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WELCOME TO SPRING BREAK (1988) **

An innocent biker is sentenced to the electric chair and vows to get revenge on the people who set him up.  Meanwhile a deranged killer wearing a motorcycle helmet is running around electrocuting teenagers during Spring Break.  A studly quarterback and a homely bartender team up to solve the murders and stop the killer.

 

Director Umberto (Cannibal Ferox) Lenzi filmed this back to back with Hitcher in the Dark, which utilizes many of the same locations (and the same Winnebago).  Welcome to Spring Break is curiously lacking the same sleazy spirit as that flick and as a result, it’s not nearly as much fun.  Another debit is that the psycho gives us little variation in his kills because he mostly just murders the teens via electrocution.  The special effects are also pretty substandard as nearly all of them consist of black face paint to simulate the burns.  And the only T & A comes from a wet T-shirt contest that briefly gets out of hand.  Sigh.  I did like the class clown character that cried wolf one too many times though.

 

It’s funny because there is simultaneously too much and not enough going on in this movie.  There’s the subplot with the biker gang trying to get revenge for the death of their comrade, the corrupt town officials trying to cover up the murders, and the teens investigating the death of their friend.  Then, of course there’s the killer going around barbecuing teens.  None of this ties together in a particularly satisfying way. 

 

Since I have a high tolerance for mediocre 80’s slashers, I didn’t necessarily hate Welcome to Spring Break.  If anything, you can get a kick out of the cast.  We’ve got John Saxon playing yet another shady sheriff that harbors a dark secret.  Then there’s the great Michael Parks as the alcoholic doctor helping to cover up the murders.  I also thought it was cool that the lead teenager was played by Nicolas De Toth, the son of director Andre De Toth; the man who made the immortal House of Wax.  The younger De Toth quickly gave up acting and became an editor on such films as Terminator 3, Live Free or Die Hard, and X-Men Origins:  Wolverine.  Hey man, I’ve got to give the dude props for knowing where his true talents lie.

 

AKA:  Nightmare Beach.

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