"Dumb hotties get sliced up by freaky cannibals. Period."
Toss "The Hills Have Eyes", "Jeepers Creepers" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" into a chintzy blender and you get "Detour" (a.k.a. "Hell's Highway"), a low-rent and entirely derivative horror pastiche that offers just enough of the gooey good stuff to warrant a visit...if you're into this kind of stuff.First and foremost, it must be said: Detour features some of the most amazingly obnoxious movie characters ever conceived. It's tough to tell if these are bad actors doing a terrible job or solid actors doing a brilliant job (my guess is a handful of both), but you're not likely to come across another gaggle of soon-to-be-dead meatbag idiots such as Detour has on display.
One can assume the overt annoyingness of the characters is intentional, as it certainly makes the flick a bit more entertaining when each one of 'em gets sliced and hacked up by the lunatics.
The plot is about as deep as a mudpuddle: a collection of youthful and photogenic ciphers are on their way home from a "killer rave". Or maybe they're on their way to said rave. Needless to say, neither destination is breached. That's because Harmony and Loopz and Cashie and all their preening pals are about to become Roadkill: Deep South Style.
The gang's route sees them ambling along a stretch of sparse desert highway. They ignore the obligatory warnings of a toothless shopkeep, opting instead to explore the first abandoned dirt-road they come across. A freaky little girl pops up in front of the bubblehead-filled Winnebago...and kaplooey.
Flat tire. A half-dozen really obnoxious, horny, and very verbose teenagers stuck in the desert. Alone. You do the math. Pretty soon we got massive panic, corpses galore, and one of the killers even smears poop all over the damn Winnebago.
Forget that the acting performances (for the most part) scream Amateur Hour; overlook that the screenplay includes such gems as "I don't care if it's made out of nutsack! Get rid of it!" and long dissertations on which "skanky ho's" "phat ass" has more "flayva". Do yourself a massive favor and try to ignore the obscenely annoying "white dude hooked on black slang" character, and then cheer when he's butchered. (We hope.)
The good news is this: the kills are plentiful and the splatters are fairly generous. That bare minimum of attention will always earn at least a little respect from me and my fellow GoreHounds, but the viewer has to wade through healthy doses of mind-numbing chit-chat before getting to the gristle. Especially cool is one impressive dispatch that involves a massive spear and the laws of gravity. And then that damn white-bread rapster wannabe plows in and, once again, sets our teeth on grate.
There are a few cool touches, including the wacky double-scythe arm-thingie that our feral and brutal cannibal-folk use for a weapon, plus it's been a while since we've had a slasher flick in which hallucinogenic drugs were used to such icky effect. And hell, there's even a couple of bare boobs.Director/co-screenwriter Steven Taylor clearly admires the same Modern Horror Classics that most of us do, and in many ways his "Detour" works as homage to those genre favorites...but in many ways it's too obviously derivative (and way too shrill) to fully succeed on its own.