Cannibal Detour: Hell's Highway

Cannibal Detour: Hell's Highway

Seven teens that have taken a camper van into the desert to go to a rave decide on the way back to look for a drug plantation out in the desert that one of them has heard rumours of. They inevitably meet the member of the old community who warns them not to go looking for it and to just go home and in order not to finish the film with the kids curled up in bed with a cup of hot milk they disregard this warning and soon find themselves crashing off the road in cannibal territory.

Some of the teens decide to try and get help while others are happy to get a tan. Neil (Brent Taylor) heads back to the petrol station to see if said member of old community will help them. The petrol attendant isn't happy to see him and then rants on about the 'un-human nature of them' before going after the cannibals with a shotgun and ultimately getting chopped to pieces. The two lovey-doveys decide to head up a hill to get a signal on their mobiles, but passion gets the better of them and they decide to get down to business. BIG NO-NO!

The other four are then stalked by the cannibals and after finding a gun start to fight back. When one of them is killed and another girl kidnapped the other two try to rescue her and kill the remaining cannibals.

From the offset this looks very much like Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes and was in fact filmed in similar Californian desert (Rosamond as opposed to San Bernardino). The family unit has been replaced by stereotypical teens; the rich kid, the couple, the goth, the bimbos and the wigger. The latter is the most annoying character ever to grace the screen, played by Aaron Buer who looks remarkably like a bigger Corey Haim when he was in The Lost Boys (not the fat bloater he is today). By the end of the film however I quite liked the character as well as one of the bimbos, Tara (Ashley Elizabeth), who is more than competent with an automatic pistol.

The teens are killed off in not very imaginative ways but still there is a decent amount of gore and the pace overall is pretty good. The scenery is quite stunning and the final location is better than you would expect from a low budget film.

Essentially this is a return to 70's horror but using contemporary themes and characters and it really does work. Because of the low budget the film had no glossy camera movements and effects that another Hills remake Wrong Turn had and this works for the film. This is not to say that the camera work is rugged because it is not and the visual style of Taylor is exceptionally good. This feels like a 70's horror, not a classic but certainly a very enjoyable one. It is a combination of visuals, good looking female characters, a half decent script and some well done action pieces that make this an above average low budget horror and one of the better Hard Gore releases. Recommended.

Extra Features:

The trailer for the film is actually better than the film. It is well paced and well edited with a decent soundtrack. The only problem is that it gives too much away- the whole film in fact.

There is an 18minute making of documentary which is mainly the actors talking about their roles although there is some on the set footage. All in all it isn't that good but I found myself liking some of the characters more because I liked the actors- strange.

The cast audition tapes are lost on me, it seems that they just put them on because they had them. Had they been funny or informative then they would be a welcome addition but there really is no point to them what so ever.

Finally we have the usual Hard Gore trailer reel.

Review by Marc Woods

Released by Hard Gore
Rated 18 - Region All (PAL)
Extras :
see main review