Few movies are more hit-and-miss than low-budget horror. Most of these are direct-to-video offerings that previously hoped to be picked up at a video store — with cover art that was always better than the film itself. Back in the days of browsing through videos at the local Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, and small mom-and-pop shops, there was always something laying around waiting to be picked up by the horror junkie in need of a fix.
The only way to find out if anything is worth watching from Redbox, or blind-buying on Amazon these days, are online reviews, or reading user comments. Sadly for writer/director Cary Hill’s Scream Park, there’s not much hope for anyone seeing his film, being released on DVD via Wild Eye Video on April 22.
Fright Land amusement park is closing its doors and its workers couldn’t care less. Lack of business has run the park bankrupt, but the owner, Mr. Hyde (Hellraiser’s Doug Bradley) has a plan up his sleeve. He hires a couple of serial killers to dispatch his lowly employees, hoping that the tragedy will make the park a sensation. Now, masked madmen are running around the park picking everyone off one-by-one.
Who will make it through the night? Honestly, who cares with this group of “teens.” No one has remotely any acting ability, making it difficult for viewers to care about anyone. They’re all set up as standard horror fodder, but it takes forever for any of them to finally bite it. A full half hour plods along before even the first victim — a poor security guard no less — is hanged and stabbed. Just one of the many things wrong with the film is Hill’s abysmal staging.
And poor Conneaut Lake Park deserves better being featured in this and the far better — but still not very good — The Road. The best part about the film was writing this review, merely to learn that Conneaut Lake Park now turns itself into a haunted attraction every October called “Ghost Lake.” Any Hollywood film being churned out these days is better than this “ode” to the slasher heydays of the ’80s, leaving Scream Park nothing to scream about.