Thursday, May 21, 2009

Theme Thursday - Vacation

Theme Thursday - Vacation


Many "Theme Thursday" participants are probably sharing happy vacation memories.

I wanted to show what happens when vacationers take that one wrong turn into terror.

Hope you enjoy the trip! :)


Friday the 13th (1980)


Okay, so the young people here weren't so much on vacation as they were working to set up a summer camp. That said, they were out in the woods, at a lake, trying to have a good time. And we know how that went!

Jason's mom was the big "party pooper" in this flick, making these kids pay for the lack of attention given to her son by previous counselors. She was one angry mama, and this was NOT a good trip to the lake!

Pamela Voorhees was dealt with very early on in the recent remake, Friday the 13th (2009). Here, the kids WERE in the woods just for a good time, not to work at a camp. Yet again, they were thwarted.

Jason makes damn sure that, by the time the credits role, no one has a had a good trip!


Jaws (1975)


Set in the beautiful resort town of Amity Island, this film is the one that still scares people off beaches to this day.

When a great white shark wanders too far north, his presence doesn't mix well with the many swimmers out in the waters around the island community.

This one hit close to home for me, as I grew up in New England and knew places that looked a lot like Amity. Made it all-too-real for me, and many kids I knew.

The first sequel was okay, but things sank quickly in Part III (set in SeaWorld) and Part IV (when a shark comes back for revenge).


The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

The Hills Have Eyes 1977

This film is about a family on a road trip. Breaking down in the desert, they are soon hunted by sadistic, mutated, inbred cannibals. Bad, bad things happen. And they involve the very creepy looking Michael Berryman as the maniac Pluto, pictured on the poster above.

This is the polar opposite of "National Lampoon's Vacation". No memories made here are suitable for scrapbooking.

Remade in 2006 (still called The Hills Have Eyes), the plot is basically the same, yet the terror and horror are ratcheted up. A good remake, still a bad trip.


Deliverance (1972)


A young Burt Reynolds takes his friends on a rafting trip, a last-hurrah vacation before the river becomes a big lake.

Well, we all know how this trip goes, don't we?

Again, hillbillies clash with the vacationers, in a really horrific way. This trip will NOT be fondly remembered, by the rafters or the viewers. Yeeeesh...


Hostel (2005)


Three young men, backpacking through Europe, are enticed to a Slovakian hostel, their minds looking forward to carnal pleasures.

Unfortunately, there are rich people who also vacation in the area, at a special "club" which fulfills their darkest fantasies.

Soon enough, our backpackers find out where the supplies (as in humans) are found for this club. I cannot imagine this movie was looked at favorably by the Slovakian tourist bureau.

A bit gory for my taste, this film is one of the many in the "torture porn" horror sub-genre.


Open Water (2003)

Open Water

This film is an unnerving look at how quickly a trip can go wrong.

Based on a true story, this movie centers on a couple, out on a scuba-diving trip, who are inadvertently left behind by their tour group.

Suddenly finding themselves alone in the middle of the ocean, their struggle for survival is fraught with despair. You can't help but wonder while watching what you would do if you were in their place.

This film was followed by a sequel, of sorts. Open Water 2: Adrift (2006), is supposedly also based on true events.

A group of friends set out on a cruise on a borrowed yacht. At sea, they soon are enjoying a swim off of the boat. But a fun day turns to terror when they realize they forgot to lower the ladder and cannot get back on board the ship. To make matters worse, the baby of one of the couples is now alone on board the boat.

More a thriller than a horror film, it is at least entertaining.


The Descent (2005)

The Descent

A group of women meet in the Appalachian Mountains to go on a trip exploring caves in the mountain. Soon enough, they find that they are not alone in these dark caves, encountering some bizarre creatures.

A very well-made, scary flick, this one will make you think twice about what is waiting in the dark!


So, what did we learn from all this?

Never go anywhere. Ever.

Of course, I could find a bunch of horror movies where the characters never even leave their front porch, yet things still go seriously bad. But, I will save that for another day.

Have a great week and Bon Voyage!


  1. Do do do do do do do do do...

    Dir Dir Dir Dir Dir Dir Dir Dir Dir...

    Fun take on the theme. Enjoyed it very much. You talked me into checkin out Descent!

  2. *See The Strangers...'nuff said. Scared the beejeezus out of me.

  3. I did hear of a new Friday 13th movie. Whe nare they gonna do a remake of JAWS? Or Motel Hell? cool beans post, Wings!

