Thursday, April 8, 2010

A grand opening you can safely skip

Memorial Valley Massacre (aka "Valley of Death") (1988)
Starring: Mark Mears, John Kerry, John Caso, Lesa Lee, Jimmy Justice and Cameron Mitchell
Director: Robert C. Hughes
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

The opening weekend for a new campground in Memorial Valley is plagued by disaster and a murderous wild man (Caso) who doesn't appreciate all the newcomers to his previously quiet land.

"Memorial Valley Massacre" is a cross between a slasher flick 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 after 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.

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