Written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky with the story by Michael and Sonny Mahal
Starring Tara Reid (American Pie Series, Sharknado Series, Alone in the Dark), Stefani Blake (in her debut role), Sadie Katz (Wrong Turn 6, Scorned, Blood Feast) and John Molinaro (Pool Party Massacre, Before the Dark)
“When a party bus on its way to Burning Man filled with a bunch of sexy young adults breaks down in the desert and in the middle of a group of Satanic worshipers, all hell breaks loose.”
Whenever I see the likes or Tara Reid, I think to myself that I’m either watching on of the various “American Pie” films or that I’ve stumbled across one of those “It’s so bad it’s good” horror films in which Ms. Reid seems to take a large interest in acting in as of late. I’m unaware if she just found a niche in the genre and that she is enjoying making these types of films or that she’s been forced into this position. Regardless of the outcome, I’ve always been able to count on her presence in a film to ensure my entertainment in one way or another.
“Party Bus From Hell” puts Reid’s name up in lights, selling her off to viewers as not only the film’s lead but also the main face on one of the versions of the film’s poster art and as an executive producer on the film. Typically in these scenarios, it would mean that said person has a very high interest in seeing the film succeed. Unfortunately, Reid’s character appears for an approximate total of about five minutes which is separated into a few scenes.
Following this time, she’s quickly killed off leaving viewers to wonder why she’d been showcased so heavily around the film. Of course, this is usually a cheap move from the productions part in order to reel in additional VOD or DVD buys. This is a tactic that I’m typically alright with seeing happen ( Robert Englund having a bit role in “The Funhouse Massacre” for example ) but when the “Guest Star” is being pushed that heavily and they end up dead within the first few scenes, it will usually just spell disappointment for viewers from that point on.
To top this entire debacle off, I have to say that Reid looked as if she had been drunk her entire time on set. As we all know, she’s had issues with this sort of thing in the past, so it seems somewhat likely to be the case but I’m not making any accusations. As her character was likely suffering from dehydration while having a very unstable mentality considering what she’s gone through in the desert, It’s also likely that this was her choice as an actress to portray the character in this way. Again, I’m not stating anything but simply making an observation.
Now, I don’t want to be completely negative about the film. If you know me at all, I like to find the positive in every situation I can and as for “Party Bus” I do like the ideas the film brings to the table such as bringing a group out into the desert, the involvement of a cult and the mystery revolving around what they want from the party goers.
I personally feel that if the ideas were fleshed out a little more, tweaking the script here and there while adding a few more scenes involving the cult and teasing what their motivations were to a deeper degree, the film could have had a much more solid effect on me and I could have appreciated it for more than just the practical effects, music and most of the comedic bits. Had this been done, it would have saved the film from having to use nudity in practically every scene to keep small minded individuals interested and entertained it what was going on.
It’s understandable that nudity is almost like a staple in cheesy horror films but they really overdid it here. Those who were seemingly unable to act, were typically shirtless and those who had the chops were usually forced to make sexual remarks to those who were indecent.
Again, the saving grace here are the practical effects which were done for a creature which I will keep quiet about for now. The rock music which really sets the tone for certain scenes and the weird stuff the cult does throughout the film are all the things that are able to give the film some sort of edge, albeit a small edge.
In all, the film suffers from the aforementioned issues but is still entertaining enough for a laugh. Plus, if you’re not a fan of Tara Reid, you can see her meet her bloody end in a quick and satisfying manner!
3 out of 10.
This week on Beyond The Void Horror Podcast is back with their segment #graveplots! Where they make a movie up on the spot. This week it’s Ouija Cop. About a cop who communes with the dead to solve crime. There’s even a faux trailer for the movie! You can listen here or you can Listen/Subscribe on iTunes here!