Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dark Ride, Love, Marijuana, and Disembowelment in New Jersey

No, not a Chris Christie campaign slogan, but a neat slasher film from 2006, "Dark Ride." Just like "Scream Park" (see my review posted on January 25th), this movie is heavily influenced by Tobe Hooper's "The Funhouse."  With college hunks and babes in lots of peril, an escaped homicidal lunatic, pre-marital sex, lots of pot, and gore aplenty, this is a film you will need to make time for. Set in a carnival's dark ride (house of horrors) on the New Jersey boardwalk, writer and director Craig Singer has crafted a scary story in which body parts and blood splatter the screen.
Our movie begins in 1989 as two precious looking twin sisters board the dark ride at a Jersey amusement park.  Halfway through the ride, a psycho grabs them and cuts them up with surgical instruments (pictured above).  Now in 2006, five attractive college students board a van and head off to spring break.  The very hot Cathy (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) and Liz (Jennifer Tisdale) will be joined by their nymphomaniac, quasi boyfriends, the pot head Jim (Alex Solowitz) and two-timing Steve (David Clayton Rogers).  Also joining them is film nerd Bill (Patrick Renna) who seems to be a fifth wheel. As they roll through Chris Christie's empire, Bill notices they are passing an out of season amusement park.  Growing up in NJ, Bill remembers the episode back in 1989 where the two sisters and 12 more people were chopped up on the dark ride.  Wouldn't it be fun to spend the night in that dark ride?  Yeah I know...but cut them some slack, this is a slasher movie.  As they approach the park, of course they have to pick up a hitchhiker...the very beautiful but spacey Jen (Andrea Bogart).  Jen loves to eat 'shrooms and have pre-marital sex.  You can probably guess her unfortunate fate.
As our peeps break into the dark ride, and turn the electricity on, they hit the marijuana and conspire to do some pre-marital sex.  Unfortunately slashers have an intense bent for morality, and the park killer, who had been in a lunatic asylum (no New Jersey jokes here), escaped from the institution two weeks ago.  Double uh-oh!  Their arrival at the park isn't as coincidental as it first seemed.  Someone in the group has some weird plans for the friends.  The killer then strikes with big knives and axes.  The insaniac believes the college kids are his toys and spreads their corpses (in several pieces) over many of the exhibits.  Of course the surviving babes and hunks get separated and find themselves locked in without cell phone reception.  As the pretty and handsome fall, will anyone survive the maniac?  
Made almost a decade ago, did Mr. Singer intend this to be a warning about Chris Christie?  However pretty she is, is there a chance that the 'shroom munching, nymphomaniac Jen will survive?  Is the fiendish plot of one of the college kids at all related to the carnage that will take place in this film?  The acting is terrific, characters are enjoyable, and the gore is aplenty.  Available on Netflix, don't miss this bloodbath of amusement.


1 comment:

  1. Watched this one a fair few years back when it was first released in the UK on DVD. Great analysis and I'm in total agreement my friend.