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Overall Rating

Awesome: 19.3%
Worth A Look: 7.02%
Just Average: 8.77%
Pretty Crappy: 10.53%

1 review, 51 user ratings

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Rest Stop
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by David Cornelius

"I've seen remakes more original than this."
1 stars

In the entire 85 minute running time of “Rest Stop,” there is not a single frame that is fresh, exciting, or even remotely interesting. This is a flat horror effort that ranges from dull to unintentionally hilarious to, finally, tiresome. It’s the sort of movie where the creators spent all their time thinking up new ways to torture people, but forgot to think up even one way to make their film watchable.

The film, written and directed by former sci-fi TV scribe John Shiban, is the first from Warner Brothers’ new “Raw Feed” imprint. The division is to be dedicated to direct-to-video horror and sci-fi features, which is nice to see; studios have been warming up to the legitimacy of the DTV world (no doubt after seeing how much quick cash their DTV sequels can produce), and the creation of Raw Feed promises a stronger dedication to B-level titles that’s quite welcome in many circles.

Unfortunately, their premiere effort is a straight-up clunker. “Rest Stop” finds young couple Nicole (Jaimie Alexander) and Jess (Joey Mendicino) tearing out of Texas en route to Hollywood, where dreams of fame and fortune await. After pausing to videotape themselves having a little roadside afternoon delight, the young lovers are briefly terrorized by a faceless redneck in a rundown pickup. Later, Nicole heads into the world’s filthiest restroom, located in the world’s filthiest rest stop, off the world‘s filthiest back road (because I guess interstates do not exist in this movie). She leaves to discover Jess and his car have disappeared, and she’s in the middle of nowhere, and, oh, look, the dude in the pickup is back.

Imagine a script that takes the most famous/memorable/mildly notable moments from “The Vanishing,” “Joy Ride,” “Jeepers Creepers,” “Saw,” “Hostel,” “Wrong Turn,” the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remake, and about a dozen other recent horror movies, then decides that it people liked such moments the first time (or in some of the lesser original movies’ cases, the second or third time), surely they’ll still like them if they’re repeated, only without any skill. “Rest Stop” is the horror movie equivalent of a hits medley performed by a fifth-rate bar band.

The film is so reliant on old ideas that by the time the mobile home pulls up and Nicole finds herself riding with a family of evangelical freaks, or by the time she gets a hold of a helpful stranger on the radio, or a dozen other dried-up plot points, we know exactly how things are going to turn out. It’s horror by numbers - one even gets the feeling that Shiban wrote Nicole as a kick-ass, fight-back heroine not because it’d make for a fascinating character, but just because, hey, babes in dirty tank tops is the trendy thing to do in horror movies, so yeah, let’s just go with that. (It’s surprising he didn’t just give up and name the character “Jessica Biel.”)

Then again, Nicole is the only truly entertaining thing about the movie - if only because she’s such a badly written, poorly performed character. Alexander’s performance is simply dreadful. Watch how she non-reacts to the idea of her boyfriend being horribly mutilated; her nonchalance is equally embarrassing and hilarious. So is her eventual breakdown, when everyone on the set suddenly remembers that she might want to cry or scream or worry or, you know, something, and so Alexander does, to amusing effect.

On top of this, her Nicole is apparently the dumbest woman to ever grace a horror movie set. You know those slasher flicks where you love to yell back at the screen about just how idiotic the victim is being? “Don’t run up those stairs, moron!” “Don’t put down that knife, dumbass, you’ll need it later!” That sort of thing? Here’s a whole movie about that person. In Nicole, we have a character who, while sitting on the ground next to a loaded gun, just sits and watches as the killer walks around her, a character who, knowing the killer is outside, squeezes her hand through a hole in a door, figuring, hey, who needs all her fingers?

Granted, all of this would be enjoyable in a sinister kind of way had the film been able to produce a single scare, fright, or even jump. But no: Shiban mistakes weird and loud for creepy, dirty and gruesome for scary, yelling a whole lot by a dying Joey Lawrence (I repeat: Joey Lawrence!) for dramatic intensity. (I highly doubt that the sight of Lawrence, playing an injured cop, screaming at Nicole for her to put him out of his misery, was supposed to be as funny as it turns out to be. And the scene is the set-up to a fairly gross punchline that’s hilarious because it fails to be either frightening or macabre.)

Shiban plasters his movie with grime, both on the set and in his camera lens, hoping a grainy film stock and lots of slippery blood on the floor will make up for a lack of genuine tension. (He also hopes that by showing us a sign that says “REST STOP” fifty times in eighty minutes, we’ll remember the title of his picture.) Dirt and a shaky camera alone do not make for cinematic chills, and “Rest Stop” is a horror cheapie on autopilot, throwing us tired devices and buckets of blood, hoping that’ll be enough. It’s not.

A side thought: It’s interesting to note that “Rest Stop” is being released in both unrated and rated-R editions. It’s a sharp, if entirely laughable, ploy by the studio to draw attention to the title. After all, many renters see “unrated!” and “too much for theaters!” and start drooling, and who’s going to stop and think “hey, this never played in theaters, so who cares about the rating anyway?”