  4. Hi!!Oh yes all of them,just Hostel I didn't have the occasion to see yet,but they say it's great.Great collection of movies here!The real stuff.

  5. You are going to continue to ignore this particular problem until it swims up and bites you on THE ASS!

  6. Gee. Thanks. I am actually more worried about the horror of bedbugs and diarrhea than Jason's mother.

    Most unique take on the theme award winner: Caffeinated Joe

  7. Dont Forget The Bates Motel!Great Place To Stay enroute!

  8. Hey how about..."I know what you did last summer" lol lol

    Great post!
    Have a nice day :)

  9. OMG!!!! This post has me shalign in my britches. Friday the 13th is one of my favs but can't watch it alone still.

  10. Jaws is my favorite all time movie! My dad lived at the Jersey shore at the time, and of course the book was inspired by the early 1900's Jersey shark attacks, so yes, I was afraid to go in the water LOL!

  11. Oy. And I thought I had a bad holiday.

  12. still havent seen any of these movies... horror movies and i don't get along. i watched "the ring" and had nightmares for a month.

  13. Haha! Excellent. Several of my faves represented here. Remind me again never to go anywhere, as you say...

  14. Hm. Reading your examples, I tried to think of any vacation-gone-wrong horror flicks from before the mid-1970s... Anyone?

  15. The irony! I just got thinking about vacations today and thought I'd post about it..and so did you apparently!

    - Zac :D

  16. Worst plans for some down time EVER! What happened to those days when you would be forced to spend a summer month with your smelling aunt and her psychotic dog. And for the record...that dog committed suicide...we did NOTHING to him. See ya Tippy - worst name for a depressed dog EVER!

  17. Squealing like a pig will never be the same again...

  18. Ronda: You won't be disappointed!

    Ravyn: Yeah. Jaws is good though, yes?

    Brian: Thanks, you too.

    Subtorp: PLEASE, no remake of Jaws! But there is a remake of Motel Hell in the works.

    Candie: Well, if you like those hardcore, gory flicks, you will like Hostel.

    Padraig: Ha! Great line from a great movie.

    Dineometer Deb: Bed bugs are their own special brand of horror! Thanks for the kudos! :)

    Tony: I thought of Psycho, but Marian Crane was more on the run than on vacation. Great flick though.

    Marianna: Hmm... Not sure, not of my favorite movies anyway. Maybe in a list of "long titled horror movies"? :)

    Debo Hobo: Sometimes alone is the best way to watch these flicks. ;)

    otin: Yeah, I read an account of the real shark story, pretty scary stuff. And it makes Jaws even scarier!

    Sandra: hahahah - thanks for stopping by!

    Jamie: Well, they aren't for everyone!

    Leah: Yeah, at least in "horror world"!

    Silver Fox: Hmmm... Creature from the Black Lagoon was more a science expedition. If you count it being written BEFORE the 70s, how about Murder on the Orient Express?

    Zacery: Bizarre coincidence, indeed!

    Cal: Wow - Looks like you have your own summertime horror stories to tell!

    Kris: No, no it will not.

    Thanks for stopping by everyone!

  19. If I ever see "Jaws" playing on TV, I always must stop whatever I'm doing and watch it to the end.

  20. Hi! Caffeinated Joe,

    I must admit what a very nice post
    of "horror" films!...I must admit that I'am not a big fan of horror films, but I have watched two films on your list...
    Jaws and Deliverance...Yikes!

    Caffeinated Joe, thanks for sharing!
    DeeDee ;-D

  21. Funny... When I was trying "to think of any vacation-gone-wrong horror flicks from before the mid-1970s," I thought of Creature from the Black Lagoon almost immediately... then dismissed it for exactly the same reason you did! Not sure if I'd classify Murder on the Orient Express as a horror film, but Jaws probably isn't seen as a horror flick by most, either... yet what else is it? (Just as movies like Face-Off and Charly don't fit people's image of science fiction films... but they are, technically.)

    Fascinating post.

  22. WIngs, hadn't heard that! Sounds "tasty"( heh, heh ) Too, "The Zero Boys" could use a re-doing...oh wait..."Cabin in the Woods"~~~hated it! The other was much better....and being as I was in the Navy, you can bet I've got some shark tales!!!!

  23. Curious George: I do that, too. And even with (sigh) Jaws: The Revenge.

    DeeDee: Thanks for stopping by!

    Silver Fox: Not sure what flicks would make the cut then, for pre-70s. Would have to put more thought into it!

    subtorp: I guess you would have some "fish" tales! hahahaha