Movie News

TURISTAS is a Bad Case of Montezuma's Revenge?

Published at: Nov. 30, 2006, 3:28 a.m. CST by headgeek

Hey folks, Harry here... TURISTAS has been being advertised - fairly non-stop on just about every channel I've flipped to recently - and from the ads - it seems to be BLUE CRUSH meets CLUB DREAD -- but they seem to be inferring an awful lot of HOSTEL into the mix. Now - I happen to like all 3 of those movies - and I'm well aware that a great deal of you, when given that combination of titles - would rather rip out your eyes and replace them with your own testicles (or ovaries) - but there it is. The director is John Stockwell of INTO THE BLUE and BLUE CRUSH fame - I'm actually shocked he isn't directing the SMURF movie next. And it is the first produced script by Michael Ross, formerly the Visual Effects Editor of JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS. There's a possiblity of pain - exactly as Dax describes - OR - drink a six pack before going aka 5 bong hits - and enjoy...

Hi Harry, My name is Dax, LONG time lurker - years - never posted one talkback or submitted a review even though I've had a few scoops here and there. After seeing "Flawless Fanboy"s studio written review posted to your site today I was absolutely incensed because they'd finally gotten over on you guys because I saw Turistas last night at a preview screening and boy howdy I gotta tell y'all - TURISTAS SUCKS. I went into the screening with an open mind, a lifetime horror movie fan that was ready to like this - it was free and the trailer looked fun even though it's yet another Hostel rip off - not that Hostel was a big winner but compared to this it's a god damn Kubrick film. Things start off a little confusing as there's this rapidly edited barrage of someone being cut, like 10 seconds with some crazy sound - like they're gonna show the trailer again but apparently that's the start of the movie - at this point I'm thinking alright, throw us off balance this is going in a direction - then credits roll with a standard montage about traveling Brazil and some tourist disappearances. Then we get into it - cut to our Touristas as they're careening down narrow Brazilian roads on a bus driven by a mad man - some tension actually manages to be built here and again I'm kinda surprised and loving at as some shit starts to go down and we meet the main characters. SPOILERS AHEAD! I'm just gonna spill it cuz this is the only halfway decent thing that happens in this movie besides some surprisingly competent underwater cinematography - besides having some hot actresses that are horribly underutilized - one BRIEF topless shot is all we get? What happened to real horror movies?! I mean seriously the one cool effect besides some decent make up is a real bus rolling down a real hill - no one in it which is absolutely ridiculous in the context of the set up but I can understand because there were massively obvious budgetary limitations during the making of this film but that being said unless this was made for under a million these people have no excuse. And I thought the actors were all pretty decent even - surprising for a movie of this caliber - but they're not given hardly a shred of anything to work with except for the beginning of the film where they're made semi-likable. I can't believe I'm actually writing this much about this piece of crap but no geek must be misled! Ok, so the bus crash and a semi-tense moment when the parent of a child one of the girls takes a picture of gets all mad cuz the Brazilians think it's rude to take pictures without permission - spooooooky. NOT. Then the Touristas find out about a little slice of paradise that is down the beach a little bit - amounting to no more than a bar on a beach for $4 a night - why leave? Next we see some creepy Main Evil Guy go get a scary looking Indian out of a crack squat to do his evil bidding - but under protest as even the crack head thinks what they're doing is bad. Cue a montage of a little party at the bar that night where our Touristas are drugged and wake up on the beach the next day with nothing - no shoes, passport, money, NOTHING. Cut to the only two other gringos that were in paradise, a swedish couple, being carried through the jungle by some savage looking men who stop to smoke crack riverside which just looks WRONG. Then one of the swedes manages to escape before the ONE, YES COUNT IT ONE TIME IN THE ENTIRE MOVIE THE AUDIENCE REACTED and comes to a surprising end that I won't reveal for no other reason than I know some of you will download and watch this piece of shit anyway. Mind you I'm still thinking "wow, hard core - this could really be good" but don't get your hopes up kiddies cuz there ain't nothing left after this set up. Sure, they wander into town looking for the police and believe everyone that tells them to keep walking deeper into the ghetto where they encounter a kid wearing one of their hats and a motorcycle that belonged to