Bert (James DeBello), a college student vacationing with friends in the mountains, mistakenly shoots a local man (Arie Verveen) with a skin infection while hunting in the woods. Panicking, he abandons the scene and leaves the man for dead. When the man stumbles into a reservoir, he infects the water supply, and soon one of Bert's friends becomes infected. The friends struggle to stop the contagious, flesh-eating disease while on the run from a group of ornery backwoods locals out for revenge.
Release Date: September 12, 2003
Writer: Randy Pearlstein, Eli Roth
Director: Eli Roth
Producer: Evan Astrowsky, Eli Roth, Sam Froelich, Susan Jackson, Lauren Moews
Cast: Arie Verveen, Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, Giuseppe Andrews, James DeBello, Cerina Vincent, Joey Kern, Eli Roth
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Yes, it seems like a bad pun to call "Cabin Fever," a horror movie about people being consumed by a flesh-eating disease, skin-crawling.
Yet there's no other way to describe this low-budget, suspense-horror film, which manages to throw in more gore than the recent hits "28 days late . . . ," "Freddy vs. Jason" and "Jeepers Creepers 2" combined.
To be sure, the limited premise ensures that the film runs out of steam about halfway through. It manages to recover only near the end. Still, it's refreshingly self-aware.
This B-movie revels in its silliness, doing so with smarter humor than you'd expect (it ends with a gag of sorts). And that's enough to make it worth watching for those who can stomach this sort of thing.
What plot there is revolves around a post-graduation bash for five college students. They've rented a cabin in the remote woods where they're going to party and get into . . . ahem . . . other things.
For example, Paul (Rider Strong) is planning to finally put the moves on his long-time friend, Karen (Jordan Ladd). Unfortunately, their moment is interrupted by unlucky hermit (Arie Verveen), who's being consumed by a flesh-eating virus.
The twentysomethings manage to chase off the rapidly deteriorating hermit but not before he infects at least one of them. Miles away from the nearest hospital and with a broken-down vehicle to boot, their paranoia starts getting the best of them.
Director Eli Roth and co-screenwriter Randy Pearlstein fumble for an ending, choosing to wrap things up with a rather goofy bit. They have fun with the whole concept, though, which sometimes seems to give them an excuse to slop on the gore. The makeup effects are convincing (those who see this film probably shouldn't eat beforehand).
As for the cast, Strong struggles throughout to keep a straight face, while supporting cast members Joey Kern, James DeBello and Giuseppe Andrews give performances befitting of this grade of material.
"Cabin Fever" is rated R for graphic gore, frequent use of strong sexual profanity, violence (beatings, gunplay, animal attacks and impalings), crude sex talk and use of sexual slang terms, simulated sex, simulated drug use (marijuana), brief female nudity and use of racial epithets. Running time: 94 minutes.
September 9th, 2003 · Details