Film Monthly Home
Archives
Wayne Case
Interviews
Steve Anderson
The Rant
Short Takes (Archived)
Small Screen Monthly
Behind the Scenes
New on DVD
The Indies
Horror
Film Noir
Coming Soon
Now Playing
Television
Books on Film
What's Hot at the Movies This Week
Interviews TV

Motor Home Massacre

Directed by Allen Wilbanks

Written by Allen Wilbanks

Starring Shan Holleman, Nelson Bonilla, Justin Greer, Tonya Fraser

Produced by iStream LLC

Rated R

91 minutes

*

You know it’s a bad sign when you can spend the first five minutes of a movie watching it, and immediately begin comparing it to any of a dozen other movies, most of which were released before 1990. And it’s an even worse sign when you can spend the rest of those five minutes laughing at its pure cheesiness.

Anyway, what we’ve got to work with in this far-too-familiar movie is a bunch of horny teenage kids out for a good time. We’ve got the straight-laced responsible type, the recent breakup, the total asshole, the guy who can’t stop talking like Jamie Kennedy, the idiot girl on at least three different fad diets, (both of which I guess might also qualify for the title of “total asshole,” but I digress) the stopgap fill-in throwaway character whose purpose seems to be to just look nice, which she manages to pull off in spades, and of course, the serial killer out to make them all dead.

Yawn.

Yes, it’s been done before. And done to death, frankly. I remember “Detour” less than fondly, which had many aspects in common with “Motor Home Massacre.” For instance, “Detour” and “Motor Home Massacre” both prominently feature hot chicks, idiots who sound like a bad Jamie Kennedy sketch gone way too far, and abysmal production values.

This is the kind of movie that was starting to get stagnant back in the eighties. I can’t help but find it ironic when Sabrina, the recent breakup, says of the motor home: “The last time this thing was on the road, Michael Jackson was cool.” Yes, and so were movies like these, honey.

And even better, we’re constantly subjected to some truly sub-par effects work. I couldn’t help but wonder if they were getting a bulk discount on mannequins, as heavily as they figured into the plot of “Motor Home Massacre.” Check it out at fifteen minutes thirty five seconds, where Sabrina manages to look terrified well in advance of that machete going through her book. And during. And after. And…whoa—her eyes don’t move. Not one inch.

Guys, if you’re going to use dummies in your shooting, at least turn their faces away from the camera so the metaphorical wires are a little more difficult to spot.

Plus, there will be another mannequin dragged behind the RV at the one hour eleven minute two second mark. So keep an eye open for that. Even better, there will also be machetes that look suspiciously like cardboard appearing regularly.

And it gets worse from there. Watch at the twenty seven minute forty seven second mark, where they’ll insult your intelligence by recapping events that happened only twenty minutes prior!

But there are some high points here…stick around for a clever set of double entendres at the one hour thirteen minute twenty second mark.

Plus, there’s the ending. This is actually going to prove quite a surprise—several of them in a row, in fact. The only reason this movie gets any kind of credit from me is that the last twenty minutes are a constant flood of plot twists and laughs. It’s like watching an episode of Dr. Phil, interspersed with machetes, skillet fighting, and vehicular manslaughter. If there were machetes, skillet fights, and vehicular manslaughter on Dr. Phil, I’d probably start watching the show myself. Which proves just how good this ending is.

The special features include cast and crew interviews, subtitles, audio options, an alternate opening (which really wasn’t all that good) and an alternate ending (which actually managed to be better than the original, which was already pretty good). Also, we get trailers for “Motor Home Massacre,” “Cannibal,” “Swarmed,” “Tamara,” “See No Evil,” and in a truly lowbrow move, “The BTK Killer.”

So all in all, we’ve got a second-rate movie that probably never should have seen the light of video store day. Unless you’ve got a thing for mannequin abuse, eighties kitsch, or just a high pain tolerance to get you through to a pretty decent ending, walk right on past this one.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


Got a problem? E-mail us at filmmonthly@gmail.com