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Article Archive >> Entertainment

Movies From the Black Lagoon: Trailer Park of Terror

Movies From the Black Lagoon
Trailer Park of Terror - 2008, Rated R

"Tales From the Crypt" gets southern fried in this horror effort that was based on a comic book series set in the titular locale.
The story begins in 1981 and focuses on the colorful characters who inhabit a rundown trailer park. It centers on Norma who pines for a better tomorrow, which she hopes will come courtesy of the preppy dude who is taking her out to the big dance at the high school. She gets all dolled up for the occasion which doesn't go unnoticed by the other residents, who get to picking on her. This diverse bunch of losers and degenerates includes: Marv - the park's resident criminal overlord whose enterprises include, but are not limited to, prostitution and hijacking trucks; Miss China-who operates a massage parlor out of her unit; Skank - a sweaty butcher who prides himself on his jerky; Larlene -a 400 pound meat-a-holic who rocks a mildewed mu mu, a protective cloud of body funk while constantly sniffing the air for her next meal; and Roach- a guitar strumming handyman/Greek chorus who comments on much of the action in "Rockabilly" verse.
The group can't resist the urge to needle Norma's date and he takes it pretty well until a shoving match ensues with Marv. Things get a little heated and end with the date accidentally, and quite fatally, impaled on a fence. Norma breaks down and storms out of the park in a huff. Here is where the horror angle comes into play, as she runs into a mysterious man (Trace Adkins in an amusing cameo that has him outfitted in way too much leather for a Georgia summer) who offers her the answer to he prayers-a sawed off shotgun. Turns out that he's some kind of demon, so there's probably a catch, but Norma didn't listen to her Charlie Daniels' records enough and proceeds to shoot up her neighborhood like the O.K. Corral.
The action cuts to the present and we meet a gaggle of unstable teens whose parents have turned them over to "Vertical Trinity Ministries" for guidance. They're your typical pack of obnoxious movie teens (nowhere near as colorful as the previously introduced characters) whose bus will inevitably break down outside the trailer park, despite the act that they have been warned to take another route.
The park appears to be a great place for shelter and Norma is a gracious host that is until everyone bunks down and is then systematically hunted down and killed by the zombified versions of the trailer park residents. What follows is a decent night of carnage though you may find yourself rooting for the zombies. They are at least entertaining while the juvenile characters come off as apathetic brats who blame all of their problems on their parents.
Though it eventually degenerates into a "Hostel" type parade of slaughter, the film still manages to be entertaining. Mostly it's because the zombie versions of the residents retain all of their original characteristics and must now deal with the decomposition blues and infighting (on top of being dead and consigned to their moldy trailers for an eternity).
Hats off to director Steve Goldman for keeping this one moving at a good clip and maintaining a sense of fun while still delivering on the requisite chills. The performers are good too with Nichole Hiltz standing out as Norma. Movie buffs will also get a kick out of a cameo by veteran character actor Tracey Walter. The ferret like Walter is best known for his stint as the Joker's number one guy in Tim Burton's "Batman." Here he plays the local yokel who tries to warn characters about the danger of passing through the trailer park. Luckily no one ever listens to these guys but they pop up in most horror movies, Walt Gorney from "Friday the Thirteenth" being a prime example. The DVD also features a hilarious extra, which finds all of the zombies being interviewed for a documentary. The actors are hilarious here. They improvise some great bits proving that this franchise has a ton of talent in place and ready for more mayhem. Here's hoping the DVD sales are healthy enough to warrant another visit. The concept is open ended enough to merit future installments and they wouldn't have to work too hard to top the "Saw" series, which probably should have folded after part two.
Best Line: " I know it's kind of musty in here but pretend like it ain't."

Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail and to read to children every Wednesday at 10:30am at Borders in Hagerstown. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: dotyfox@pennswoods.net.

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