In case you’ve been wondering where exactly on (middle) earth Sean Astin’s been since his brief brush with A-list success through the Lord Of The Rings saga, well it’s in a series of TV and straight-to-DVD offerings like this.

For Astin’s latest effort is Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero, a totally unnecessary horror flick that purports to be a prequel, but in actual fact, aside from concerning itself with a flesh-eating virus, has very little connection whatsoever with the previous two flicks in the ‘franchise’.

Astin plays Porter, holed up in an underground research lab on a deserted island due to the fact that he appears to carry the antidote to said virus in his veins.

But this is no ordinary lab though, for this lab plays host to both a crazed scientist who insists on babbling nonsense about saving the world, as well as a clutch of attractive women who find it perfectly normal flouncing around their equipment in low-cut tops.

Against these events, we are introduced to Marcus (Mitch Ryan), about to get hitched to his Dominican girl Katia.

To ‘celebrate’ Marcus’ last days of freedom, his brother, best pal and pal’s girlfriend (who Marcus has also conveniently slept with) decide to hire a yacht, packs loads of booze and weed and head out to sea.

And this is where the first problem of Cabin Fever 3 really kicks in – for the purposes of the plot, you are clearly meant to identify with this foursome and fear for them being in peril, but a more dislikeable group you would be hard-pushed to find.

In fact, from the second Marcus’ brother Josh (played by Dexter star Brando Eaton) appeared on screen, bursting into a pre-wedding brunch bellowing ‘Who just ate some p***y?’, I was practically begging for him to get killed.

Wouldn’t you know, the group decide to sail to the same deserted island that is home to the lab and, before you know it, it’s bubbling flesh all round as the virus takes hold.

It is down to Marcus to try and save the day, leading to a very, very dark chase through lab corridors and island brush as they search for answers.

Fittingly, for a film that focuses on reducing people to a sloppy mess, Cabin Fever 3 turns out to be just that itself.

The tone is all over the piece, veering wildly from serious discussions regarding infections and the dilemma of killing one to save thousands, to over-the-top gore effects (death by dildo anyone?)

To be fair, the gore is handled very well – sure it is pretty cartoonish in places, but impressive nonetheless.

But that cartoonish vibe works against the film as, just when you think the whole thing is being played agreeably tongue-in-cheek, director Kaare Andrews jolts us back to playing it straight.

Some of the action is very poorly lit, leaving the viewer wondering just what exactly is going on, and the performances leave a whole lot to be desired – unless you were meant to hate them all that is.

There are positives – as said earlier, the effects are strong, and Andrews rounds off the film neatly with a ‘rewind’ sequence that answers most, if not all, of the questions a viewer may have.

But there is just far too much wrong with it to claw Cabin Fever 3 out of the ‘watch it if you have to’ category.


VERDICT: [rating=2]


About The Author

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Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle