Memorial Valley Massacre (1988)
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Memorial Valley Massacre (aka "Valley of Death")
Starring: Mark Mears, John Kerry, John Caso, Lesa Lee, and Jimmy Justice
Director: Robert C. Hughes
The opening weekend for a new campground in Memorial Valley is plauged by disaster and a murderous wildman (Caso) who doesn't appreciate all the newcomers to his previously quiet land.
"Memorial Valley Massacre" is a cross between a slasherflick and the "vacation spot disaster movie" subgenre (of which "Jaws" is the best and most famous). The film includes most tropes from the horror movie subgenres it's drawing from, but it doesn't do anything particularly new or particularly creative with them. The cast of victims are even less likeable than usual for a film of this type, so there really isn't anyone we're not sad to see go. Further, the one minor plot-twist the film features is both predictable and so far-fetched that it's something you'll be groaning at when it comes along. And, finally, this film was in serious need of a continuity person, or someone less drunk in the editing booth. There are a couple of scenes with characters in them that aren't summoned to the location they happen at until [i]after[/i] the scene takes place.
This film might be worth adding to the line-up for a Bad Movie Nite, but otherwise it's not worth your time.
Cheesy. That pretty sums it up. But, it is so funny especially with the entire concept of a caveman in a national park versus stupid people.
UC here to see what movie he winds up with today.
"Memorial Valley Massacre" - well Cameron Mitchell is in it so at least that's something (oh boy, you know you've seen too many crappy movies if you're banking on Cameron Mitchell to save the day).:rolleyes:
Well, the movie starts with the Great American Summer Dream - standing in line for the park to open during Memorial Day. This particular campground (Memorial Valley, natch) is owned by a developer (Cameron), but there's some problems. Someone has killed the guarddog and tainted the water well and there was a construction death earlier in the day. Cameron's son decides to help out at the camp but the campground boss decides he's just a nuisance.
Then, as if to hammer the point across, we then see a short montage of the campers who stick around littering, cut down trees, etc. Translation: litterers must DIE! ... A little too green even for this liberal.
Of course, our villain/anti-hero is Captain Caveman. Well, actually he's a hermit who has crooked teeth and dressed in fur. Anyway, Cavey doesn't like the people messing with his home.
Soon, the camp is joined by some cheesy biker types, dorky speed metal fans, a single hottie, and an obnoxious fat kid. The fun ensues as the hermit sabatoges and scares the people who stick around.
But what about the 'massacre'? Well, 'chubbsy ubbsy' goes ATV-ing; takes a stab at Capt. Caveman and Cavey takes out the kid (though this review was glad to see that).
Of course there's a subplot dealing with the head ranger (John Kerry - no, not the politician) that practically telegraphs the (the oddly tragic) ending to come.
There are actually some funny bits in the movie, though nothing hilarious. It occurs to me that this movie never really decided to take itself all that seriously. Maybe, the script was intended to be a horror; but maybe the writer/director decided they just couldn't pull it off. The best mind set is to view this as a bastardized grandfather of "Scary Movie" - but kinda serious.
It's unfortunate that halfway thru the movie, it remembers it's supposed to be a horror film. The actions and motivations are standard "stupid people in horror film" quality. Which means, you almost are glad when they die cuz "they is so stoopid." However, at least two of the death are particularly gruesome (if not really life-like) which takes most of the humorous edge off the movie. If find it funny how Captain Caveman manages to outsmart these campers (almost ninja style). The body count gets racked up pretty quickly.
...I wonder if the Zucker or Wayans Brothers are in the mood for a remake?
The acting is wooden but not necessarily bad. No nudity, but see-thru shirts are the only wardrobe for Wendy (Erin O'Leary). For a picture that takes place outdoors, the picture and sound quality are professional. The place this movie fails is it's inability to play it totally straight or totally comical. Half-baked ways make for half-baked movies.
Also, check out TV character actor William Smith doing his best General Patton impersonation.
[b][i][u]Fun rating:[/u][/i][/b] 6 - surprisingly decent but not great. While there isn't much mystery to it, you do kinda wonder how it's going to end. Unfortunately, the waffling between horror and comedy makes it neither. If they had chosen one direction this could have been a cult classic.
[u][i][b]Interest rating:[/b][/i][/u] 6 - worth a look at least once. Okay for TV or even a rental. A mediocre film that seems to know it's mediocre - which you have to give them credit for. Most appealing to "So good, it's bad" fans. Horror fans will probably enjoy the tail end of the movie when the blood starts flowing. Not worth much in repeat viewing, but probably won't change the channel if I see it again.
[b][i][u]TOTAL RATING:[/u] 6[/i][/b]
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