Deadly Weekend aka Zellwood, follows two couples taking their last vacation together before graduating college. They take a road trip down to Zellwood, Florida to enjoy camping, fan-boat rides and whatever else four college students would do in the swampy woods of Florida. During the opening credits we are shown some crime statistics about Zellwood that may or may not be true; we are never told. Either way, anyone living there would probably not be happy with the way their home is portrayed in this film.
The beginning of the film hints that it could be a knock-off of something like Hostel or even 2001 Maniacs. While I’m not a fan of the Hostel films and don’t exactly love 2001 Maniacs, I was ready for something along those lines and went in with an open mind. After being disappointed by the opening scene I sat around for over forty minutes waiting for something to happen that actually constituted this film being filed under “horror.” This movie really takes way too long to pick up any momentum.
The couples go on their trip, we learn a little bit about them and we see them doing all the things that would be the normal set up for characters in any film. This should not be the focus of the film. For having a run time of just barely 80 minutes, you probably shouldn’t waste over 40 with having your main characters, who are one-dimensional at best, talking about nothing and bickering. Unfortunately we are not given any reason to think that anything could happen to these characters. There is nothing that leads us to believe there is any danger: No local legend, no back story, there wasn’t even the usual P.O.V. shots of someone watching the couples from a distance.
I know it’s a very cliche thing to say, but the scariest thing about this movie was the acting. It had zero redeeming qualities, the only person who wasn’t completely painful to listen to was the fan boat pilot, Bo (played by Kevin J. O’Neill). The characters were all beyond annoying with truly grating personalities. By the time the horror starts you will be begging for their deaths. Our main hero girl Katie was played by none other than Playboy Playmate, Sara Jean Underwood. You can imagine how wonderful her performance turned out to be. With her dead-eye blank stare, I forgot I wasn’t watching a zombie flick.
I will applaud this movie for having some decent practical effects, even on their shoe-string budget and I did not see the main reveal coming at all. The filmmakers deserve some kudos for that…and only that. It is far too little to make this movie worth your time, but does keep me from giving it zero stars. Please heed my warning and avoid this movie. It’s another 80 minutes I will never get back.
Deadly Weekend had a small international release last year and is now on DVD and multiple VOD services everywhere. It was written and directed by Jason Sutton and stars Sara Jean Underwood, Bruster Sampson (Girls Gone Dead) and Amani Atkinson (One Small Thing).