the swedes, they chase him and after one of them beams him in the head they are led into the jungle by one of the people that set them up in the first place after telling them that the village is run by the kids father who is the one that stole from them blah blah. So now our barefoot touristas follow this kid on what is later described as a TEN HOUR hike through the jungle before they finally ask about who would live out in the middle of fucking nowhere with no road no nothing. Next cue the surprisingly well handled first underwater sequence that goes on too long because the producers knew where their production value was apparently.... The kid almost has a change of heart while leading them to their dooms because one of the girls is so hot - understandable I thought - but then the rest of the group catches up and they continue on. After a ridiculously contrived accident befalls the kid, they arrive at the house and explore it, finding some scotch, starting the generator and stuff like that. They find the passports, medicine and canned goods from travelers from all over the world - love how the villains keep all this evidence around but then again they are a ten hour hike from a remote village. Our Touristas sleep while the one sensible one is looking at the surveillance cameras in the middle of nowhere like they're kinda odd - all of a sudden a helicopter comes and drops off the baddies and you're hoping that this mediocre movie is finally going to move into gear. Nope, shoulda known better! From this point on the movie rapidly deteriorates, the audience is clearly bored, there's literally minutes of ridiculous chase scenes that should be on the cutting room floor. I'm not going to continue the blow by blow because it's too painful to write about something so lame in such detail. At one point I was so flabbergasted by not just how poor the production had gotten that I turned to the gentleman that was seated next to met and asked 'what happened to that one blonde girl? they haven't shown her for like 5 minutes and she was with everyone - wtf?!' So chase chase chase, stupid decisions, poorly lit - yes it's the jungle at night but come one, it's not creepy it's just amateur hour now that the sun has gone down. At one point a character is looking into the surgery room for like 10 beats and not once does it cut to what he is actually looking at or have him reacting much or telling us what he sees and the he's off to go tell the others what these people are really up to - THEY'RE TAKING ORGANS OF TOURISTS AND GIVING THEM TO BRAZILIAN HOSPITALS TO REPAY ALL THE ORGANS THAT HAVE BEEN TAKEN BY RICH GRINGOS. This is the whole hook of the movie that is somehow supposed to be shocking or something, I don't know. No drugs except for what they're slipped to be robbed, barely any nudity, no sex at all and one of the most anti-climactic, most drawn out, BORING chase scenes that just goes on and on and on and on - not to mention they go back to their production values - not the hot chicks - NOOOOOOOOOO - they go back to 10 minutes of underwater chase scene! This may sound like some kinda quirky cool thing but NO - don't be fooled - this has no business in theaters, please let the studios know that just because it's a horror movie with a decent trailer and a low budget that even the die hard fans still require something halfway decent to be entertained, much less find films they can get behind and support. Most sincerely, Dax

Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 30, 2006, 3:30 a.m. CST

    First!

    by elbmirb

    Shamon !!!! Damn you michael bay etc...

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 3:45 a.m. CST

    and its too soon

    by The Dum Guy

    I don't know.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 3:46 a.m. CST

    but it has olivia wilde in it!

    by newc0253

    she's a stone fox!

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 3:48 a.m. CST

    Oh great, more torture porn

    by Vern

    and underwater chases

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 3:49 a.m. CST

    haven't heard of it...and glad

    by Bloo

    see above

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 4:03 a.m. CST

    Vern

    by funnyhat

    Why does everyone call it Torture Porn? Why not Snuff Fiction or something. It's entertainment, not a fetish! Hey...in my opinion, horror hasnt been real enough. Surely, I love those cheesy old effects from the 70's-90's, but I'm older now, and if the script calls for a character to be 'slashed to ribbons', i want to see those ribbons, layers of the epidermis, and various internal workings. They just need to find a way to make over-the-top gruesome deaths work IN the movie, instead of AS the entire movie. "See No Evil" while not the greatest movie, was a great step forward for horror fans who love our torture. Can't wait to check this out. HERE HERE to the fans of awful scripts and pierced achilles tendons!

