Sexy blonde Norma (Nichole Hiltz) sits in her trailer watching horror show "Trailer Park of Terror" while putting on her make-up. She gets dressed and picks up her bags, rushing outdoors excitedly through the sunny trailer park in a bid to meet her groom-to-be Aaron (Brock Cuchna).
Unfortunately Norma's neighbours, led by her former fella Marv (Lew Temple), have other ideas. They stop Norma and challenge her decision to leave the park, and then confront out-of-towner Aaron about his motives for marrying their favourite "whore". Fisticuffs break out, which end with Aaron being accidentally impaled on a fence.
Rather than notify the cops, Norma screams "You can all go straight to Hell" and runs off … bumping rather quickly into a tall Al Jourgensen-alike known as The Man (Trace Adkins). He persuades her that getting even is far better than fleeing. "Therein lies salvation" he reasons, as he hands her a huge gun. Knowing what she must do, Norma returns to the trailer park and blows her old buddies away. For a finale, she blows the whole place up - including herself.
A montage of photographs and newspaper articles then clue us in on the fact that countless people have gone missing between 1981 and 2008, in the very vicinity where the trailer park once lay. Cue a bus carrying six unruly teens, returning from a bonding trip led by Pastor Lewis (Matthew Del Negro), who inadvertently takes a detour into unfamiliar ground one stormy night …
Lewis crashes the bus into a derelict truck when he's distracted by mouthy young Alex (Ryan Carnes), and this leaves the group effectively stranded. It's night, it's pissing down and no-one can get a signal on their mobile phone. Oh dear. Looks like their only chance of help is the nearby trailer park they've just spotted.
Aiming for the first trailer with a light on, Lewis and co are greeted by … Norma. She looks as swell as ever, albeit she's now sporting a rather severe blonde wig. She welcomes them in and informs them that there are no telephones on the entire park. She invites the group to get warm and dry indoors though, and begins to regale them with a spooky story. A story which affords us a flashback into how life was for her when she lived on the park alongside the arms-trading, porno-making redneck locals.
The story reaches a climax of sorts, and Norma dishes out the sleeping bags, allocating trailers for the boys and girls. Within minutes Alex has hooked up with voluptuous nymph Amber (Hayley Marie Norman) and Norma has managed to entice Lewis into her boudoir.
Lewis is the first to discover all is not well when Norma's face starts to literally fall apart while she's straddling him … and he becomes the first fatality of a very long and bloody night of horror.
The second half of TRAILER PARK pits the remaining teens - who also include druggie redhead Tiffany (Stefanie Black), Goth heroine Bridget (Jeanette Brox) and randy slacker Jason (Cody McMains) - against a horde of zombies intent on eating their flesh, forcing them into starring in homemade pornos and occasionally knocking out ditties on their guitar to add to the mayhem.
Based on the Imperium comic book series, TRAILER PARK is predictably fast-paced, irreverent and nonsensical. It has no inner logic and plot inconsistencies are rife. But it's dumb fun filmed with certain panache by director Steven Goldman.
Performances are game throughout, with Hiltz impressing as the gleeful baddie who at times resembles a heyday Brigitte Lahaie. The teens are stock 2D characters and as such it's difficult to pick out any memorable turns, but they all seem to be enjoying the profane dialogue and music video-style edited action scenes. The Hillbilly accents of the park regulars are so broad that they at times border on pantomime. They are in keeping, I suppose, with the frequent one-liners and occasionally plain daft sight gags … but they do distract from the madness at times.
Plot is almost as absent as characterisation, although in their place are plenty of lithe young bodies and some agreeable nudity. Meanwhile the gore is frequent and surprisingly strong. The FX by Drac Studios are good - save from a couple of ill-advised CGI.
TRAILER PARK tries too hard to be hip and ironically as a result seems quite dated. While best described as a cheap and bloodier imitation of FROM DUSK TIL DAWN (the music, the visual pop video sheen, the editing, the juvenile humour, the FX), it also recalls THE DEVIL'S REJECTS and THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake in it's look and vibe of desperate Tarantino "cool". Even so, the film ultimately feels like something that belongs more in the mid-to-late 1980s.
That's no bad thing. Just be forewarned that that the humour is perhaps too silly for some at times. And, for what's sure to be categorized as a "comedy horror", TRAILER PARK contains a few bizarre shifts in tone that are loggerheads with the manic atmosphere elsewhere. A couple of really mean-spirited scenes (the enforced porno shoot; the cruel pursuit of Tiffany in a darkened trailer) sit ill alongside dafter moments of bickering zombies and guitar-wielding ghouls (FROM DUSK again, see?).
TRAILER PARK is a technically sound low-budgeter with plenty of grisly set-pieces and a keen eye for pleasing the horror crowd. It just feels a little too smug at the same time.
The screener disc presented the film uncut in a very nice crisp anamorphic 1.78:1 transfer. Colours were bold and images were bright in this sharp proposition.
The English 2.0 audio was a tad on the quiet side, but evenly balanced and consistent all the same.
There were no extras or menus on the disc, but the film was graced with 5 chapters.
TRAILER PARK owes its roots to the post-Tarantino school if thinking in terms of "hip" horror. But whereas Tarantino's smug attempts at trash-chic were at least informed by everything from Sonny Chiba to A CHINESE GHOST STORY and beyond, TRAILER PARK is in comparison brainless and artless. It comes across more like a bastard cousin of Tim Sullivan's 2001 MANIACS. But that doesn't mean it's not fun in it's own right …
Review by Stu Willis
|Released by Spirit Entertainment|
|Region 2 - PAL|
|see main review|