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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Smokey the Clown says: Don't drink the water.

Cabin Fever on IMDb

Plot Overview

spice bottlesNorth Carolina is “The Family State,” but residents of rural Bunyan County don't wanna get inbred. Old Man Cadwell (Robert Harris) hits on a colored girl (Cherie Rodgers) who comes into his family's general store. He laments the accidental loss of the pretty Shirley Temple bottles he'd had in stock. His son Tommy (Hal Courtney) helps take care of business at this their Ma & Pa store, but Ma isn't seen; her name is Lucille (Cadwell) like another TV celebrity: Lucille Ball. Completing the picture is the couple's young son Dennis (“a danger”) who looks and acts like Dennis the Menace, a comic strip character. His dad warns unwary customers, “Mongrel'l give you tetanus.” The hospital up the street has a mysterious fertility clinic tempting us to ask, “What's up, doc?” Their medical waste is disposed of by Deputy Winston Olsen (Giuseppe Andrews) who's been known to just toss it in the dump by the river. Old Man Cadwell knowing some­thing about breeding is careful his customers do not dump out his jar of fox urine. He explains care­fully, “Fox piss, that's powerful stuff. All the foxes in this community will come down here. You'll have friends you never had before.”

beastieThe dump festers and attracts flies. The feral dogs in the region root in it for food and have spread some kind of illness to the wildlife. Cousin Henry the Hermit (Arie Verveen) lives in a hovel in the woods with his german shepherd. His dog got sick and died, and now Henry is symptomatic. He seeks help from a beckoning bonfire but the partying kids maintain their distance.

Davidson–Davie Community College

cop writing ticketCollege friends Paul (Rider Strong), Karen (Jordan Ladd), Bert (James DeBello), Marcy (Cerina Vincent) and Jeff (Joey Kern) have now in December graduated from Davidson–Davie Community College and are on a well-earned, one-week vacation before heading home for Christmas. They have rented a cabin from Bunyan Mountain Get­aways. Deputy Winston confides to Paul, “This is a major party town.” He adds that, “It's like when you go to a new town and you're the new guy? All the girls see you walking down the street. They don't know you— It's like when I go party up at Wambusau. My cousin goes to school there. When I party at Wambusau, I know I'm gonna get pussy.” These guys are “the only out­siders” in a place looking to expand their gene pool. Unfortunately, when Hermit Henry gets a gander of Karen & (“I'm healthy”) Marcy, he makes a bee­line for the lovelies (“He's coming towards us”) and becomes the “friend you never had before.” Bert uses a fire­brand to keep him back (“We had no choice but to get rough,”) which sets him on fire. He runs into the woods and douses him­self in the reservoir where he drowns, and his undiscovered corpse contaminates their water supply leading to serious health problems.


Davie County Courthouse entrance

Graduation DayThe graduates hit the ground running. Marcy rolls down her car window and yells, “NO MORE EFFING FINALS!” She kindly lectures a kid on the street who looks like little Joey, foil for Dennis the Menace's ill-conceived advice: “Don't go to college. It's an effing scam.” Then they're off, through the historic district and past the Davie County Courthouse. Symbolically, we have law, road trip, history, politics, and even religion if we count the epigraph on the court­house. They've completed their final preparation for the real world.

Paul's campfire story concerns bowling at Lenny Mead's Brighton Bowl. He recounts, “There was a room with a pool table too, but my dad wouldn't let us go back there.” Paul says, “I still remember all the sounds.” I bet. The reason his dad wouldn't let him back there is he didn't want him remembering the bad words the men used.

Now at the general store Old Man Cadwell discusses, “Fox piss. That's powerful stuff.” He can use the word piss, because it's in the Bible (2Kings 9:8). But he doesn't say, “That's powerful sh!t” because that last word isn't. The collegiates, how­ever, use sh!t in this movie.

When asked about one of his set-asides, Old Man Cadwell replies, “That's for niggers.” That sobriquet is also biblical, (Acts 13:1) “Simeon … was called Niger” meaning black, the Latin word from which is derived our English word nigger. When Jeff remarks to Marcy on Cad's usage, she replies, “Jeff, don't repeat it. You can call it the ‘N’ word.” Bert declaims, “The racist fuck! [sic]” Bert's base­ball cap has F U written on it. The F–word is one the men in the back room presumably used, which we're to avoid. The new collegiate standard, though, is to use it—and they do liberally in this flick—but avoid the N–word.

Justice Robert Bork theorizes that there's a ration of perversion. We can, say, have one specially designated word so bad that in polite company it can only be called by its first initial, if mentioned at all. On other bad words, we can use symbols for some of their letters, or other abbreviations or alternatives. But there are only so many words we can treat this way. We can't have an F–word and an N–word in our active vocabulary. In this movie they couldn't. The college kids pulled a switcheroo on their parents' standards.

Then came distracted driving. Jeff the driver of the Chevy Blazer & Marcy in the passenger seat next to him were boy­friend & girl­friend (“They seem pretty in love.”) At least they didn't have an accident … this time.

Then in the cabin they jumped into bed together, Marcy saying, “We're here for a week and there's no-one here to bother us,” meaning they can fornicate to their hearts' content with­out their parents being any the wiser.

Paul and Karen had known each other since the 7th grade. Paul has had designs on her since the 8th. Karen seeing he likes her has been toying with him in some kind of control scheme. It's hard to tell what's going on with these two, but we're pretty sure it's below their parents' radar.

Bert likes to pilfer what's readily available. He takes a Snicker Bar from the store & some beef jerky from a vacant house. Probably hasn't been brought up that way.

They've refuted and mocked their parents and now on vacation find them­selves, by unusual though natural means, victims of a flesh-eating bacterium. It's not a great stretch to apply, (Prov. 30:17) “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.”

Production Values

” (2002) was written, produced & directed by Eli Roth who also plays a pothead named Justin in it. Roth was aided on the script by his roommate from film school Randy Pearl­stein—sounds Jewish. It stars Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, James DeBello, Cerina Vincent, Joey Kern & Jeff Hoffman. We saw a powerful performance from Strong. All the actors were great, and their characters spot-on. The country support cast were authentic and their homespun music refreshing.

MPAA rated it R for strong violence and gore, sexuality, language and brief drug use. The F–word was heavily employed through­out, and even the director used it in his commentary. Lots of gore in this one, but there's a “chick-vision” option that partially obscures gory scenes. There was a family-friendly version accommo­dated on my DVD, which didn't take up very much room once all objectionable stuff had been removed. I thought the SFX were cool and the back­ground music mesmerizing. It was filmed at Mt. Airy, North Carolina, USA, at Camp Raven Knob, and in California. It's 1½ hours long.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

Here's one Christmas movie without all the hype; your Jewish friends would appreciate it. The Mocksville Furniture Store was not decked out, and neither was the general store. No Christmas music was played and the only bells encountered were the girls' bell bottoms. Fact is the only Xmas indications given were the red traffic lights turning green on the way out of town and Bert's green hat contrasted with the red brake lights on the jeep. Mazel tov! The only reason I pegged it as Christmas fare was bare trees, fall foliage, and a December 16th graduation option listed in an on-line academic schedule.

This was a well done horror movie, especially if it's also included in the Fantasy category to take care of the anomalies. Use the included Chick Vision app to mitigate the gore if you think it would be a problem. I'll never tell.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done, compelling special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Bork, Robert H. Slouching Towards Gomorrah. New York: HarperCollins, 1996. Print.