In other words, like Hitchcock’s mastery of the suspense genre, Roth has achieved utmost proficiency in the field of the repugnant and plain-out G-R-O-S-S.
“Cabin Fever” is your prototypical film that puts forth a somewhat coherent plotline for the first 35 minutes or so, only to swerve off-road and nose-dive into a bog bubbling with senseless, barf-inducing filth.
Set up quite similarly to “Evil Dead,” “Cabin Fever” tracks five college students who pack their belongings for a weekend getaway at a log cabin in strum-the-banjo, USA. As could be expected, something out there is determined to spoil their self-indulgent undertakings. This time around, the assailant is in the form of a flesh-consuming micro-organism.
The composition of the spunky bunch is second-to-none. You have your bead-brained moron, Bert (James DeBello)” your copulatory tease-go-round blonde, Karen (Jordan Ladd)” your since-eighth-grade pursuer of the aforementioned blonde, Paul (formerly Shawn of “Boy Meets World,” Rider Strong)” and last, but probably least, your sexually active brunette Barbie and her kinky surfer-esque Ken, Marcy and Jeff (Cerina Vincent and Joey Kern, respectively).
The misery unchains for the five of them beginning with a twilight visitation by a BB-ridden hermit, thanks to Bert mistaking the man-of-the-hills for a woodchuck in his earthly dugout. The hermit’s skin is literally peeling off due to his contraction of the deadly virus some days ago.
His approach for help leads to the campers slamming the cabin door in his revolting face, tempting the now-enraged recluse to hop into the driver’s seat of Jeff’s truck and ram his foot into the gas pedal, spewing blood all the while.
Eventually, Jeff and Bert ignite the sickened hermit into a full blaze, sending the simpleton rushing through the woods begging for sight of a coolant. He, unfortunately for the campers, finds the coolant — dying in a water reservoir that supplies the cabin’s tap water — and, as we all know, water is an essential requirement for human survival.
Writer-director Eli Roth, whoever the hell that is, must have been a booger-exhibiting, paste-ingesting youth. In other words, like Hitchcock’s mastery of the suspense genre, Roth has achieved utmost proficiency in the field of the repugnant and plain-out G-R-O-S-S. Your humble critic, who can usually ward off even the most stagnant on-screen yuck, was carefully considering a beeline for the toilet bowl throughout the picture’s duration.
On the contrary, if one can withstand the motion picture’s Lennox-jab to the gut, then he or she can anticipate a rich helping of what-the-hell pie. Given, this film is a lousy excuse for streaming entertainment, but, if nothing else, it does keep your eyes glued to the screen.
Perhaps it’s the perverse mental capacity of Generation Y’ers, myself included, that continuously flock to theaters to crunch popcorn to such cinematic jetsam that are to blame. So be it. As long as executive producers round up enough dough to make goofball attempts at horror, you can count on my posterior being planted front-and-center at the local movie house.