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 4:13 a.m. CST

    I don't get it

    by SebastianHaff

    These kids' organs are being stolen to make up for all the organs stolen by rich gringos? What? Since when do white folks steal body parts from people in Brazil? Did I miss something? Or is this just another 'white people suck cause... Michael Moore said so!' message?

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 4:22 a.m. CST

    Nip/Tuck

    by Azlam Orlandu

    I find it silly that this film is advertised during the current season of Nip/Tuck, where a similar villany is at hand. Come on Fox. I still love me some Nip/Tuck though.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 6:53 a.m. CST

    GAWD

    by BanAllFIRSTPosters

    Was Hostel not bad enough? How did that overrated piece of shit inspire rip offs?

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 7:05 a.m. CST

    Horror fans

    by Spandau Belly

    <i>"please let the studios know that just because it's a horror movie with a decent trailer and a low budget that even the die hard fans still require something halfway decent to be entertained, much less find films they can get behind and support."</i><br> <br> This statement is totally false. Horror fans will keep coming out for more bad low-budget films in a genre that's 90% bad with casts of tv actors whose careers are going nowhere. They know these movies will suck and go see them anyway. Supporting any horror movie seems to be a trait that gets conditionned into certain people and cannot be reversed. I'm sure kicking the horror movie bug has a lower success rate than beating alcoholism. And the studios know that.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 7:28 a.m. CST

    Eleventh

    by Capt. StrideR

    I mean, we all knew this movie was going to suck? Right?

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 7:31 a.m. CST

    "...one of the swedes manages to escape..."

    by Bob Cryptonight

    They're Norwegians, Mac.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 8:14 a.m. CST

    How can you be quirky....

    by Mickey The Idiot

    ...when you're really just struggling for another excuse to remake The Most Dangerous Game..... yet a-fucking-gain?

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 8:49 a.m. CST

    I'm sorry but was that a review

    by Samson_K

    Because it did seem more like a small child describing their day after being at the zoo - and then we saw the monkeys and they were funny, and then we saw the lion and then we saw the penguins and then we saw the zebra and then I had a hamburger and a coke and then we saw the snakes!

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 8:52 a.m. CST

    It's Not THAT Bad

    by zombiefightsshark

    I don't usually comment here, but I feel I really had to come to TURISTAS defense in this case. I saw TURISTAS a couple of weeks ago at a screening here in New York and, though it's by no means a perfect movie, it's much better than Dax is giving it credit for. The thing is, TURISTAS isn't a horror movie. Yes, it has some gore in it, but really it's a thriller about being lost and scared in a foreign country. The first hour in particular is as well-crafted an exersice in mounting tension as you're likely to find. Admittedly, once the organ-harvesters show up, the movie loses a bunch of momentum (there's even a "villian monolouge"... shudder). But up until then, and all through the underwater finale, TURISTAS solidly delivers. Just don't expect a straight horror movie, no matter what the marketing (which sucks) leads you to believe.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 9:19 a.m. CST

    bad review

    by lazynogoodnic

    I remember there was a time when people had valid arguments for why a movie was terrible. Don't get me wrong, this movie more than likely sucks ass, but his closing argument? No drug usage, no nudity? What happened to a horror film sucking because there was no tension, or just weren't scary? Lack of tits or drugs is as idiodic a reason to dislike a film as not liking a film because it's in black and white.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 10:07 a.m. CST

    funnyhat- That is exactly what is wrong with horror

    by Lovecraftfan

    films today. Suddenly anything like atmosphere, plot, character, you know stuff that people use to care about gets thrown out the window cause all anyone cares about these days is getting the gore as real as possible. Why do they even bother with films anymore. Just release snuff shorts and studios would make tons of money.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 10:48 a.m. CST

    it'd be creepier if it involved sitting through

    by durhay

    a 3 hour presentation about buying timeshares.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 1:31 p.m. CST

    durhay

    by beefywhore

    That just gave me a shiver all the way up my spine...You should send that idea in...

