Trips to Hell

I watched THE RUINS recently, a flick that seemed to get mostly good reviews but tanked at the box office. I suppose your average mouth breather had believability issues with the flesh eating vines. I hope I didn’t give anything away there. I read the book a couple years back and liked it it but thought it would be a tough sell as a movie. The vines are also very crafty and can mimic sounds that they have heard in order to lure prey. They are never really explained and I liked that as it seemed creepier. I suppose the bottom line is once again while on vacation, if the locals tell you not to go somewhere, you probably shouldn’t. You don’t wanna end up like sometime Gorillanaut reader E. Fouquet. They kept a lot of the plant mimicry in the movie, a fact I’m sure that caused multiplex viewers to say “Oh, come on.” But I like the fact that this pleasant beach trip takes a horrible hellish turn into to something so unknown and irrational that it seems that you are in hell itself.

                                  ” No margaritas, only killer vines and tecate, 200 pesos”


The presence of carnivorous vines that mimic your voice just to fuck with you is pure nightmare stuff that totally contradicts your reality, not to mention the cutting of vines out of your flesh or sawing another guys legs off, only to have the vines carry them off.

I suppose I can see why people with lesser imaginations didn’t buy it, but it is a grim and gruesome picture with some skill behind it.

                                         ” let’s get these babies on the grill”



                                  “But it’s spring break and I wanted to meet Mark McGrath”

THE RUINS reminded of one of one of my favs about completely illogical, nightmarish things-the giant, telepathic, bullet proof, man eating crabs of Roger Corman’s ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS.  A group of scientists on a deserted island have to fight off radioactive giant crabs that eat the brains of their victims then telepathically project their victims voices in order to lure the others into a trap. It makes no sense except on a nightmare level and despite the low budget and paper mache giant crabs, is pretty effective. (On a related note, how about a Criterion set of 50’s Corman. It would sell and all that is available now is pretty crappy. My CRABS pics are from vhs). The crabs are smart and systematically blow up the island with some sort of mutant power in order to herd the humans together so they can feast and breed.

CRABS is a perfect example of how to make something cheap but with unique concepts and with Russell Johnson. I imagine the screenplay by Charles Griffith deserves a lot of the credit. The Ronald Stein score is great also.    


  1. hey kids … here’s a tip:

    if you’ve been driving down some road for like 10 minutes … and suddenly all you see are pawn shops, bail bondsmen, and the occasional tattoo parlor … you probably shouldn’t roll down your window at an intersection and ask for directions from those guys hanging out around the liquor store.

  2. I’m almost finished with the book…it’s really damn good! It looks like they got rid of one of the characters from the book for the film and did a composite kind of thing.

    It’s a Greek dude that loses his legs not the German…but it looks pretty true to the story. I see that the author also did the screenplay so that bodes well…

    Man, those vines seriously fuck with these poor kids…the mimicry of sounds and smells, actual taunting, burrowing into open wounds…good stuff.

    I’m anxious to watch it.

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