapping as much bodily fluids as humanly possible.

Meanwhile, Deputy Winston Olsen, the original film’s annoying hipster redneck played by Giuseppe Andrews, does his best half-assed attempt to cover up his involvement in spreading the deadly disease.

By prom night, the school is a cesspool of biological madness waiting to unfurl. Heavy makeup and shimmering dresses cover up oozing sores, seeping wounds and upset stomachs just are aching to projectile bloody vomit all over the gymnasium floor (and walls).

And the bloody vomit does indeed project.

While the original Cabin Fever featured some pretty gnarly make-up effects that gruesomely highlighted some of the more extreme symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis, the sequel skimps on the makeup and prosthesis in exchange for enough fake blood spewed out teenagers’ mouths to give Edward Cullen a hard-on.

That’s not to say the movie doesn’t feature its share of absolutely disgusting special effects.

The sight of a penis seeping white puss will ensure that anybody watching this movie will feel the need to take a long, through disinfectant shower after the credits roll — and probably not have sex for a good thirty days.

While Roth’s Cabin Fever was pretty surreal at times — practically becoming a flat-out comedy by the film’s end, Cabin Fever 2 director Ti West (The House of the Devil) made a pretty straightforward horror film.

Well, maybe he did — the production troubles on the film leave audiences guessing over whose film Cabin Fever 2 really is.

The trouble’s surrounding West’s film are pretty well known to horror fans by this time — with the movie having sat on a shelf ever since it was filmed in 2007.

Heavy reedits by producers led West to attempt to remove his name from the film. While he wasn’t able to go uncredited, West has since disowned the movie — claiming it was not the film he originally set out to make.

Regardless of intentions, the film that was released on DVD is a nice homage to late ‘70s/early ‘80s horror gorefests — when crummy picture quality went hand in hand with excessive violence.

For fans of gross-out horror, there is plenty to get excited about in Cabin Fever 2. Besides the abundance of bloody deaths, there is just the right amount of black humor to keep the proceedings light enough to enjoy. The cast, including Noah Segan, Marc Senter and Alexi Wasser, all do a pretty serviceable job moving the plot forward while not drawing attention from the film’s true star — the gallons of fake blood.

Besides the movie’s young cast, movie buffs should look for cameos from 30 Rock‘s Judah Friedlander and American Movie star Mark Borchardt.

Cabin Fever 2 is a hard movie to put your finger on.

On one hand, it’s a pretty straightforward sequel to the original movie. It treads familiar ground while ratcheting up the stakes appropriately. On the other hand, though, there are some interesting touches that separate the film from the standard horror schlock that Lionsgate Entertainment churns out every year.

Crudely drawn animation bookends the film — whimsically showcasing how the disease spreads. A prolonged epilogue seems to serve no point other then giving audiences one last attempt to taste their own vomit. It’s these examples and more that showcase the film’s bipolar personality — it strives to be unique and thoughtful but at the same time never passes up a chance to go for a kidney punch.

Cabin Fever 2 is not a great movie — it’s not even a great sequel.

It’s not that bad of movie, either.

In the end, Cabin Fever 2 is doomed to live in that nebulous direct-to-video afterlife reserved for movies known more for their production troubles then the finished product.

Robert Saucedo lives in an apartment to avoid cabin fever. But he still goes a little mad…sometimes. Visit Robert on the web at www.robsaucedo.com.

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