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15203&reviewer=392
originally posted: 10/17/06 17:33:34
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User Comments

1/07/16 David Hollingsworth a brain dead horror movie 1 stars
11/30/10 Nasty Dose and Infa Gloom Punk Infa Gloom Punk says this movies locks you in a cage of Scottie's Blog Expose oioioi 4 stars
3/14/10 Maximus Thunderclap A true genre piece - complete with nonsense. Save the supernatural, I enjoyed it- "largely" 3 stars
5/21/09 Yaz Ay yo fuck dat dis movie was good she got what she deserved dats the point yall idiots go K 5 stars
4/30/09 Richard Neva Great horror film 5 stars
2/10/09 george it sucks 1 stars
11/04/08 JAMMco oh... my... goodness... life is too short to waste watching this movie... and they made 2?? 1 stars
10/14/08 Shaun Wallner Great Film! 5 stars
7/20/08 Jess This movie made me angryNicole = most useless human ever In the end I rooted for the killer 1 stars
2/02/08 wounkeo Definitely THE dumbest, most brain dead characters in horror 1 stars
11/28/07 Shane I actually thought that this movie was very funny because it was so stupid and poorly made! 1 stars
11/20/07 George Stupidest characters in stupidest movie I have ever seen. 1 stars
10/30/07 rosa calleja its very good excelet.make another one part2plase 5 stars
10/04/07 michelle I liked the movie alot watched it 2x. Strange characters... 5 stars
9/17/07 Monday Morning Loved it but I'm inbred. Don't even get this "star" rating system. doi! 1 stars
8/21/07 Roscoe By far the worst movie ever made. The acting was a steaming pile of horse shit. 1 stars
7/21/07 Brennan This movie had the stupidest main character, I felt like yelling at my screen 2 stars
6/22/07 Mark Could barely sit through it so lame, and I like horror movies so dumb, awful 1 stars
6/04/07 Wendy If you liked this movie, you are as dumb as Nicole was in the movie!! 1 stars
4/23/07 David Pollastrini good gore and hot women! 4 stars
4/20/07 avi what a pile of shit 1 stars
2/26/07 Lisa She should have ran 60 miles to the next town and taken her gay-ass movie with her!! 2 stars
2/19/07 Guapa What a load of crap 1 stars
1/20/07 Sara amazing <3 5 stars
12/17/06 Charles Not a good movie, but there weren't any plot holes like some idiots suggest. 3 stars
12/17/06 amir it was perfect 5 stars
12/11/06 RR Possibly the worst horror movie ever! 1 stars
12/10/06 Alana It was the best movie I have ever seen! You should watch it, its pretty gory. 5 stars
12/09/06 Albert This movie is horrible. It does not make sense whatsoever. 1 stars
12/08/06 Unknown Screenwriter Thank God I only rented it. 1 stars
12/04/06 Ashley it was good and confusin i almost like threw up alot it was gross but it was good 3 stars
12/03/06 Kristin I liked it but inbredish people always scare me! 4 stars
12/03/06 Indrid Cold Gave me the impression that even the filmmakers didn't know what was going on. 2 stars
11/27/06 Rick Movie was good, but ending sucked. Nice tits but ugly nipples. 3 stars
11/26/06 Kelly this just never went anywhere...we didnt even get to see what he did to her...just bad! 2 stars
11/23/06 Amanda this movie was insane....CREEPY PLOT 5 stars
11/19/06 Brittany Nice plotline. Brilliant! 5 stars
11/15/06 Mikey wtf was this? I want my 85 minutes back 1 stars
11/14/06 Drew Total waste of my life 1 stars
11/13/06 naim ali dumbest movie ever award goes to......."rest stop" ......wait where did the award go?, its 1 stars
11/12/06 Brian Ray She is surrounded by forrest yet she repeatly runs out onto the road in front of the truck 1 stars
11/11/06 Russell It was okay preaty good movie to watch solo but the ending was total shit 2 stars
11/11/06 Matt Very good movie to watch alone 4 stars
11/03/06 Erin Dude.. I was completely lost! Where the man and woman go? GRRR 1 stars
11/02/06 Matthew Where did the cop and the woman go, one minute there's blood everywhere and the next gone?? 1 stars
11/01/06 KAREN MATLOCK stupid! 1 stars
11/01/06 Ben Movie was way wayyyy too predictable... 2 stars
10/31/06 Amy the movie mad no sense to me and was stupid 3 stars
10/31/06 Caressa "Nichole, put it in my mouth! you missed!" lmao! this sucked!! 1 stars
10/31/06 Justine I thought this movie was outragious.. it was really good. 5 stars
10/28/06 Jennifer Suckiest movie I have ever seen!!!! 1 stars
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  17-Oct-2006 (R)
  DVD: 17-Oct-2006



Directed by
  John Shiban

Written by
  John Shiban

  Jaimie Alexander
  Deanna Russo
  Joseph Lawrence
  Joey Mendicino
  Nick Orefice
  Mikey Post

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