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Funnyhat / Lovecraftfan

    by Vern

    Funnyhat - I was just kidding actually, because I wrote a review of this same movie and in the talkback people kept talking about "torture porn," even after I stated definitively that there is no torture or porn in this particular movie. <p> Lovecraftfan - I'm not a big fan of Hostel and I haven't even seen any of the Saw movies. But I think you're exaggerating about the state of horror. Wolf Creek was a movie that got some of the most vicious "torture porn"-labelling negative reviews, and you can't tell me that movie is missing atmosphere and character. In fact I think the reason people like Roger Ebert hated it so much was exactly because it had believable characters and it was upsetting when they died or got hurt. It was criticized for being effective.<p>I don't understand this whole East Coast/West Coast feud between "I only want to see intestines spilling left and right so I can jerk off to it" horror fans and "if there is more than one ounce of blood it is worthless shit" horror fans. I would think that you as a young man whose parents named him after a fan of Howard P. Lovecraft would be able to appreciate that many different approaches are valid. I mean Reanimator is pretty fuckin gorey isn't it, or do you not like Reanimator? Personally I think there are great horror movies with little to no gore (Texas Chain Saw Massacre) and with lots of gore (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2). Maybe you and Funnyhat ought to consider broadening your horizons, sharing your favorites with each other and learning to understand the full breadth of the horror genre. It would act as a metaphor for the vast differences in culture across the world and bring people together in harmony.<p> This movie is nothing too special, it seems kind of silly to go to bat over this one, but Dax's review is pretty much 100% horse shit if you ask me. You gotta recognize that this movie is better crafted and more serious-minded than, say, The Covenant and other recent studio genre shit. On the other hand it is not imaginative enough to really make the cut. But it gets points for effort.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 2:33 p.m. CST

    TCM 2?

    by The Dum Guy

    Can you really consider that a horror movie? It kinda comes off as comedic through most of the movie, think of when Hopper stops to shop for chainsaws, that's funny.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 3:49 p.m. CST

    torture movies...

    by El Borak

    suck ass. they aren't good. stop making them. now.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 3:53 p.m. CST

    btw

    by El Borak

    olivia wilde? is that the chick that was on the o.c.? i would eat her feces..

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Why cant...

    by The Midget_King

    reviews be short and to the point? After about the 4th paragraph I stopped reading. Seriously, can't movies be reviewed without telling everyone how they felt and what they did before they walked into the theater? Frankly, I couldnt give a shit if you walked in with an open mind because you were a horror fan your whole life, or if you were playing pocket pool through the parking lot. I just want a fucking REVIEW not a day in the life of.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 3:59 p.m. CST

    midget king

    by El Borak

    funny... that's what this website is all about.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 4:02 p.m. CST

    El Borak

    by Vern

    Again, this is not a torture movie. Unless you consider it torture to watch that girl in a movie without being able to eat her feces. That one's new to me so I can't really speak for you but as far as traditionally defined torture goes there is none in this movie.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Dum Guy

    by Vern

    Well, your mileage may vary, but to me, as funny as TCM2 is, it leans way more on the horror. The movie doesn't let up from the time Chop Top shows up at the radio station to Stretch waving the chainsaw around in the last shot. I mean, nobody's gonna be scared during the chili cookoff scene at the beginning, but by the end you've gone through a hell of a grueling experience I think.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 4:09 p.m. CST

    thanks for the comment vern...

    by El Borak

    that was a joke btw.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 4:11 p.m. CST

    "Revenge!"

    by Childe Roland

    Funniest recurring Robot Chicken bit ever.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 4:15 p.m. CST

    And Bob Cryptonight wins...

    by Childe Roland

    ...for the best use of a throwaway line from the greatest horror film ever in a talkback. "Hey, Sweden!"

