Friday, June 9, 2017

SIFF 2017: 'Jungle Trap' (2016) Movie Review

So some of you, like me, are way into long-lost, shot-on-video oddities that spring forth from the minds of lunatics. You know who you are and you know what I’m talking about and if you don’t, you probably don’t need to read any further, because the movie we’re about to discuss, Jungle Trap, isn’t for you.

James Bryan is something of a legend when it comes to SOV horror and havoc. I’ve seen the likes of Lady Street Fighter, Hell Riders, and Don’t Go in the Woods, but he’s helmed tons more, many with fantastic titles like Beach Blanket Bango and Sex Aliens. For the uninitiated, that should give you a clue where this man’s proclivities lie.

Originally shot in 1990, Jungle Trap was essentially lost—actually, it wasn’t lost so much lost as it languished, incomplete, in Bryan’s shed ever since—until those purveyors of fine trash at Bleeding Skull came across the pieces. Immediately springing into action, they Kickstarted funds, assembled the film, put together a synth-heavy score, and voila, 26 years later, Jungle Trap is ready for public consumption. And by public consumption, I mean it’s ready for a bunch wingnuts and weirdos to seek it out and get their minds broke a little bit.

The plot revolves around an expedition that travels to an abandoned hotel in the middle of the South American jungle, a hotel haunted by the vengeful spirits of a slaughtered native tribe. Along the way there are many decapitations, angry ghost warriors, and a super drunk bush pilot, among other peculiarities and flourishes of mayhem. And that doesn’t even begin to describe how bonkers this shit is.

Jungle Trap is a spectacle that needs to be witnessed first hand. I even braved a midnight show at the Seattle International Film Festival to see this bit of off-kilter madness. That’s so far past my bedtime, but it was worth every second. [Grade: A]

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