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Borderland Reviews

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Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

December 5, 2010
One of the better 8 Films to Die For. Loosely based on a real cult murder, Borderland is a solid thriller (if you don't mind graphic violence or what is today called torture porn). I'd put it amongst the ranks of films like Hostel and Saw, although this one leans more towards action-oriented thrills by the end. If you don't mind a bit of gross-out horror, Borderland honestly succeeds at delivering an "it could happen to you" sort of scare-fest.

Super Reviewer

December 16, 2008
Well Out of the 8 Films To Die For 2008 Collection This is one of the best and most intense out of the ones I have seen so far. If you get pass the first scene they you got it made. Plop Plop Fizz Fizz oh what an Eye Ball That Is. This one has some slashing in it. A Good addition to a Horror Party Weekend / Film Fest, Remember to invite me, but leave tha Machette's at home. Add it to my collection.
Dean L

Super Reviewer

May 30, 2008
It is difficult to rate this movie. It is billed as a horror film and based upon true life events. The watered down blend comes up lacking something in both genres.
The premise is based upon the real life Santiera practitioners in Mexico. Torture is a staple in their rituals as screams appease their "gods" and the brutality is evident, but while the base in reality made this a bit more horrifying they took it too far in that direction and left out too much of the "horror."
The torture is real enough, but culled down. The "soulless" minions are very earthbound. The message of what man will perpetrate upon man in the name of his "god" is there, but gets lost in the mire.
Had they depicted the slaughters more intensely and, to be frank, really put more into the gore and fear and not toned it down it would have been a real fright.
It earns decent marks for the acting and for its reality based premise (and yes, Sean Astin does well as a bad guy), but it was just not chilling enough.
I need more fright from the "8 films to die for" category and this one did not give that to me.
Still, a decent watch, but not as a true "horror" film.
_kelly .

Super Reviewer

April 5, 2008
Another pointless tortured American tourists movie. This one doesn't even try to scare. Have to endure seventy minutes of drivel only to discover that they're gonna have the main baddie naked but NOT give a good butt or dangler shot? Screw that. There weren't even any memorable tits in this either. Not to mention that it wasn't scary, and this is supposedly a horror movie. I watched this just before I watched Turistas, and the two sort of blended together until I mentally separated in my mind the decent from the mediocre and annoying, all of this movie falling in the latter category. Borderland: go there for shitty movies.
Brian D

Super Reviewer

March 11, 2008
In the vain of hostel and not as gory.
There are a few shock sence and found the beginning a bit slow but over all not a bad little film.Sean astin pop up in the film which surprise me and really did'nt do much.
Ryan M
Ryan M

Super Reviewer

December 23, 2011
*1/2 out of ****

"Borderland" is the kind of horror film that most genre fans will right up. One minute, it's an easy-going dramedy about three friends chasing beaver, and in another; it's a violent, loud, unnecessary thrill-ride limited to screams of bloody murder and torture chambers. One cannot help but be reminded of "Hostel"; which also contained most of what "Borderland" does, although with much more gratuitous amounts of blood and boobs. There was nothing particularly wrong with that film; just that, in my honest opinion, there was nothing really right about it either, save for some aspects that worked in spite of my general aversion to graphic violence and gore.

If only this film worked in the same ways. It's about a trio of young men (played by Brian Presley, Jake Muxworthy, and Rider Strong; respectively) who decide to make a trip to Mexico for one reason only: the strip clubs, thus, the women. Each one of them gets lucky, more or less, and they have a pretty good first night during their stay. Little do they know, however, that there are more sinister forces at work.

Zev Berman, the writer and director of the film, makes one crucial mistake early on: he opens "Borderland" with a scene that reveals the horror behind this story. In this case, the horror comes in the form of a sacrificial cult somewhere in Mexico. The opening reveals not only their existence, but also that the law cannot interfere with their practices; adding a problem to what was assumed to be one of the many advantages of making the trip to Mexico in the first place, which was the lack of law enforcement itself.

The boys take hallucinogenic drugs, wake up in the morning, and discover that one of them is not there. We know where he went; but they're (almost) clueless. In an attempt to make these stupid kids look smart, Berman has them thinking right off the bat about a possible kidnapping, because stereotyping all Mexicans to be violent capers is just, I don't know, easier?

Eventually, they're all kidnapped and brought to the cult; one of the members being a guy named Randall (played by Sean Astin), who initially seems like a decent guy, but develops into no more than another cult member lacking in his sanity or his humanity. Astin plays the role unevenly; I just couldn't take him seriously as a villain character, especially having seen him in the "Lord of the Rings" films, where he is so much better.

The film consistently attempts to blend philosophy on religion with gory special effects; and for some, it's a formula that will work. A lot of horror fans seem to appreciate this one; they would even go as far as to call it "crafty". Me, I think it's vile, mindless, and uninteresting. It tries to be an intellectual's horror movie, but it fails so miserably; sometimes to the point where it's an almost unbearable example of failure. Does it have good cinematography and promising direction? Yeah, sure it does. But as a storyteller, Berman displays little talent or creativity, and most of the time, he relies shock value through the bloodshed, which is ironically never too shocking to begin with. He could have made this idea really work if he possessed the proper tools to execute a horror movie the way that true genre aficionados would prefer; but instead of nail-biting suspense or edge-of-your-seat thrills, Berman would rather show people getting their heads and hair cut off, which will either get old or under your skin; take your pick.

The film was distributed by the boys (and girls) who run the After Dark Horror Fest. This one was released through their "8 Films to Die For" label; in the year of 2007. Let me just say that, in the case of the film, after dark certainly isn't late enough for me.

