Cinemax Friday: Fever Lake (1997, directed by Ralph Portillo)

I’ve seen my share of bad slasher films but Fever Lake is definitely one of the worst.

The plot is a familiar one.  Six college students (including Corey Haim, Mario Lopez, and Lauren Parker) head to the lake for the weekend.  The lake has a bad reputation and they’ll be staying at a house where a terrible murderer occurred ten years earlier.  The sheriff (Bo Hopkins) doesn’t want any foolishness.  The local Native American medicine man (stiffly played by Michael Wise) says that there is a demon in the lake and that it’s about to reawaken.  The students go to the lakehouse anyway.  Can you guess what happens?  It’s a 93 minute film where the killer doesn’t show up for 70 minutes. There’s not much gore and zero nudity and it has a twist that anyone will be able to see from a mile away.  Haim alternates between sleepwalking his way through the film and screeching unintelligibly and Mario Lopez comes across like he’s playing A.C. Slater on speed.  It’s thoroughly inept in almost every way that a film can be and, even worse, it’s boring.

Fever Lake is the type of film that, in the 90s, you always hated coming across on late night Cinemax.  Because you were watching 2 in the morning, you would expect something extreme and instead you ended up with an hour of Corey Haim and Mario Lopez driving up to the lake.   Late night connoisseurs held films like this in a special kind of contempt.  For the most part, we never asked much from more late night Cinemax offerings and when a movie like this couldn’t even deliver what little we did ask for, it was hard not to take it personally.  (To be honest, the PG-13 rating should have given the game away.  I’m not sure what the film did to rate the addition of that 13, though.  This film is a solid PG, all the way through.)

Today, of course, we can enjoy Fever Lake because of RiffTrax.  Mike, Kevin, and Jim ripped Fever Lake apart in 2015.  The film, with their commentary, is available on Prime.  It’s the best way to watch Fever Lake.


One response to “Cinemax Friday: Fever Lake (1997, directed by Ralph Portillo)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 9/28/20 — 10/4/20 | Through the Shattered Lens

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