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RATED Not Rated
STUDIO Chemical Burn Entertainment
RUNNING TIME 80 Minutes
Like watching your creepy aunt’s vacation videos…from a swingers convention.
Carla Anderson, Violet Sweet, Persephone
Bringing exploitation back into the movies with this racy saga of the Clitorians – a group of lusty aliens who inhabit a “Lost World” inside a volcano. While they await the arrival of their Dark Lord, the Jungle Vampires stay eternally young by feasting on the flesh, bones and blood of unsuspecting tourists. Their latest conquest is the sweet young, Tiffany, a sorority cheerleader who disappears in the Costa Rican jungle during Spring break. In hot pursuit is her sister Carla, who is psychically tuned into the younger sibling’s plight and must rescue her before she is digested as jungle stew.
Let’s start with some disclosure: I enjoy “bad” movies and “camp” movies. Both of these terms are in quotes because they’re so wildly subjective, and truth be told, a whole hell of a lot of cinema that others consider poorly made I find quite loveable. There’s a certain joy to be found in something made with tremendous heart, dedication and effort, even if the end result is arguably crappy. A common reference point (especially since the Tim Burton biopic) is Ed Wood — his shaggy dog films are charming due in no small part to the fact that a great amount of passion was poured into them, however talentless or misguided. The same goes for stuff like The Room, or Birdemic. When the creator believes in his project you feel their ambition on the screen, even if in the most unintended of ways. It’s in this way that, for me, it’s hard to be completely dismissive of most movies.
All this being said, Skin Eating Jungle Vampires is an unmitigated pile of shit.
It’s been said that you can grab any image from a Kubrick film and hang it on a wall in a museum, as each and every frame is composed like a work of art. Imagine the exact opposite of that and you have this unholy aberration. Any attempt at making screen grabs for this article resulted in a horribly composed, lit and framed piece of blurry digital vomit. Every moment looks as though it was shot with a 1980′s era VHS camera with KY Jelly smeared on the lens, then the finished product was transferred at EP speed onto tapes purchased at a 99 cent store before finally being compressed into a digital video file that would make 64 kbps mp3s sound like Hollywood master tapes.
Ok, so the production values are ultra-low budget, as is the duplication process for this release. I can accept that. Now onto the “movie” itself…
The feature begins with some stock-looking footage of the jungle, which is soon revealed to be Costa Rica. As a fan of films like Zombie Holocaust I am completely on board with stock inserts like this, except these stock images appear to have been created as promotional material for a third rate Motel 6 chain in central America…and with the same awful equipment used for the rest of the production. Meanwhile, canned jungle noises and pan flute music provided by Mrs. Stevensen’s 2nd grade orchestra clutter the speakers.
The action begins with a chubby girl with exposed midriff running through the jungle as she’s pursued by female “natives” in elaborate costumes purchased from one of those day-after Halloween stores that pop up in vacant stripmall properties. After her capture, she’s subjected to a full 5 minutes of being gently spanked. Apparently, these are our titular Skin Eating Jungle Vampires, but they all look like strippers from a club that pays them with the all-you-can-eat chili dog bar in lieu of cash. We then cut to an apartment in New York where we learn that the sister of our spanking victim (who looks like Cynthia Rothrock after a few too many roundhouses to the head) has just had a nightmare premonition about her sibling in Costa Rica. I guess this means she can “shine” or some such bullshit. A few paragraphs of painful line reading later (and some flashbacks of the imperiled sister in her cheerleading days where she dances like the fat lady on the roof of Frank Booth’s car in Blue Velvet), our “hero” heads down to Costa Rica to save the day.
What follows is about 60 minutes of A) New York sister wandering around Costa Rica, eating out at restaurants, going swimming, driving around aimlessly and hiking in the jungle, intercut with B) the captive sister being naked group-groped by the “natives” who occasionally (and inexplicably) smear blood all over themselves while making out.
Sweet Christ, that’s really all there is for most of the duration of the “film”. Eventually, the New York sister finds the jungle sister (apparently her OJ Simpson approach to finding the real killers actually works as she spends most of her time skinny dipping and generally doing nothing in service of the “story” or locating her sister).
At this point I’ve already spent more effort writing this review than the entire crew of this movie did in making the goddamn thing. Between the sub-porno acting and the across-the-board ugliness of this monstrosity, there isn’t any evidence to be found that anyone associated with this abomination gave two shits about it. My theory is the producer wanted to take a Costa Rica vacation and fool around with bargain-basement strippers, so he hatched a plan: fly them a few hours south, film them having the least sexy lesbian scenes in all of recorded history, record some random shots around the hotel and the beach and then get some poor, pathetic asshole to do the only thing close to requiring effort in this scheme — edit the garbage together into something vaguely resembling a plotline. Finally, our ingenious producer writes it all off as a business expense and calls it a day. Nothing else can explain this 70 minute kick in the balls.
Skin Eating Jungle Vampires offers nothing for no one. Devoid of even camp entertainment value or usability as whacking material (as it certainly was intended), this unqualified failure is a fucking insult to anyone unfortunate enough to see it. The CHUD rating system only allows for ratings as low as 1/2 star, but that is still a positive value. This lazy, uninspired bag of moldy tangerines actively punishes the viewer, therefore demanding a valuation of negative stars.
The only “special features” included on the disc (which is sold as a DVD-R!) are some outtakes that display how the crew is clearly having far more fun than any audience member possibly could and some trailers for other heinous films by Chemical Burn Entertainment.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars