The Mexican exploitation gene runs strong in Vacation of Terror director’s Rene Cardona III’s family, so I figured this horror flick would be pretty good. I mean his father; Rene Cardona, Jr. directed the despicable Jim Jones cash-in,
In a very Black Sunday opening scene, a bunch of Mexican peasants burn a witch at the stake. Afterwards, the villagers throw all of the witch’s baby dolls down a well and seal it up. Several years later, some smug Mexican bastard inherits the witch’s digs out in the country and takes his family out there for a much needed vacation. The family isn’t there for five minutes and his snot nosed brats have already opened up the well and stolen the witch’s doll babies.
And these toys ain’t from Fisher Price either.
These are possessed toys that can do nasty things like make mommy’s stomach grow and distend like she was about to give birth to Alien. Daddy quickly takes her to the hospital and leaves the kids with a sitter and that’s when things REALLY start to get weird. The demonic doll baby causes all sorts of supernatural shenanigans: Fires start and disappear, rats and snakes begin turning up in the fridge, paintings bleed, and all the sinister toys start moving around by themselves. The babysitter finally starts earning her 20 pesos an hour when she finally throws the doll into the fireplace. Even though the toy is sufficiently burned to a crisp (along with the vacation home) in the end, that doesn’t stop it from showing up for the gratuitous set-up for a sequel that happened two years later.
Honestly, it would’ve been scarier if all of this happened to the Griswolds.
Okay, so what starts out as a fairly decent South of the Border witch movie quickly switches gears to being a second rate haunted house movie to becoming a dreadful psychic killer doll flick. As bad as all of this is, it’s really hard to truly despise any movie that blatantly rips off House by the Cemetery, Ghosthouse, Dolly Dearest, Poltergeist, Cathy’s Curse, Amityville Horror, Carrie and Xtro with such head-spinning incoherency. Even with a scant running time of less than 80 minutes though, your patience will still be tested once too often to make this a vacation worth taking.