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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
The Gorehound has been craving some gore! Lately on the agenda has been some low-key science fiction flicks and TV shows like Archer and old school X-Files. After carefully scanning the local video store in Mokena, 2006’s release of Turistas seemed to fit the night’s criteria perfectly: decent budget, some actors who have made a name for themselves, and an overall premise without a lot darkness or obscurity. I want to predict the entire movie so that I can appreciate the directors vision.
One can only watch enough low-budgets until your standards just crave something decent. Yes, the film decently budget (shot in an exotic location with decent actors) but did not prosper in a cinematic sense. With only a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 5.2 on IMDB, it never really rocked the charts. But if it is such a poor film then why did the Gorehound pick it out? Because on the back of the case Fangoria compared it to Hostel saying it was “Better and Scarier”. While Hostel may not have been Academy Award worthy, it was still decent.
I love adventurous pre-adults and teens: those who, at every decision, take the more thrilling (read: stupid, immature, and dangerous) routes that ALWAYS lead to disaster or mayhem. Turistas was directed by John Stockwell (Dark Tide, some episodes of The L Word, Into the Blue, Blue Crush, etc. We get the point, he likes water) and starring Josh Duhamel, Melissa George, and Olivia Wilde. To the point, the cast and director are excellent and have made a name for themselves. In addition, the nudity is at a shocking minimum. I was expecting nudity back and forth (especially having a girl with a bikini on the cover) but with the obvious heat and humidity, the lack of clothing is not outrageous. One minor petpeeve, where are the tattoos?! I saw only one tattoo. No tribals?
The film follows a stupid groups of tourists in Brazil who encounter a bus that flips over, numerous disrespectful American jokes, and lots of sexy people. The first 26 minutes are fun and games but after that it gets serious. The drinking, jokes, or otherwise foolish actions stop here. At the basis of the film is organ harvesting. There was harsh criticism of the film for the bad impressions of the Brazil. But you know what? There are no horror films where going into a jungle is good idea! 1 hour in is when it gets queasy. Miguel Lunardi is sicko.
The pace is well, not to slow or fast. It’s not film with twists or mystery characters. Everyone is suspect and no one can be trusted. The chase sequences are pretty good too. Often the chase sequences can be too fast paced and you don’t exactly know who you’re following. I don’t know where the fault of the movie lies. I think it’s simply that nothing really stands out. The scenery is beautiful but it would be hard to take a bad shot of tropical paradise.
Was there gore?! 38 minutes in is the first bloodshed. After that it takes a while for anything gore-related to really happen. None of the gore is pretty (i.e., early Peter Jackson) and nothing really splatters. There are some gunshots to the head but it’s pretty much a whole bunch of surgical gore which isn’t very entertaining and really only nauseating. Disappointingly, the gorehound never reached a goregasm.
The ending scene was pretty good, between 1:15 and 1:25 there is an underwater chase sequence where the characters are required to find air in between running from a man with a harpoon. The ending comes abruptly but shows that Brazilians are actually nice and courteous people. Not a whole lot of conclusion to the film and ultimately formed a pretty sloppy opinion of the film. It is definitely not better than Hostel. I don’t know what Fangoria was thinking. I agree with IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. It is a decent film, but will be easy to pass up next time. 3/5