Motor Home Massacre

Year:  2005
Director:  Allen Wilbanks
Cast:  Shan Holleman, Nelson Bonilla, Tanya Fraser, Breanna Ashley, Justin Geer

A group of college aged friends take a motor home trip for the weekend.  They stumble upon a campsite that looks like a prime spot for some rest and relaxation.  Unfortunately,  the night before a couple was brutally butchered at that very site.  Police arrive and the friends are told, with no real explanation, that they may be suspects and therefore are not allowed to flee the area.   It isn't long before they begin getting picked off one by one by a ridiculous looking masked killer. 

This film could have been a return to form for the slasher genre. With a premise similar to so many of the 80's slasher gems, the filmmakers really had an opportunity to make an in your face slasher film that returned fans to the golden age of the slasher film, reminiscent of The Burning, Just Before Dawn, or The Final Terror.    However, it seems that the filmmakers behind Motor Home Massacre seemed confused about what kind of film they really wanted to be making because of constant shifts in tone.  Is it horror?  A comedy?  A drama?  It is hard to say because of the abrupt and inept attempt at blending these different elements into a film that should have just been a straight forward horror film.  This leads to many scenes that could have and should have been suspenseful being squandered by attempts at garnering laughs or unnecessary character development. In fact, suspense is lacking throughout the entire film, particularly in key scenes when suspense should have been crucial because of the effective, creepy, isolated wooded setting.  However, the director fails to take full advantage of the unsettling woods and, instead,  most of the film's action takes place in well-lit, open areas. . There are virtually no stalking sequences, which should be a staple to any good slasher flick.   But what really sinks this film to the virtual bottom of the barrel are the plethora of goofs and plot holes that exist.  Fans of movie goofs could write their own book just on this one film alone.  Characters switch clothing apparel between scenes.   Characters who were hacked repeatedly and covered in blood appear spotlessly clean minutes later. The "shock" ending is perhaps the biggest plot hole and it is painfully obvious that the person who is revealed as the killer logically could not be based on the rest of the film.  It begs the question:  did the director even watch this film before releasing it on the unsuspecting public?  If I caught these things with one viewing, they should have been obvious to those who made the darn thing.  To top it off, the acting is pretty terrible  from every one involved . Laughably bad, at some points and none of the characters are likable or developed sufficiently enough for us to even care about.  And do not let the title fool you; what takes place in the film is hardly a massacre.

It's really sad that this film could have been a lot better. With a name like Motor Home Massacre and actually very good DVD cover art, slasher fans should at least expect to see a decent throwback slasher.  Instead, the film is a brazen example to future genre filmmakers on how not to make a horror film.

Fright Meter Grade:

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