DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

TURISTAS (PARADISE LOST) (director: John Stockwell; screenwriter: Michael Arlen Ross; cinematographer: Enrique Chediak; underwater cinematographer: Peter Zuccarini; editor: Jeff McEvoy; music: Paul Haslinger; cast: Melissa George (Pru), Jack Duhamel (Alex), Beau Garrett (Amy), Olivia Wilde (Bea), Desmond Askew (Finn), Max Brown (Liam), Agles Steib (Kiko), Miguel Lunardi (Dr. Zamora), Lucy Ramos (Arolea), Jorge Só (Bus Driver), Julia Dykstra (Nurse), Olga Diegues (Annika), Gustav Roth (Svend); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: R; producers: John Stockwell/Scott Steindorff/ Bo Zenga/Marc Butan; Fox Atomic; 2006)

"An unpleasant horror thriller about revolting thrill-seeking tourists in Brazil."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An unpleasant horror thriller about revolting thrill-seeking tourists in Brazil getting into an adventure they didn't bargain for. It's directed by John Stockwell ("Blue Crush"/"Into the Blue"/"Dark Tide"), using the screenplay of  Michael Arlen Ross.

The 'Ugly Americans' are led by the overbearing and grumpy Alex (Josh Duhamel), who was forced by his parents to chaperone younger sister Bea (Olivia Wilde) and her party-animal pal Amy (Beau Garrett) on their tour of Brazil. The bus the trio is on careens off the twisty mountain coastal road somewhere in rural Brazil, and the impatient tourists decide not to wait for another bus that will come in a few hours. They are joined by the 'good time' boys, two Brits, Finn (Desmond Askew) and Liam (Max Brown), plus the backpacking loner traveler, the Portuguese-fluent Aussie Pru (Melissa George). The six youths, with the men bare-chested and the ladies sporting bikinis, split for a nearby beach bar. The stragglers miss the next bus and spend the night partying on the beach. Their drinks are drugged and in the morning they awaken with their valuables and passports stolen. With no one around to report the theft, they walk to the closest village for help but manage to only provoke the local children. Their new Brazilian teenage friend from the night, Kiko (Agles Steib), comes to their rescue and takes them to an isolated 'safe house', that can only be reached by crossing a waterfall with beautiful caves underneath it. They are now deep in the jungle, where they are to wait for 2 days for the next bus back to civilization. The sinister house has caged dogs, surveillance cameras and medical supplies. Soon the demented Dr. Zamora (Miguel Lunardi) and his armed goons arrive, and he tells them the chilling reason for why he brought them there is to take their organs and to donate them to a Rio People’s Hospital in order to “even the scales” against the world imperialism of rich countries by helping save the lives of the poor for a change.

We watch the tourists being gutted while still conscious, as torture also becomes the punishment for the viewer who must sit through a bogus lecture on the political issues between Third World countries and the affluent and then settle for a predictable gory slasher film that becomes increasingly tiresome and mindless.

REVIEWED ON 6/5/2015       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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