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Vern

    by The Dum Guy

    I guess you can obviously argue TCM 2's ability to viewed as a grueling experience, but having Leatherface use a chainsaw as a phalic symbol makes me laugh. It's been like five years since I last saw it, so maybe I should go and view it again.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Wolf Creek, Vern?

    by Childe Roland

    Really? You dug on that? That and Haute Tension were the two worst horror films I've seen in the last year (and I've seen Feast). And, now that I think of it, I hated them for very similar reasons. Both were incredibly cheap and dishonest in their premises. Haute Tension basically nullified its own best scenes by revealing they never happened save for in the imagination of the lead gal. And Wolf Creek, which was really only scary due to the suggestion it was based on a true story, reveals in the last few minutes that the one survivor of the incident couldn't possibly have known any of what the movie suggests happened to the two girls after they were all drugged because he never even saw them again. He just woke up, uncrucified himself and went on his merry way. All that stuff witht he cameras and phones and spinally fucking up of folk lost any punch it might've had with that revelation. Now, I'm not saying made up shit can't be scary. Au contraire. Most of the scariest shit does come right from folks' imaginations. But if it isn't scary enough to take on a life of its own, don't try to sell it as a true story when it clearly ain't. And if you're going to make your lesbians evil and homicicdal, at least give them a few good pantiless scenes and show them doing some normal lesbian shit before they bash their own imaginary faces in with barbed wire on a stick. I do agree with you on TCM 2, though. It's both a decent horror film and a darkly funny fucker of a film (Nu-finish is a floor wax AND a dessert topping). Personally, I prefer it to TCM 1, but then TCM 1 also relies heavily on the "based on a true story" bullshit factor to get under folks' skin (no pun intended and no disrespect intended to Mr. Ed, but anyone who knows anything about Gein knows he was about as far removed from Texas and chili as most of us are from ever getting a script produced). Anyway, as always, I appreciate your insights (and dug your review on this particular film) but I think Wolf Creek is just going to have to be one of those places we can't go together.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 4:50 p.m. CST

    I'm kind of generalizing to make a point Vern

    by Lovecraftfan

    Obviously there are exceptions, The Descent to name on, but I think since studios are seeing that a certian kind of horror film is profitable most horror films are being squeezed into one kind of genre. A genre in which gore or on the flip side jump scares rule out any other quality in a horror film. I have no problem with gore if there's something else there. Sadly that's not particuraly happening a lot these days.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 5:35 p.m. CST

    High Tension was kick ass

    by maceodkat

    when she lops that old guys head off with the dresser was priceless. I could've sworn that everyone killed under the guise of teh fat guy stayed dead, so why would the reveal of the killer being the skinny lesbo lessen the grusome and sick killings in that film. i'm seeing turistas tonight on a free screeners pass, hopefully it wont suck as bad as this guy said it does

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 5:41 p.m. CST

    If all you were in it for were the gruesome killings...

    by Childe Roland

    ...maceodkat, then I could see why the ending didn't piss you off. Me? I was kind of digging on the skinny lesbo chick's character arc (even though I'd figured out what was going on and called it while she was hiding in the gas station...I forced that out of my mind and held out the hope that what I was watching was "really" happening in the world of the film and was changing her very nature). If you were in it for a story, the ending blew...and not in a good severed head in the dirty truck kind of way.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Totally agree with this review

    by MrSnuggly

    Was 'lucky' enough to see a preview in Soho a few months back, it wasn't the most fun way to spend an evening. The opening is a rip on Hostel, like people are going to go fucking crazy over seeing some chick we don't know getting cut to shit, and the rest is just poorly choreographed, badly lit, choppily edited and difficult to give two shits about. Underwater scenes in a jungle movie? John Stockwell must have gills man, he probably starts coughing and choking when he's on dry lan for longer than five minutes at a time. Pass, seen it done before and better. Liked Desmond Askew though, the Brit dude from Go. He plays the same guy, but at least he got some laughs. Also, watch out for Christian from Hollyoaks making his first (and presumably last) feature film appearance.

