What do you get if you combine Mexico, Rider Strong, Sean Astin, and a blood cult? Well you get a pretty decent little entry into the After Dark Horrorfest called Borderland that is based on a true story. The film follows the terror that surrounds a couple of friends who head south of the border on a mini-vacation and find a bucket full of trouble and blood waiting for them.
After a nice night of drinking and frolicking, hanging with gentle hookers and meeting a hot fox, hell comes to Borderland as a friend goes missing. The police offer no assistance to the foreigners and their own investigation only stirs up more trouble. Soon, it’s a bloody affair with kidnappings, slashings, stabbings, beatings, and a whole host of uncomfortable goings on, complete with that guy from Lord of the Rings and Rudy.
The body count isn’t epic, I’d say its around the six or so mark. One or two of them are pretty good kills, which is to be expected from a movie about a cult that likes to sacrifice foreigners and bath in their blood. The kills are pleasing, though not unique or truly epic, but the get the job done.
Now, blood wise, they do spill a good bit of red. And two of the kills are pretty awesomely violent. Unexpected too. The film does pack a few surprises into its somewhat cookie cutter plot.
There are a few Mexican hotties in this film that are nice to look at, a sex scene or two, so pretty enjoyable. Nothing to write home about though, if you liked telling your mom about your porn fetish. However, co-star Martha Higareda (Street Kings) is so utterly unbelievably terrifically sexy and beautiful in this. This movie is worth watching just to see her on screen. Seriously.
Now I’ve gotten some flack for busting on New York’s balls (proverbial, of course) about being a bad place to be during a rat zombie invasion. If there is one place worse than that, it might just be a border town in Mexico. Stay away from small shanty towns and local girls. If the cops are unfriendly, get the hell out Dodge, something is wrong. I would suggest avoiding cemeteries and low budget hookers, as well. Don’t pick fights with cultists that stalk your friends, unless you’ve got big balls or big bullets, because your ass will get chopped up. Common sense!
I think this is one of the better films of Horrorfest, though I know a lot of people disagree. It probably had a higher budget than almost all of its competitors and it had at least a recognizable face or three. The story is one we’ve heard before, but almost in a good way. It’s that tale your mom tells you to keep you from sneaking out at night and this time it turns out its true. Sean Astin, I thought, gives a good performance that is unlike anything he’s done before. He gets to play crazy and he comes off nuts. Rider Strong I could take or leave in any movie ever, but here he does a fine job. Everyone plays their character well enough and I’d be remiss in not mentioning Martha Higareda again, who may just be my next draft pick in the Hottest Woman on Earth contest. The direction is competent, the dialog is good at the beginning, passable towards the end, and while it’s not overly tense, it maintains your interest while throwing a few twists and turns your way.
All in all, Borderland may be the most accessible of all the Horrorfest films and while I won’t strongly recommend it, you can definitely do worse. I would probably place this well within the top four of the fest and as such, horror fans, I think should take a look.