Rating: R for language, excessive gore and violence
Run Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes
All hail the campy horror film. Low budget performances and dumb scripting can’t mar the gleeful delight of this over-the-top gore-fest that speaks to Drive-In days of yore.
When a group of freshly-graduated college grads embark on a last- hurrah mountain vacation, the sky’s the limit on alcohol, sex, and decadence. Their remote mountain retreat seems the ideal locale until a delirious stranger crashes their party; feverish, incoherent and covered in bloody sores.
Local mishaps (akin to “Deliverance” perversities) and personality clashes also don’t bode well for the trip. One of the gang (Jordan Ladd as Karen) falls ill early on, putting a decisive damper on the heady business of debauchery. Karen’s bubbling flesh and oozing wounds heighten her friends’ burgeoning trepidation. To prevent a contagious spread and protect them from infection, the group “quarantines” Karen by locking her in an outdoor shed.
It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. Nor are four wooden walls going to contain the grisly grime of B-movie decay. As the peculiar flesh-eating virus spirals out of control, so do the group dynamics. Director Eli Roth turns unlimited gore to his advantage, hurtling his half-witted plotline to a nasty, fevered pitch.
Creepy-crawly skin diseases are in vogue at the moment – think summer’s hot hit “28 Days Later”. “Cabin Fever” wallows in clichés, but does so with a whopping dose of self-effacing humor. Performances are just north of dreadful, with “Boy Meets World” alum Rider Strong carrying the torch as team leader and ingenuous voice of reason. Wacky, wild, and worth your hard-earned bucks.