the Oscars, Chris Rock demonstrated racism directed towards Asians is still
perfectly acceptable in Hollywood. In a similarly depressing development,
Mickey Keating’s latest retro exploitation offering proves prejudice against
Vietnam era veterans also encounters little or no objections within the film
industry. Brace yourself for yet another bulging-eyed psycho killer vet when
Keating’s Carnage Park screens at
this year’s SXSW.
Vivian Fontaine, this will be one of those frying-pan-into-the-fire sort of
days. While getting turned down for a loan to save her family farm (and
sexually harassed in the process), Fontaine is taken hostage by two
knuckle-dragging bank robbers. Unfortunately, Scorpion Joe’s partner is rapidly
expiring. He will be the lucky one.
Joe manages to give the deputies the slip, but he does so by barging onto the
desert survivalist compound of Wyatt Moss, who has recently returned from
Vietnam in even worse mental condition than when he left. Apparently, Moss has
been hunting stranded motorists like he’s a Rob Zombie character and every day
is Halloween (frankly, Carnage made 31 look classy in comparison when they
played at Sundance).
course, Moss has plans for the chloroformed Fontaine, as she quickly deduces
after waking up handcuffed to Scorpion Joe’s decapitated body (it doesn’t even
make sense for a hunter to opt for the less sporty quarry). Basically, she will
be on her own, unless Moss’s ineffectual brother, who also happens to be the
ineffectual sheriff, finally starts to man-up. In fact, it will be Fontaine who
tries to protect a previous victim still writhing in a bear trap.
you so much Mickey Keating smearing the uniformed veterans who served and
sacrificed for their country during a time of war. Really, you shouldn’t have.
Sure there is a sad tradition of the Vietnam vet exploitation horror film, but
that does not mean he needed to perpetuate it. There is also a tradition of
blackface comedy, but nobody therefore expects a reboot of Amos & Andy.
be fair, the opening titles are pretty cool in an old school exploitation kind
of way, but it all goes south from there. Ill-advisedly, Pat Healey seems to go
out of his way to emphasize the twitchy, drawling, tic-ish stereotypes that
make Moss so offensive. In contrast, Ashley Bell is perfectly professional
running for her life as Fontaine. Larry Fessenden offers a bit of grizzly
character as the poor sod who managed to get his chest caught in the trap at an
inexplicable angle. However, there is nothing remotely credible about the
decent good old boy sheriff reluctantly casting a blind eye on his brother’s
This is just a bad movie. Frankly, it is almost
impossible to discern Jack Straw once Fontaine descends into Moss’s tunnels,
but by that point, nobody cares anymore. You are just waiting for Carnage to end, so you can start
complaining about. The combination of predictable and offensive just doesn’t
cut it. Absolutely not recommended under any circumstances, Carnage Park screens again this Tuesday
(3/15) and Friday (3/18), during this year’s SXSW.
Labels: Horror Movies, SXSW '16