JeffVice's Review of Turistas

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All the blood and nudity mark "Turistas" as an exploitation film, of the horror-thriller variety — but who knew exploitation could be so boring? This "Hostel" rip-off takes its time getting to the graphic and really gory stuff — a full hour goes by before anything actually happens. And the final third of the film is more annoying than it is suspenseful. Like "Hostel," the film places some unfortunate tourists in the hands of sinister locals — in this case, the backpackers are in Brazil instead of Europe, and instead of Internet-based torturers, the bad guys are illegal organ traffickers. The six would-be victims — three of whom happen to be Americans (Josh Duhamel, Olivia Wilde and Beau Garrett)— have strayed away from the rest of their group after a tour bus mishap strands them in unfamiliar territory. They are befriended by a local villager (Agles Steib), but they don't realize he is actually leading them toward the mountaintop lair of sinister Dr. Zamora (Miguel Lunardi), who plans to harvest their kidneys and livers — a fatal prospect, of course. Despite the film's relatively short running time, first-time screenwriter Michael Ross' skimpy plot is padded out so that fully half of the movie's camera shots are of the beautiful Brazilian jungle and beaches. Ironically, that's also the only thing the film has going for it. Director John Stockwell ("Into the Blue") seems out of his comfort zone with this material. He doesn't seem to have inspired his cast, and even veteran television performers Duhamel ("Las Vegas") and Melissa George ("Alias") seem a bit lost here. "Turistas" is rated R for graphic gore and violence (shootings, bludgeonings, stabbings, vehicular mayhem and violence against women), strong sexual language (profanity and other suggestive talk), drug content (marijuana and hashish use, as well as various pharmaceuticals and injections), female nudity, brief sexual contact, and use of racial epithets. Running time: 92 minutes. E-MAIL: jeff@desnews.com
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Okfor ages12+