I was not excited about Cabin Fever: Patient Zero. Why the hell would I be? The franchise, such as it is, is in shambles. Matter of fact, calling it a franchise is like calling Twilight a vampire movie.
Eli Roth’s original Cabin Fever is an explosive juggernaut of gore, humor, titties, and teenagers making fabulously bad decisions. You know…all the things that make an unserious horror movie seriously fantastic. And Roth did it up right. It’s a magnificent flick that you can watch repeatedly and have a great time. Any genre fan that doesn’t like Cabin Fever is a goddamn communist trying to sodomize your freedom, eat your pets, and abolish your rights of inheritance.
But then came Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, which made Paranormal Activity look like The Exorcist, and Paranormal Activity was as painful as diarrhea with teeth. Don’t watch Cabin Fever 2. Or Paranormal Activity.
And now Cabin Fever: Patient Zero is the prequel none of us have been waiting for. It was supposed to have been filmed back-to-back with the fourth installment, Cabin Fever: Outbreak. That one got scrapped because now the original film is being remade with the same script and different actors because fuck everything. Eli Roth isn’t directing – since he’s already done that exact thing with this exact movie – but he is the executive producer. No one has been able to explain to me why this is happening.
Anyway, Patient Zero. It actually started off sort of promising. Not the sort of promising where you get your hopes up. More the type where you feel you might not have to dump Jagermeister in the DVD tray to get that taste out of its mouth. There was Sean Astin, whom I always enjoy in an I-fondly-recall-The-Goonies kind of way. He’s the titular patient being held captive by “scientists.” One of them is an extremely attractive young lady in a short skirt, high heels, and a low cut top. She’s a scientist because she’s also wearing a lab coat. There’s some witty dialogue constructed mostly of sexual innuendo, which is always a plus. The main characters are sailing their buddy to a tropical island for bachelor festivities. Said island is naturally the one where Astin is being studied as a possible cure to the flesh-eating fun that will erupt in the first Cabin Fever. So…spoiler, I guess? They don’t cure it? Whatever.
Overall, this thing just drags along pointlessly. There isn’t much new stuff here, although there are a couple moments of sincere awesomeness, like an oral sex scene that ends in high-pressure vomiting. I was ecstatic about that situation. Also, a fist fight between two rapidly decaying chicks? Yes, please. Let’s get sloppy.
Not worth it in the long run, though. The story isn’t really a story and, while that was forgivable in the original, we’ve moved on. The second sequel can’t rely on what the original film did. Despite The Hangover people deciding to make the same movie three times in a row, it’s not a good formula.
Other than Astin, the cast is a forgettable bunch of hot nobodies. Ryan Donowho is one of them. His entire bio on IMDb reads “Ryan is famous in the streets and subways of Manhattan as a bucket/drum player. His nickname is Focus.” Sweet. Another, Jillian Murray, starred in the gems Wild Things: Foursome, and Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown. So she’s a veteran of movies that have colons in the title.
Obviously I’m a fan of horror films that are so bad they’re good, as well as those that are traditionally good. This one is neither. It’s right in the middle which is the worst place to be. If you were planning to see it just so you’d be able to keep up with the direct-to-DVD fourth installment, don’t worry about it. Actually, if you were planning to see it at all, just don’t.