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Cabin Fever (2002)
Written and Directed Eli Roth
The inspiration for this film came along after Eli Roth had visited Iceland and had caught a skin infection while working on a horse farm. One morning while shaving, layers began to peel back off of his face, much like the shaving scene portrayed in this film. The first time I saw this film, it just seemed as some excuse to have blood thrown around every 20 seconds which didn’t particularly turn me onto it. Honestly, the only reason I had interest being that Quentin Tarantino was “fond” on Roth and his work and we all know how fond I am of Quentin. But I believe I prefer Roth as an Actor and not so much for his filmmaking. It’s just not my cup of tea. Not like I have to force myself to watch them either, perhaps I need to wait for his later work. However, I have generally been almost bored when watching the few films he has come out with.
Nothing we haven’t seen before; A regular “cabin in the woods” film. Which is great as far as being in the middle of nowhere and having the ultimate “wtf” moments because not only are your options limited but who knows what lurks all around you. A group of five decide to spend a week up at the cabin and encounter their first unusual occurrence while stopping briefly at a store. While trying to talk to a boy outside, Dennis, who says nothing at first and springs to life the next moment, biting Paul (Rider Strong). Continuing on to the cabin, they take no time in going their separate ways and enjoying “the scenery.” After running into a stranger who decides to “smoke them out,” they wait for him back at the place when visited by a stranger who is some need of assistance and pukes blood all over the truck when not getting any. Ending up in the river, it’s his blood that begins getting into the water and in turn infects those at the cabin. Their forced to seclude Karen, (Jordan Ladd) who had felt effects when given glass after glass of water. Trying to find help goes sour for all who even try, and worse for those who do nothing at all.
Getting the truck cleaned and started up again was no easy matter but once ready to leave and trying to put Karen in the truck has them right where started and in her ill mood, throws blood all over the car. Marcy (Cerina Vincent) decides that the thing to do now, since her boyfriend Jeff (Joey Kern) had just left and all, was to jump Paul; because apparently that’s the first thing on one’s mind when dying from a flesh-eating disease (touching over people that is). But there is no such thing as safe sex when your already sick and so it does them no better as we catch a glimpse of that shaving scene mentioned before, the sound was what got me. Though Paul makes other plans and has found the source of what was making them sick; all too late at this point as he returns to a ripped to pieces Marcy all over the ground and an infected dog having made its way to Karen. Paul seems to be on the survivor guy’s way to making it out of this whole ordeal, putting Karen out of her misery and taking down three others who shoot Bert (James DeBello) and go after him. While we do have one survivor (who will it be?!) the film ends with two children obtaining water from the lake (where were those parents?!) for their lemonade sale as it just so happens the entire town has decided needing something, at that moment, to quench their thirst.
Another interest I had in this film being that yes, I was a fan of Boy Meets World and didn’t mind seeing Rider Strong in something when I hadn’t known what happened to him for some time (and barely watched the last 2 seasons). Spoiler! in that he does “survive,” more or less. Playing the role of the best friend in love with the prettiest girl since the age of 12, until the flesh eating virus takes over he body that is! Strong had made a comment in the behind the scenes of the scariest thing about the script being that the “friends” all turn on one another but I didn’t see the film that way. I thought if anything he would have to be the one who put Karen out of her misery. He couldn’t take her anywhere, he just caught a dog feeding off for sakes; I think he did the right thing. Of course…he was the one giving her water every other moment but it wasn’t on purpose. Something I could have seen Kern’s character, Jeff doing. I did enjoy his story and thought he was funny, though I usually enjoy him in films. He was the asshole of the group so why wouldn’t he leave off by himself and treat everyone like the plague? Maybe it didn’t help that his girlfriend was willing, oh so effortlessly to hop “on the nerdy kid’s johnson like it’s a pogo stick,” maybe she got what she deserved too. Out of the girls, favoring Ladd was an easy choice. It was also said that both girls were all for being covered in blood and going all out but…if you can recall, Vincent also played that nude girl in Not Another Teen Movie. So I’m pretty sure doing scenes with some “icky” blood wouldn’t be asking too much. Ladd and Roth were along side one another later in 2007′s Death Proof with yet another nice cameo by Eli. I loved his bit at the bar with Omar about buying the girls drinks. And I rather enjoyed his role as the “Bear Jew” in 2009′s Inglorious Bastards.
It’s “campy” and definitely gives a feel for being in the category of genre films. The story seems simply enough right? Let’s get the town accidently infected and oops, lots of people die in the process; they’ve already got two more set up for after the second installment which I imagine the world soon falling under, yadda, yadda. It was gross but I’ve seen gross in horror films and the movie itself wasn’t anything to make me feel as though I needed to watch it more than once or twice. The idea of a flesh-eating disease is disgusting and showing it done on-screen makes it more eerily scary in that it can actually happen, I get it. Just didn’t jump on the bandwagon when this came out and as stating prior, there is a sequel that I will be following up with. Never seen it before so this should be interesting…