From writer/director Rolfe Kanefsky, Party Bus to Hell sees a group of horned-up, boozed-up partiers heading across the desert on their way to the famed Burning Man festival. Unfortunately for these disposable teens, getting laid and overindulging in beer and drugs has to take a backseat when their coach runs across a deranged cult who are baying for blood!
The above is pretty much the spoiler-free essentials of Party Bus to Hell’s plot, and said so-so plot is the least of the picture’s problems. For you see, Party Bus to Hell is a stinker. An utter, utter stinker. You know, one of those films that you actually find yourself left open-mouthed at the idea that somehow this got made and was actually put out for release.
Now let’s be clear, here at STARBURST we will always try and look for any semblance of silver lining in a product. After all, people have put their blood, sweat, and tears in to such things, and it’s only right and just to at least find something positive to say. If we’re being honest, with Party Bus to Hell that’s quite the tall order.
Given the micro-budget involved in such a film, it’s easy to accept lesser production values or shoddy SFX works, but it doesn’t cost a dime to keep your dialogue away from lines such as “Cut her tits off”, “My gift is my dick”, and “God, I’m so fucking wet right now”. From the moment Tara Reid stumbles on to the screen during its opening moments, you’re half-expecting a bumpy ride, but Party Bus to Hell continues to derail at a ridiculous pace until you just come to the realisation that this is complete trash.
One major problem with the movie is that all of the supposed protagonists are completely unlikeable. Likewise, the bad guys of the piece aren’t the sort who you have the urge to cheer on, ala some other horror villains. So you’re left with not a single character you give a shit about throughout the whole film, with the acting on show being downright depressing to watch. In fairness, Vidonna Michaels does well as one of the lead characters who finds themselves caught up in this literal hell (both for them and for the viewing audience!), and Devanny Pinn is good in a small role in which she’s one of the rare few people who don’t go topless in the film. Hey, we’re not against nudity, and blood, gore, and sex has so often been a part of the horror genre over the decades, but Party Bus to Hell just goes too far, too soon, with it coming across as if the film has been directed by a 12-year-old boy who’s never seen a boob before and all of a sudden has the keys to the kingdom.
Needless nudity, poor acting, awful dialogue, unlikeable characters aside, there’s at least… there’s… well, there was… nah, we’ve got nothing. There are no saving graces, there are no silver linings. None that make this worth struggling through, at least. And trust us, this is a picture that we would’ve loved to have switched off halfway through, but we endured for you, faithful reader. We guess that if there was one good thing to come out of this one, it’s that it will give you hope that, yes, you very well can make a movie, too, should you so wish. After all, if this has somehow gotten made then there’s no way you could do any worse of a job.
Classless, crude, downright sleazy, and nowhere near as edgy and cool as it may well think it is, Party Bus to Hell is a dud of the highest order. There was no party, and the real hell is dished out to the poor souls who have had the misfortune of watching the film. And if that’s not enough, the closing credits give promise that a sequel will be happening at some point. Please, no. Just no.
As for why we’ve given the film two stars, well we generally have to give even the worst of stinkers a one-star rating. For the bump up to two stars, you can thank Vidonna Michaels, Devanny Pinn, and a nicely done opening credits sequence. Other than that, there is nothing here to waste your time on. Absolutely nothing. As we mentioned earlier, we try to search for positives in everything we review here at Moonbase Alpha, so the above words may seem a tad harsh. But trust us, this isn’t a bad review that can be worn as a badge of honour, and this most definitely isn’t one worth playing along with the ridiculous ‘so bad it’s good’ notion.
Sometimes bad is simply bad. Really, really bad. Avoid at all costs.
PARTY BUS TO HELL / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: ROLFE KANEFSKY / STARRING: STEFANI BLAKE, SHELBY MCCULLOUGH, VIDONNA MICHAELS, SADIE KATZ, DEMETRIOS ALEX, TARA REID / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW