Memorial Valley Massacre


Year 1989

John Kerry as   George Webster
Mark Mears   as David Sangster
John Caso as Hermit
Lesa Lee as Cheryl
William Smith as General Mintz  
Cameron Mitchell   as Allen Sangster  
 
Director - Robert C. Hughes
Screenwriters - Robert C. Hughes
  - George Frances Skrow  

How bad is Memorial Valley Massacre? There's a thread on IMDb dedicated to lame lines in the movie. They're not really funny lines, just lame. (This should be pronounced Massacree like Arlo Guthrey and the Ramones pronounce it because it's deserving of no respect.)

Memorial Valley Massacre makes Eegah look thoughtful and less perverted. THAT'S how bad this movie is!

Why compare it to Eegah? Because they both deal with something feral in the mountains. Eegah is no less articulate than Hermit (Caso), despite the fact that Hermit is an abandoned waif who's grown up. Eegah is also more complex than Hermit in his lifestyle and beliefs. And Marilyn Manning is more attractive than any of the women in Memorial Valley Massacre. Which isn't saying a whole lot, actually.

In Memorial Valley Massacre, Memorial Valley has been improved and turned into a campground. For its opening weekend, Memorial Weekend, the park isn't ready and things go wrong but campers are let in anyway. Then someone takes out an ATV and this angers the Hermit who begins killing the intruders.

You got your bikers who think a pistol can stop a brown bear. You've got your geeky over 40 couple who don't die but leave the campground early. You've got your love interest because every horny young protagonist needs one. You've got your teenage bad boys. You've got your "Ranger" who is also an ex-Special Forces tracker. And you've got your retired army general.

Almost all of them die, but not soon enough. There's not a likable person in the lot.

Part of the problem is that this is supposed to be some sort of ecology lesson. ATVs ruin nature, the park is a "sanctum", trees should be hugged and not run over by Winnebagos (or Winnebagoe, I'm not sure which), and living off the land is a good thing. Green People, or whatever they call themselves, should not write or direct movies unless they're documentaries.

Am I exaggerating the hippy-dippy (Thanks to George Carlin for that expression) point of view? Hermit won't kill an animal. He frees a trapped rabbit and befriends a mouse. Ahem. Yet his clothing is made of pelts from animals that he must've killed. And he does kill animals. For example, he kills two dogs in the movie because...well, dogs, I guess. The writers must be fond of cats which says a lot.

If there's something that's a movie No-No, then this movie collects 'em all. It could be used as a teaching aid for how not to write, frame, direct, or act in a movie.

Is it so bad it's good? It's so bad, it's bad. The intentional humor is so crudely delivered that it will make you cringe. The unintentional humor doesn't happen often enough.

Unintentional humor:


George Webster: A death on Memorial Day weekend...

Intentional failed humor:
Girl: All you guys ever did was shoot BB guns at cars from an overpass.
Guy: Yeah. This has to be easier than that.
Girl (to a guy named Chuck): Chuck you, Farley.
Girl: It's a dog. (It's a bear.)

Webster: He couldn't have crawled far with a broken neck and a broken back.

The ad-libs by William Smith are better than what the writers came up with. After freeing an upside-down teenager caught in a snare, Smith quips, "At least he got a little blood to the brain."

And the hermit. He can't speak or communicate but he can make candles, target radios for destruction, incapacitate a jeep, and drive bulldozers. He's also a whiz at setting traps in the forest that John Rambo wasn't taught how to make. And he never needs to shave.

Bad script, bad directing, and bad acting with no likable characters combined with a lack of imagination and dreary attempts at humor make this one something that you should miss.

No nudity, not really. Some profanity and blasphemy. A sad attempt at wet T-shirt excitement. Near zero chick flick potential. Kick this one into the woods and let the "dog" eat it.


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