May’s Sinister Cinema presentation is nothing less than Cabin Fever’s latest installment. A gory prequel sets in the surrounding of the Caribbean. With clearly not as many big names (which here means big bucks) to back up the production like the original, Cabin Fever: Patient Zero is necessarily cheaper… but never the less an enjoyable B-movie, relatively true to its origins.
Following up on the success of Eli Roth 2002 horror hit, Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (the 3rd film in the series) relate the misadventures of Marcus and his three friends as they lure him in what should have been the ultimate bachelor party, an unforgettable night spent partying on a remote and deserted island in the Caribbean. Unaware of the horror awaiting there, the group set sails to an actual undercover research facility, bent on finding a cure to the infamous flesh-eating virus.
A blood bath
Like its predecessors, Patient Zero is a gory blood bath not intended for everyone. As in the first film, the virus strike fast and the aftermath is as flamboyant as it is disgusting. Add to that careless young adults drinking and doing drugs, a sex scene that you know will end up in a terrible mess, and a parallel story in the facility revolving around patient zero; Everything is set for the new disturbing chapter of this gutsy nightmare. Even if this production had clearly less financial means than its predecessor, the six crew still manage to deliver intense and graphic bloody carnage. As soon as the firsts victims contract the disease, the film is an escalade of effects that never stops and culminates in an unforgettable fight scene on the beach.
Although the special effects crew survived the blow to financing, the rest of the movie suffers in comparison to the Eli Roth opus. The original Cabin Fever was a B-movie idea developed as a Hollywood-scale project. Presented by Quentin Tarantino and scored by no other than Angelo Badalamenti, everything clashed against a gruesome and simple story. Cabin Fever: Patient Zero is a “natural” B-movie in every aspect. From the tacky story to the sometime questionable directing and acting, nothing reached higher than its B-status. The facility scenes are particularly cliché and WAY less than what they attempted to achieve. The result is some crappy looking sets that make no sense, probably underlit on purpose. The acting does not reach to higher levels either. While I am willing to excuse the partying group, the scientist team is dreadful and bares no credibility what so ever. In the mist of all the questionable acting, I do want to concede to two surprises. First, Sean Austin a.k.a. Lord Of The Rings’ Sam Gamgee, bizarrely cast as Patient Zero, delivers a surprisingly good job considering the surroundings and the nature of the part. Second, Ryan Donowho (which I admit I did not know) successfully and easily stands out of the pack. Not only does he do a surprisingly solid job, his performance manages to bring a bit more credibility to the rest of the cast when around him.
But to be honest, all these weakness should not keep you away of this month’s Sinister Cinema’s screening. Not only do they bring some kind of “fun” to the viewing, but even are, in way, necessary for any B-movie worthy of this genre! Really, but really not for everyone, it should please hardcore amateurs of the genre and expectation-less adventurers.
Watch out for the opening credit slow-motion shots… a true piece of craftsmanship really worth seeing.
Cabin Fever: Patient Zero is a one night only event on Thursday May 29th at 7:30 PM in a Cineplex near you.