BUS PARTY TO HELL ** USA 2017 Dir: Rolfe Kanefsky 81 mins
Prolific writer-director Rolfe Kanefsky has been making spoofy horror movies for over 25 years, starting with THERE’S NOTHING OUT THERE, and here’s one dedicated to the late low-budget genre filmmaker Ted V Mikels.
Heading to the Burning Man festival in Nevada, a bus full of would-be partygoers break down in the desert and wind up menaced by sub-MAD MAX Nomads (with sparklers) and caught up in the imminent ritualistic virgin sacrifice to appease “The Chosen One”. Like a lot of Kanefsky’s films, this is slickly produced and devoted to packing in as much gore and female nudity as possible. It’s the kind of movie in which a photographer seizes the chance to get a topless shot of his model while she is being asphyxiated – and wisecracks after being cut in half. The practical gore is suitably splashy, with a bravura cast-culling massacre 20 minutes in and the spirited violation of a naked woman courtesy of a large snake. Unfortunately, Kanefsky is still fixated on self-conscious, endlessly referential humour, which means non-stop winks to the camera, typified by characters saying things like “There’s no such thing as gratuitous female nudity”. Executive producer Tara Reid gets to hack up marauding mummies before taking an early exit, and the monsters spout 80’s style one-liners. It would be more tolerable if the characters weren’t such universally obnoxious arseholes, though if your idea of hilarity is the sight of a guy getting his throat torn out while taking a noisy shit, you will be excited by the promise / threat of PARTY BUS 2 HELL AND BACK in the end credits.
Review by Steven West