Super Reviewer

June 8, 2010
Three college students (Ed, Phil and Henry) decide to make a last minute trip down to Mexico to enjoy themselves with drugs, wine, woman and song before starting their master programs. Unfortunately while partying Phil is targeted for sacrifice by some insane Satan-worshiping sadistic cultists who believe that voodoo and human sacrifice would give the cult leader and his followers' special powers. Not only does he believe that this will make him more powerful but that his drug trade will also continue to prosper.

In a city where the police turn a blind eye to the injustice which has lead to a multitude of sacrifices it's up to the friends to rescue Phil. They enlist the help of a broken detective, who watched as his partner was butchered by two of these vicious cult members. (The bald-headed cultist, Marco Bacuzzi is easily one of the scariest and most downright creepy villains I've ever seen and just exudes a scary aura.)

Torture porn fans have a lot to like in this film where there is mind numbing blood and gore that includes amputations, hatchet's slicing up of the head, face, legs, back and a brutal eyeball-removal scene from its horrific opening to the finale. Supposedly based on true events! Nasty little film-if you like that sort of thing.
William G

Super Reviewer

March 17, 2007
Picks up after very conventional first hour.

Super Reviewer

April 29, 2009
The acting is actually rather decent and the story is well told and even believable to some degree and it kept my attention all the way through. Some gory, raw and brutal scenes for those who like graphic nastiness in a fact based story.
Lee K

Super Reviewer

August 2, 2008
I dunno about this one, I mean i saw way to much of the movie Hostel in this and couldnt stop myself thinking of that particular movie as i watched this. I found the beginning and the end were the movie with no inbetween, and the acting was just crap, however i liked the extras on the disc because it focused more on the actual matmorros crime scene and it was very interesting.
Christopher B

Super Reviewer

March 20, 2008
The reason this film must be called Borderland is because it's intention is to make everyone "boreder" than if they were to watch another film. However, it does answer the eternal question, "What if Hostel had sucked as much as everyone says it did". Well, here's your answer. Basically the same characters, but played out how you'd typically expect them to be and treated in the plot the same way the characters would be in any other film. Unlike Hostel SPOILER: where the comic relief is killed first, the hero second and the asshole last, this is in the exact order you would expect it. Also, unlike Hostel, the characters develop and grow in no inconceivable way throughout the entire running time. However, despite being so close near the beginning that it is more of a remake than most official remakes, it veers off into complete boredom by the end. A cult, a renegade cop, a tough but beautiful woman and the pacing of a sign off card at the end of a television stations broadcast day make this quite a chore to sit through. One good point though, I thought Sean Astin was great in his role as a scumbag.
February 1, 2012
A nicely done little horror flick. I thought at first it was gonna be just another teen party gone awry but I was wrong. Actually a decent turn on the deal and if it is based on truth, alittle disturbing... Sean Astin does a tremoudesly disturbing and very convincing part that is very differant for him. Almost sadistically good. One to watch of these eight films.
January 20, 2012
Featuring a bizarre cast that includes both Rider Strong (Boy Meets World) and Sean Astin (The Goonies, Lord of the Rings) as a twisted villain, Borderland is a twisted and entertaining piece of Satanic serial killer cinema that drags a bit because it is at least 20 minutes too long. Despite this defect, it manages to be a creepy, stylish, and evil little horror film that explores the power wielded by the rich and by those with excessive charisma, such as cult leaders.
October 30, 2011
True story or not, I didn't care for this movie. American teens travel to a foreign land and find themselves a nightmare of gruesome toruture tactics and murders. How many times has this been made? Hostel wasn't my taste and Borderland was any different. It was, however, slightly better than Hostel. How? Because I actually finished this film. To add to the mess, most of this film was in Spanish so if you don't mind reading subtitles, then I guess this fact shouldn't effect your viewpoint about the movie. Nothing about the film got me on the edge of my seat.

Plus, I really don't think this will have any positive effect on Mexico's tourist population.
January 6, 2010
Some thrilling scenes but in the end nothing more than pointless gore an slaughter. Not really thought out or clever in any way. Wolf Creek is much better if you are looking for a film in this genre.
December 28, 2009
This was pretty brutal. It had its moments but I've seen about the same gore in other flicks. Cleavers and a lot of machetes. A lot of swinging but not really much contact visuals to make me cringe and say "Oh God, stop already"
I think I cringed more with Casino Royale while Bond was getting whipped through a chair with the seat cut out in the 'Frank 'n' Beans'.

Never seen Sean Astin in anything like this. His part was fairly small but for what he did with it was quite good.

The story is very loosely based upon The Godfather of Matamoros aka Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo. Whom kidnapped a University of Texas student ; sacrificed, dismembered and burned him.
Most of the victims were rival drug dealers.

I think this film would have been much better if they had actually made it more closer to the truth or what was reported by the authorities but then again it happened in Mexico. : /
How the fuck can you even trust the police reports from that shit hole.
April 7, 2009
This movie has 3 of my favorite things: strippers, subtitles and Rider Strong of Boy Meets World fame. Yeah!
October 26, 2008
I renamed it Boringland. It promises way more than it delivers. Has a few interesting uses of that whole "tortureporn" thing, but other than that, a lot of buildup leading to nothing but one giant snore.
August 2, 2008
"I need a sweaty, disgusting, sleazy bastard rapist that belongs to a cult in Mexico. I know, that guy from Rudy!!"

Casting, what?

How is it that I rented the two horrorfest movies featuring that magnificient Rider Strong? Man alive.

This movie is slow as all hell. I don't care about ANY of the characters so I'm not particularly upset when any of them get gutted with a machete.

Oy vey. See more of Rider Strong in this movie than you have ever wanted to see in your life.
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