Trailer Park of Terror
by Evan ODell 3/10/09
(2008) Directed by Steven Goldmann. Written by Timothy Dolan. Screenplay by Philip MacDonald and Val Lewton. Starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Henry Daniell, Edith Atwater, Russell Wade, Rita Corday, and Sharyn Moffett.
From the Imperium Comics title, comes this movie of a low-rent trailer park queen whose purgatory is the double wide, where she lords over the fellow residents and terrifies any that happen to wander through. The comic's creator describes it as a horror anthology like Tales From the Crypt, but redneck style. The movie debuted at the Slamdance Festival in Utah and has been playing the Festival Circuit before landing on dvd. This movie is firmly ensconced in guilty pleasure territory, being neither good enough to be good or bad enough to crossover to so-bad-it's-good. The fun to be had usually wains considerably when the story focuses on the youth group, who aren't anywhere near as interesting as the trailer park residents. A little bit of T&A could have only helped the story, which feels short-changed without it.
The movie itself pays homage to the original Two Thousand Maniacs!, a film it wants to resemble what with its rednecks of terror, but it comes off closer to the recent remake with Robert Englund or perhaps Steve Miner's House (1986). Many of the characters are quite memorable. Norma, the redneck cryptkeeper, played by Nichole Hiltz sounds a good deal like and even resembles Jaime Pressly's character, Joy, on My Name is Earl. Another character plays a mutton-chopped, horrorbilly guitar picker who has a stack of amps and microphone set atop his trailer. One character is an amateur pornographer. Another character works the Asian massage parlor within the trailer park. Yet another character is a morbidly obese woman on the quest for meat.
Norma (Nichole Hiltz) is the aforementioned queen of the double wide. Her ambitions of escaping the trailer park are dashed when her neighbors object to her date with a college boy. She makes a faustian deal with country star, Trayce Adkins, and uses a shotgun to send everyone straight to an undead purgatory within the trailer park.
When a van load of troubled youth and their pastor have a wreck that leaves them stranded in the rain, their only hope is to accept Norma's hospitality within the trailer park. But Norma's beauty is only skin deep, skin that has a way of sloughing off. The undead residents want to make sure the new visitors never get the chance to leave.