Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I’ll say one thing for Director John Stockwell’s horror flick ‘Turistas’; it sure is purdy.  Since the setting is Brazil, there are breathtaking shots of white sandy beaches, lush vegetative country sides, under water caves and beautiful forests.  Since the setting is Brazil, there are shots of beautiful dark skinned women with beautiful skin and beautiful bodies, wearing nothing, or next to, and dancing provocatively.  Since the setting is Brazil, there are beautiful, fair skinned female tourist, with beautiful bodies wearing nothing or next to, dancing provocatively and getting stone face drunk.  I would almost say, ‘book me flight brudda!’ but I know this isn’t a ‘Girls Gone Wild’ Video, and death, horrible, horrible death, is just around the corner.

Unfortunately that’s about all ‘Turistas’ has going for it as it lacks suspense, horror, and excitement.  Well, there’s a little excitement.  But it does have Beautiful Brazilian women in it, and for some, that may be enough of a recommendation. 

Our young gullible tourists are Josh Duhamel as Alex, playing chaperone to his younger sister Bea (Olivia Wilde), and Bea’s slutty friend Amy (Beau Garrett).  On the tour bus they meet pretty Aussie Pru (Melissa George), and a couple of lovably obnoxious Brits in Finn and Liam (Desmond Askew and Max Brown).  Things start to go wrong almost immediately in lovely Brazil when the tour bus teeters off a cliff.  All the patrons were able to exit in time, but it could be a long while before another bus makes it back to pick them all up.  Lo and behold, there is a little surfside bar mere yards from where the bus crashed with a fully stocked bar, beautiful horny women, a DJ a spinning the salsa and another gringo couple hanging out letting you know it must be safe.  Our heroes are having such a good time on the beach drinking and dancing they end up deciding that they may as well chill here for a bit and snag another bus a couple days later.  Cue ominous music please.

Turns out those sweet drinkies were loaded with drugs and when the folks wake up everything is gone.  Jewelry, wallets, passports, cash, shoes, hell, even the bar is gone.  Those two gringos who were already at the bar?  They’re gone too.  Next time we see them, they’re being carted off by some banditos to the lair of the evil Doctor Zamora (Miguel Lunardi) who apparently is harvesting gringo organs.  Problems arise for these two when they mange to escape, but end up dead anyway by various means.  How many times has Dr. Zamora told these bandito losers that dead bodies ain’t no damn good to him?  Too many times and he let’s them know how displeased he is with them.  Note to self, don’t offer Dr. Zamora shish kabob should he seem hungry.  Now Doc needs the other six bodies for some organ harvesting and he dipatches his young nephew Kiko (Agles Steib) who poses as a friend to our tourist and leads them on a perilous journey through the jungle… To their DEATHS!

There’s a lot in ‘Turistas’ that doesn’t make much of sense.  It turns out Dr. Zamora wants all of these organs, a.) Because he hates white people, and b.) Because there’s a ton of loot to be made from organ hungry white people.  One wonders why he didn’t just take all of the tourists in the first place.  Plus, the two he did take had been at that spot on the beach for three years.  Surely Doc could have snagged them up way before then.  Another thing, when our tourist were drugged and robbed, good man Kiko was one of the Brazilians at the party and probably had something to do with their being drugged, so why would they follow him ten miles into the jungle for no other reason than he says he knows where a house is.  More plot problems occur when we are informed Dr. Zamora has 12 hours and a waiting helicopter to deliver these organs for them to be any good, and he’s pretty adamant about meeting this deadline.  He’s already gutted a couple of folks, but when he finds out the remainder have flown the coop he spends the next 24 hours hunting them down so he can kill them, thus wasting all of the good organs he already has.  It ain’t like they’re gonna be able to retrace the jungle route to find out where he lives, unless they dropped bread crumbs or something.

Aside from those, and many more holes, ‘Turistas’ mainly lacks a sense of horror and suspense.  Doctor Zamora isn’t that bad a villain because basically, he just hates white people and he needs their organs.  He not menacing or vile and other than the unnecessary shish kabob incident, he’s comes off as just a misguided surgeon who seems to have forgotten his Hippocratic oath.  He even gives his victims anesthetic.  It’s not a gore fest like Hostel (thank God) as we are only privy to one operation, and even then, like I said, he keeps his victims sedated.  There a very nice underwater cave swim chase scene, and it was really well shot and tense, but that was about it as far as excitement goes.  Most of the movie was them hanging out and drinking at the beach.  If you’re gonna make a bloody gory horror flick, then make a bloody gory horror flick.  As much as I despised Hostel, it was bloody and it was gory and I could recommend it those who like that kind of thing.  This I can only recommend to people who like watching women run around the jungle in bikinis.  And with that statement, I realize that I have done nothing to sway anyone from going to see this movie.

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