Sunday, January 25, 2015

Scream Park, The Slasher that Ate Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh and horror!  The bar was set high when George Romero created "Night of the Living Dead" in 1968.  Then a decade later, "Dawn of the Dead" renewed the Steel City as one of the horror capitals.  Even George Romero has seemed to abandon this great city.  The new "Dawn" takes place in fictional Everett, and "Survival" heads to an island off Delaware (....Delaware?).  It's about time that Pittsburgh generated another scary film, hence today we will look at 2012's "Scream Park."  Written and directed by Cary Hill, "Scream park" was largely shot on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh, and is very comparable to Tobe Hooper's 1981 neo-classic, "The Funhouse."  So grab your seats, and let the roller-coaster ride begin...although in this movie, being disemboweled is a prerequisite to riding.
Fright Land is closing for good.  This amusement park has been operating at a loss for too long.  On the final day of operation, the teen staff (all really good looking) are summoned to Marty's (Steve Rudzinski) office (the manager).  Jennifer (Wendy Wygant) loves her job, and making people happy.  Of all the teens employed by Fright Land, she is the only one not obsessed with pre-marital sex, alcohol, or marijuana.  The other teens see the closing as an opportunity to have a party (...orgy) at closing time.  After Allison (Alicia Marie Maracucci) practically seduces him, Marty reluctantly agrees.  Uh oh..... someone else is in the park after closing.  Double uh oh....Jennifer's boyfriend is missing.

The murders begin.  First the security guard gets it.  Then Carlee (Kailey Marie Harris, pictured above) sneaks off with her boyfriend for pre-marital sex and drugs.  After some gratuitous nudity, these two lovebirds assume the fate that most nymphomaniac teens assume in these kind of films.  At this point, the killings get really gory.  The killers seem to be having a lot of fun, and unfortunately for pretty Allison, also have rape on their minds.  As the bodies pile up ( pieces, of course), Jennifer plots escape.  She, Allison, and Marty must work together, but is Marty in on it?  He seems to know more than he is letting on.  Clean cut Jennifer has made up her mind to survive, but will she be able to survive and save her less than moral friends?
This film is a lot of fun, and will remind you of "The Funhouse."  However fun, there are some intense scenes.  After Allison is captured by one of the masked men, her fate is tortuous.  In another scene, we the viewer see death through the eyes of a dying teen named Missi (Nicole Beattie), who has just had her throat cut (see above photo).  Doug Bradley ("Hellraiser") has a terrific cameo as the creepy owner of the park.  Ms. Wygant is terrific as the noble protagonist who must turn bad a** to fight the evil intruders. For a low budget slasher film, the acting is all fantastic.  Kudos to Cary Hill, for a fine film.  I understand he is working on a sequel.  Reasonably priced on, depressed Steeler fans can take heart that great horror is again being forged in their city.

1 comment:

  1. A must see. Thank you brother, you always introduce me to new oddities and this one looks like a bit of me. Killer review.