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 11:01 p.m. CST

    Did Demon Dave Produce This

    by The Ender

    And then claim to have never seen Hostel? Fucking Blimey

  • Nov. 30, 2006, 11:02 p.m. CST

    The United States Does Not Negotiate With Terrorists

    by The Ender

    ....Neither Does Jack Bauer. Oh. My. Fuggin. God. SEASON 6 IS ALMOST HERE MOTHERFUCKERS. **Back To Bashing This Movie**

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 3:21 a.m. CST

    Mr. Roland

    by Vern

    First of all, I'm glad to hear you've joined the party with Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It's been a long time coming.<p> As for Wolf Creek, yes, I thought it was almost a great example of the genre, but there are two huge flaws as far as I'm concerned - 1. the over explanatory scene where she finds all the cameras and shit (seemed like a deleted scene they forgot to delete) and 2. the anticlimactic ending. After the first two didn't quite make it you are ready to see this guy make a daring escape or get a good shot at the killer but instead he just wanders away. I wasn't ready for that.<P> But aside from those major blunders I really liked it. It had believable and well developed characters, a spooky setting that we haven't seen in alot of horror movies, and most of all a great villain. The scene at the campfire goes from funny to tense to oh shit so perfectly. And their attempts to escape to me had that great rush you look for in a movie like this, the fun of the earlier Friday the 13th sequels but closer to the serious dread of Texas Chain Saw. (not that it's as good.)<p> As for High Tension though, I agree with you on that, it's fun for a while but the ending is so ridiculous that it sours everything that came before. And it's also kind of weirdly anti-lesbian if you think about it. What's he got against lesbians? I did mostly like that director's remake of The Hills Have Eyes, though.

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Montezuma's Revenge?

    by Get_Me_An_18-Man_Fire_Team_In_12_Hours

    So all the tourists in this film will die from a bad case of the runs? Say it ain't so, Harold!! *Excelsior!*

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Boobs do not = a good Horror movie

    by Novaman5000

    Gratuitous boob shots actually make a horror film more lame, in my opinion. It's as if the creators were like, "oh shit, we don't have much of a story here, so lets toss in some nips and hopefully that will distract the audience from our shitty film." If I wanted to see a 5 second flash of breasts I have the internet for that. It's FREE! Who the hell pays $12.50 to see a couple boobs, anyway?

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 12:45 p.m. CST

    If tits and gore was all it took

    by Novaman5000

    to make a good horror movie, then Hostel shoulda been a fucking masterpiece.

  • Dec. 1, 2006, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Thriller vs. Horror vs. Exploitation vs. Tits

    by DaxPresents

    Alrighty folks, a few things. If this was supposed to be a "thriller" it's even worse - bad cintematography, poor editing and seriously drawn out chases scenes does not create tension. Now as for my drugs/tits/SOMETHING comment - I mean to say that there's not even a bunch of stupid guilty horror movie cliche type pleasures here - and yes yes I'm all for higher minded fare, most certainly - the thing is THIS IS NOT HIGHER MINDED FARE so please just show the girls naked more already or do SOMETHING that makes it feel like sitting through this wasn't a total waste of time. BTW, I saw Blue Crush and I'm shocked it's from the same director - he musta been strung out on painkillers while making this because I thought BC was solidly made and will refrain from commenting on it further. -Dax

  • Dec. 3, 2006, 12:51 p.m. CST

    "Surprisingly competent underwater photography?"

    by solongyoubastard

    It's by the director of Blue Crush and Into the Blue, what'd you expect? And for the record there are TWO brief topless scenes.