Avoid this 'Turistas' trap

LIZ BRAUN - Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 5:23 AM ET

PLOT: Large-breasted backpackers visiting Brazil are drugged, robbed and lured to a remote jungle spot, in their string bikinis, so a nutcase can steal their organs. Fodor's never mentions stuff like this.

If Turistas were a bit better, it would be crap.

Since we are on record with our general loathing of the horror genre, you probably want a second opinion, and here it is: There were some aficionadi of the horror world at the screening of Turistas that we attended. They walked out halfway through.

Get the picture? Turistas isn't scary or disgusting enough to please the dubious fans of these snuff-lite outings, and it doesn't have nearly enough nudity to keep adolescent boys interested. So what's left?

Well, the story is idiotic, the dialogue moronic and the characters are cardboard cutouts. Stupid cardboard cutouts.

Turistas begins with a crowd of backpackers on a tour bus in Brazil. The bus is careening wildly along a mountainous road and, even more dangerous, the women are showing too much cleavage; any horror expert can do that math: Sexy = dead.

Alex (Josh Duhamel), his sister Bea (Olivia Wilde) and their friend Amy (Beau Garrett) are Americans travelling on the bus. They meet Pru (Melissa George), Finn (Desmond Askew) and Liam (Max Brown).

Later, the tourists find their way to a beach where they drink and dance with beautiful locals male and female. Music! Alcohol! Nice bums! Firm breasts! Mild abandon! Let the dying begin.

Through the usual inane plot developments, the tourist group gets led into the jungle to an isolated house on the river. Bwa-ha-ha, boys and girls.

Then the crazy bad guy comes and starts slicing and dicing the poor innocent tourists, pulling out organs left and right and helpfully explaining why he feels he's doing the right thing.

There are some interesting sequences in Turistas shot outside in the dark and underwater, where you can't really tell what's going on or who's getting knifed. In a film like this, that's sort of like adding insult to injury. Anyway, don't go.

BOTTOM LINE: Surprisingly boring and generally dim. And considering the North American diet, it's unlikely anyone wants your organs in the first place.

(This film is rated 14-A)


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