REST STOP (2006) THREE TOP HATS
I remember being very excited for this when it was first announced – Eli Roth was making some good shit and this was his production house – “Raw Nerve” – and they were going to put out super gory movies with tons of blood and boobs like he / we saw in the 80s. Then this went straight to DVD (for a reason) and I went out and rented it and I remember being very disappointed, so much that I didn’t ever try 2. Well, the other day I was looking for something FREE and I saw this on Showtime on Demand and gave it a shot. I can say to you, Good People, that this is very gory and has a couple of body double boobs, but, really, WTF? I like to call myself stupid out here but I don’t think I’m that dumb… what did I not get here? Are these butchered people she sees ghosts? Is she dead? How did she die? What’s with the fucking family in the bus? Is the trucker the devil? Is the rest stop “limbo”? The lady’s bathroom really blew up like that? Why is Joey Lawrence in this? How did the trucker film them doing it so close up, he would have been right behind them? For real, folks – am I missing something? Has anyone else seen this? It’s always difficult for me to do a rating on something like this. I mean it wasn’t very good, but it wasn’t THAT bad so, middle of the road 3 TH.
I have a feeling there’s supposed to be something deep going on here that the director didn’t effectively expose so, this will be a surface area synopsis because I am not going to spend a lot of time looking into what this could be all about (this is no INCEPTION, mind you). A good looking brunette (Jaimie Alexander) and her strange looking BF (Joey Mendicino) say SCREW YOU to Texas and head out to California to live out their American Dreams as big time Hollywood actors. Somewhere in the mountains of California they stop to do some sex and then stop so Alexander can have a piss.
After getting her pee on in the dirtiest place west of the Mississippi River, she exits the rest stop and finds her boyfriend has left her there! Shit! Fucker! For the next 70 minutes she is harassed by a guy in an old Ford pick-up, apparently sees some bloody ghosts (prior victims??), gets on a bus with Apollonia from Carnivale and her mutated, Polaroid picture taking kid, runs into Joey Lawrence who gets run over by the truck and just tries to make it to minute 86. I won’t spoil this wonderful movie for you but they leave everything open ended, and it doesn’t really make any sense. As well, the image on the cover above is not shown in here, but we do get this and… a sequel!!
REST STOP (2): DON’T LOOK BACK (2008) THREE TOP HATS
Well, I guess it’s fair to say that I liked this a lot better than the first one, I think because the entire movie didn’t depend on one person to carry the entire movie (especially when it seems she was still perfecting her work). This has the brother of the dude from the first one (a beefy Richard Tillman) and his old lady (Jessie Ward) trying to track down the whereabouts of their family and friends from Rest Stop. They also have the stereotypical geeky nerd hanging around for stupid one liners and the disgusting portable shitter scene (really people? did we need that?) and the “hey I’m a gas station weirdo who sleeps with ketchup all over his mouth so you’ll mistake me for dead” guy. Oh, of course there’s the killer in the truck again and more of Apollonia and her bizarre family.
I think it’s also fair to say that the world didn’t need Rest Stop: Don’t Look Back, but here we are. Like the first one, it’s really gory but at least this time they give some reasons behind what’s going on (even if those reasons are stupid) instead of just a bunch of random shit that made no sense. Having seen this, now I know what the fuck was going on in the first installment but, by my logic, the visionaries behind episode one couldn’t have had this in mind when they unleashed the first, so “good one” to the team that made the sequel, you guys are all aces in my book. Just kidding on that last part because this wasn’t that good but it was better than the first and even had some non body double boobs.
Anyway, the story is basically the same as the first with a little bit of explanation and no Joey Lawrence. We also get nerdy boy spending time getting rolled around in a shitty outhouse and later having sex with a ghost. In the end these two movies were OK and I wouldn’t be surprised or mind a third, I would just hold out hope that it could be better.