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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Monday, July 4, 2022

Trapped Alive (1988)

Still digging for slasher movies. This one popped up on my radar after a recent Blu-Ray release. Made in eighty-eight it didn’t get released for five years until someone finally put it out on VHS. This concerns me because it doesn’t appear to have been caught up in some legal shenanigans and with the need for product in the late eighties pretty much anything could get a release. Oh well let’s see what we have here.

Things kick off with a guard walking down the halls of a prison. He is lifted up and his neck is snapped. There is a prison break in progress. Then the movie shifts to a Christmas party at the house of big shot lawyer John Adams, played by veteran actor Cameron Mitchell. This is to establish that he has a daughter named Robin who leaves and goes off with her friend Monica to celebrate the holiday. They meet up with the escaped convicts and get carjacked. This leads them to a backroad to avoid a roadblock. 

The truck crashes thru a mine entrance and they become trapped with a cannibal who is a bit peckish. We also get a deputy who stumbles into the caretaker’s house, beds the lonely housewife of said caretaker, and then ends up in the mine looking for the escapees. Oh yeah and if you didn’t see it coming the wife may have something to do with the cannibal in the mine. Stuff happens, people die, and then the credits roll. 

I’m not sure how to feel about Trapped Alive. Doing this marathon for the last six years I’ve sat thru some miserable flicks that were made to cash in on the popularity of the slasher movie. While not that bad this one does suffer from terrible pacing with far too much time spent on random stuff like the deputy’s escapades with the married woman and her eventual twist ending. The movie also does this odd thing where we keep switching back to Cameron Mitchell’s character at the party and even taking a nap afterwards. This is disappointing because when we have people wandering around in the dark is when the movie is at it’s best. This constant switch back and forth destroys any chance and building momentum in the main story. 

We only get five kills… well I suppose seven. But the last two are implied. One of the five is the killer so that sort of sucks. The guard gets his neck snapped during the jailbreak so in reality the cannibalistic killer only gets three kills! Actually, someone goes thru the window during the crash and dies of his injuries, so the killer only gets two of them. Damn it movie this isn’t what I signed up for! To be fair though he does get to nibble on his guts so that is sort of fun. There is a hook thru the face and some neck chewing that I dug, another person gets a face full of glass, and the best of them is a spear thru the mouth. Holy crap we get a mercy killing with a bullet thru the head before they can be eaten to death. The killer only gets one victim! 

I did like the look of the miner. We get to see him several times and the makeup is solid. That is probably the best part of Trapped Alive. His backstory seems familiar. He was trapped in a collapse with seventeen other men. He was the only one who survived and well a man has to eat. I suppose once you go cannibal you never go back. This was a very Harry Warden style origin story, though to be crystal clear the movie isn’t anywhere as good as My Bloody Valentine. 

I can’t recommend spending twenty plus dollars on the Blu-Ray release. There isn’t enough here to make it worth watching a second time around, so it doesn’t need to be in anyone’s collection. If you can rent it or catch it streaming maybe killing ninety minutes on it is okay. Again, I’ve seen much worse. 

© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

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