2002′s Cabin Fever was the interesting little, gory horror flick that got the world all sorts of bothered and excited about Eli Roth. The film itself wasn’t a groundbreaking piece of cinema in any way, as it contained a relatively thin plotline concerning handsome, young, athletic people getting caught up in a bloody showdown with a flesh-eating virus in the middle of the woods. You know, the sinful and blasphemous getting killed off in descending order, until the only one left is the marginal outsider who didn’t partake or believe in the hedonistic ways of his companions and was shunned for his words of caution in the eye of danger-type of story.
What got viewers so worked up was the barefaced bluntness in which Roth depicted the gory violence and physical torture the characters went through, spurring an almost decade-long resurgence of the “Torture Porn Film”, where the mental (and in many people’s opinion, the more effective) side of horror was disregarded almost completely, instead relying solely on the visual shock factor. For Cabin Fever, it worked, partly because of the novelty of the approach and partly because of Roth’s insight into what makes a viewer flinch.
Roth went on to drilling kneecaps in the Hostel films and playing despicable minor characters in Tarantino flicks, while the Torture Porn Film went into a rapid downspiral around him, trying, and failing repeatedly, to imitate or elaborate on the inventive ways in which you can physically mutilate a person before killing them off. These films have gotten more extreme with each installment while numbing their viewers to the very violence that’s supposed to be shocking even further, reaching the point where the vast majority of people simply shrugs at the sensory abomination the Human Centipede films are. Today, almost all of these films, except only the most hyped ones, are confined to Video Hell from the very moment they are conceived.
However, that doesn’t stop indie company The Indomina Group from being very ambitious in their plans to keep this flailing subgenre alive, as they have announced not one, but two sequels to Cabin Fever (and Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, but let’s not talk about that one), to be shot back-to-back in the Dominican Republic next year.
Cabin Fever: Patient Zero and Cabin Fever: Outbreak will aim to raise the stakes for the flesh-eating virus from the first film, where in Patient Zero a whole cruise ship will become infected with the virus after colliding with an abandoned research vessel, and in Outbreak the virus will reach the mainland and threaten the very future of mankind.
What makes this project somewhat interesting is that despite the obvious link between the two films’ storylines and the back-to-back shoots, each film has a different screenwriter. Patient Zero will be written by Jake Wade Wall, who previously penned The Hitcher and When a Stranger Calls, while Outbreak will be written by Adam and Deborah Marcus. Adam wrote and directed 1993′s Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday and 2008′s Conspiracy, and wrote Leatherface 3D, due for release in 2012. A director has not yet been confirmed, but it would certainly be interesting to see different directors take on each film.
While the writers’ previous credits don’t exactly shout “Quality!” at you, it will certainly be intriguing to see if this ambitious project can elevate the Torture Porn Film from Video Hell, or maybe even give the genre some credibility again.
Are you excited/indifferent/happy/sad/furious/blasé/ambivalent about the prospect of more Cabin Fever films? Tell us.
- The Fever Continues – Cabin Fever: Patient Zero and Cabin Fever: Outbreak on the Way! (dreadcentral.com)
- Indomina catches “Cabin Fever” (moviemoxietme.wordpress.com)
- Indomina Will Bring Back Cabin Fever (scifitalk.com)