YUM PANCAAAAKES?! | Sept 13, 2003
This was waaay better than I thought. You’ll walk in expecting a horror movie, and you’ll walk out remembering a comedy. That was meant as a compliment, though. Don’t expect this flick to be as provocative as I Spit on Your Grave, or include the forest as a character (Evil Dead). This movie is all about people. Comaraderie dissipates and those who berated others for pot-shooting squirrels have no problem abandoning their ailing buds. Wonderfully accurate since our glamour infested superficial times tell us to ditch anyone who wears the wrong trousers, much less those who’ve contracted a flesh-eating virus.
The musical score is thumping old-hat effective horror with some almost puzzling tinkerbox doggerel, which genially mimics the visuals. Many tunes by David Hess that were featured in Last House on the Left decree homage. Old skool fans will enjoy a refreshing evasion of CG becos the KNB special effects team are brilliant shock gore modelers.
Anyhoo, the story is basically this: Something’s out in the woods… something that will liquefy your intestines. Five college students trek to a quaint cabin in these same woods for well-deserved requiescence. The baby-faced Boy Meets World guy with the unfortunate pornstar name (Rider Strong) joneses hard for unrequited love (blonde cutie Jordan Ladd). Meanwhile, the cute foppish guy from Supertroopers + Garmento (Joey Kern) and the yellow Power Ranger (busty Cerina Vincent) get slippery in one of the funniest sex scenes ever. James DeBello (American Pie) rounds out the group with his wacky sandpaper hollers and insensitivity.
When a reclusive hunter who’s obviously infected stumbles towards their cabin asking for help, they do their best to smash in his brains and set him on fire. Thus sets the theme for the entire movie, which twists self-defense with blatant panic. Endearingly odd and cautious Hicksville stereotypes persecute (save for one deputy who’d rather party hardy). Of course, miscommunication and reckless indifference ensue. Who will falter and who will survive? Doesn’t really matter, you’re seeing this movie to get totally freaked + grossed out and to celebrate your inner delinquency. Just remember to bring your sense of humour!
Memorable scene: “PAANCAAAKES?!” --you’ll understand when you see it.
Eli Roth knows his horror films, and it shows. He pays homage to the horror greats of the 70’s and early 80’s with full re-creations of signature shots from The Burning (Cropsy’s flaming death), I Spit on Your Grave (canoe shot), Last House On the Left (assorted shots and David Hess songs), Evil Dead I and II (can’t miss these), and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (tracking/”ass” shot leading up to the house). You even have signature shots from Night of the Living Dead, The Thing, The Shining, and Dawn of the Dead! These shots will go unnoticed to the vast majority of today’s viewers, but for elite horror junkies it’s a very nice surprise.
The trailer for this film grossly misrepresents the actual feel of Cabin Fever. Sure, it’s a horror film, but it’s more along the lines of Evil Dead II, Bad Taste, and Re-Animator. The actions of the characters are completely absurd (logic seems to have taken a permanent vacation) but it totally works. It’s splat-stick horror-comedy at its very best. In fact, Cabin Fever was the funniest movie I’ve seen all year.
The film’s done in a completely tongue in cheek manner. While gross out moments abound (compliments of the KNB effects team of Evil Dead fame), you can’t help but laugh your ass off. If you’re going to the theatre expecting a serious horror film you will be greatly disappointed. As long as you go in with an open mind and a sense of humour, you’ll have a lot of fun.
Cabin Fever definitely has what it takes to become an instant cult classic.