June 14, 2014

SUMMER OF BLOOD, Day 14: Turistas (2006)

Directed by John Stockwell. Starring Josh Duhamel ("Alex"), Melissa George ("Pru"), Olivia Wilde ("Bea"), and Desmond Askew ("Finn"). Rated R.

Source: Region 1 DVD (20th Century Fox)
Running time: 01:35:49 (Unrated)
Country: USA

A bus accident in Brazil unites a bunch of tourists, who find themselves stranded with a bunch of locals out in the middle of Rio De Janowhere. Fortunately for them, they discover a secluded beach nearby that looks like Heaven on Earth. Naturally, they decide to just stay and party at the beach and skip the next bus that's scheduled to arrive later. YOLO!

Yeah that turns out to be a big mistake. Stupid tourists. Speaking of which, I never had any desire to watch this one over the years. I'm not a fan of "tourist horror" movies, especially of the post-HOSTEL "torture porn" variety. Well, that's pretty much exactly what TURISTAS ended up being, minus the shock value turned up to eleven. Fortunately for me, this ended up being a decent movie. In the event that it sucked, the back-up plan would've been to just write about how hot Olivia Wilde and especially Beau Garrett look in this. This could've ended up being a masterpiece and Beau Garrett's body still would have been the highlight for me. Yeah, I took a lot of screen shots.

Speaking of Beau and Olivia, and even Melissa George who looks pretty damn good in a bikini, the first 25 minutes of TURISTAS is pure eye candy when you add a bunch of the stereoptypically gorgeous Brazilian women into the mix. But anyway, the group of tourists end up partying the night away on the beach, only to wake up in the morning with a mean hangover and all of their personal belongings missing. That said, like most movies of this type, the characters have the times of their lives and enjoy the excess of their surroundings before being catapulted into a Hellish nightmare. Overnight, Brazil goes from being a sexual Disneyland to looking like the worst piece-of-shit place on the planet.

Luckily for the characters in TURISTAS, they meet the one local who actually seems trustworthy. He acts as their tour guide and helps them completely forget about the fact that they're fucked by taking them to swimming at some nearby spots. In the meantime, some gringo-hating kidney-thieves are introduced who naturally set their sights on the massive collection of white people that just so happen to be stranded.

I thought this would indeed end up going the shock route and getting downright nasty, but this basically turned out to be more of a thriller with a few moments of violence and gore thrown in. The main set-piece consists of a character slowly getting disemboweled while they're still awake. TURISTAS does a good job of creating anticipation for something terrible, which, aside from my own expectations, is why I thought it was gonna go the route that I mentioned earlier. There's obviously a threat established early on, so it's just a matter of waiting for the bad shit to happen. Ultimately, I liked how that all played out. For the most part, you don't know what's coming or when it's gonna happen, but you know there's some awful shit on the horizon for the characters here. I don't have much more to say about this one. I enjoyed it for what it is. Olivia Wilde is amazing. Beau Garrett is the perfect blend of cute and sexy. Obligatory gore and boobs - delivered. The locations are gorgeous. There's also an awesome set-piece towards the end that involves a lot of beautifully-shot underwater action. But between this and the ELITE SQUAD movies, I don't think I'll be going to Brazil anytime soon.

Score: 7

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