Friday, July 6, 2012


The movie opens in prime Texas Chainsaw Massacre style, if TCM was filmed in cheap digital fuzz-o-vision.  There’s the desert dust, the baking heat, the tin can ambient score, and the creepy redneck hitchhiker wearing a shitkicker cowboy hat.  Thankfully, two ladies turn him down and continue to drive along.  If there is one thing I’ve learned from driving cross country, it’s that you never pick up a guy wearing a shitkicker hat, and you ESPECIALLY never pick up Rutger Hauer (sorry Rutger).  Or anybody with visible sores.  You know what, better not to pick up any hitchhikers ever.  They say hitchhiking is incredibly dangerous, so the only people that hitchhike are people that don’t mind doing something incredibly dangerous.  Those people are crazy, ergo…never mind.

Anyway, our two ladies are driving along in their SUV in a part of the California desert only populated by scattered rednecks and lizards.  Curiously, they have a book called “Sophistry” sitting on top of the console.  I was wondering why someone would want to learn how to engage in empty philosophical discussions in the desert, but then I looked closer and saw that the book was actually called “Sapphistry”.  This is the filmmaker’s way of telling us that they are lesbians because they carry around a lesbian sex manual in their car.  That is pretty hot.  Sure enough, they park out in the middle of nowhere, and one lesbian proposes to the other on the side of the road.  I thought women were more romantic than that.  At a minimum, a man will at least take his honey out to a Hooters or something when he’s proposing.

Well, it’s somehow immediately night, and the couple are both dying of thirst.  They are so dehydrated that these two lovebirds are now screaming at each other and calling each other “bitch”.  They stop the car so one of them can vomit, and they are apparently eaten by some unseen force.  I’m going to guess it’s a cannibal family a la The Hills Have Eyes.  However, I’m not sure how they knew where the ladies were going to stop their SUV along the barren highway, but maybe they were riding behind them in an invisible car.  No, that’s crazy.  A cannibal family could never afford an invisible car.  No, there are probably hundreds of cannibal families in the California desert, hiding near roads, waiting for people to stop so they can enjoy a family brunch (or tolerate a family brunch if they’re anything like my family).  Maybe they each have their own jurisdictions.  Perhaps this is what happens to all the actors who move to L.A. but their pilot never gets picked up and they are forced to flee to the desert and eat people to stay alive.  Why not.

Two cops find the vehicle and quickly realize that the couple was eaten, but they don’t want to report it because that means they’ll have to investigate an area that is probably overrun with cannibals.  Now, I hate ineffectual porkers as much as anyone, but they kinda have a point on that one.  The area is also called “Doom Desert”, so you could argue it’s your own damn fault if you don’t drive straight through a place called Doom Desert.  Right on queue, 4 douchebags and their 3 hot girlfriends (I believe it is a legal requirement that, in order to have a hot girlfriend, one must be a douchebag) drive along in two cars through Doom Desert, taking notice that they drive by no less than 4 cars that are abandoned on the side of the road.  You know, even if there weren’t cannibals running around, an abandoned car means that one or more people are stranded out in the middle of nowhere in 120 degree heat.  An engine that overheats in the middle of Death Valley in the summer will smoke your ass just as sure as a tribe of man eating nutters.

If that wasn’t enough, they aren’t even driving through Doom Desert, but instead are intentionally taking a vacation there in order to smoke weed!  Why smoke weed in the most dangerous place in North America when you could just rip a bong load in your apartment and watch The Hills Have Eyes on DVD?  There is one couple that drops acid, and that actually makes some sense.  I heard it’s best to do acid in the desert because you’ll see all kinds of crazy shit, like maybe a bat-winged Jim Morrison swinging a flaming sword at a minotaur while a cactus breakdances nearby (not too nearby).  Of course, I keep my temple clean, so this is all just stuff I’ve heard through the grapevine.  The acid tripping does lead to some cool shots I guess, like where the chick is dancing around with a red sheet and teleporting around to different spots.  These little bits actually reminded me of the video for Romeo Daughter’s “I Cry Myself to Sleep at Night”.  It’s a very obscure pull, but one that I’m happy to make considering I have nothing better to talk about.

I should’ve mentioned that there was an 8th member of the group, a frumpy burnout girl who talks shit to the others and brings along a video camera.  However, she stops being interesting when she turns nice because one of the douchebags who’s a deadbeat dad shows her a picture of his kid, a kid he’s probably met like three times.  I’m sure he just shows off that picture to help him get laid.  If you thought this burnout character would provide an interesting found footage angle to the movie (to the extent that found footage could ever said to be interesting), you would be wrong.  No longer taking her douchebag friends down a peg, she becomes just another person you don’t give a shit about.

They find a human ear and quickly decide to get out of dodge, except for the slightly gothy douchebag who’s tripping balls.  He just tells his buddy “you wanna bring it to the lost and found…I “ear” they’re missing one!”.  I thought acid was supposed to inspire and provoke the imagination, and you come with that sorry bullshit?  How about you make like a tree and “leaf” the jokes up to the professionals.  Anyway, you’d think their escape plan would be easy.  You get in the car and drive in a straight line and, viola, you’re home in L.A.  However, they start arguing and going crazy I guess, and occasionally spot some slime, and decide that wandering off from the road and yelling is the way to deal with the situation.  Too bad Maxim magazine never featured any articles on crisis management. 

I’d like to say that the movie surprises and doesn’t go with the obvious Hills Have Eyes cannibals like I presumed, but I’m not quite sure what is going on here.  The group seems to be affected by some sort of plague that makes them go crazy and not want to keep driving, but there is also clearly a creature of some sort off camera that is never really seen.  There’s even a conspiracy theory guy rambling on the radio.  Maybe it all makes sense if you pay close attention, but I wasn’t paying close attention, and I’m not going to rewatch the movie.  Instead, I’m going to listen to some more Romeo’s Daughter.  Sure they are crap, but they are better at sucking than pretty much anybody.

P.S. This was written as part of "Project Terrible", hosted by the lovely and prolific Alec over at the Mondo Bizarro blog.  This particular movie was chosen for review by the even lovelier but less prolific Michele over at The Girl Who Loves Horror.  Clicky and check 'em out.


  1. A fine review of a movie I'll now likely never see. Thank you.

  2. Nice review!
    The trailer looks weird, but interesting enough to make me wanna check it out :)

  3. Hey. Being prolific has no standing on the quality of my blog, buddy. Sure I took a leave of absence recently, but I left a written notice! :)

    Killer review! I have a sneaking suspicion that the movie itself is probably not half as entertaining as what you just wrote about it! Good job.

  4. @Craig
    I don't mind taking a hit for the team.

    It's a little weird, but vague and crude.

    Spread it out and leave 'em pining for a new review. :)

    Yeah, but if watch the movie and think it has zero entertainment value, twice that is still zero...oh, nevermind. Thanks!