Originally posted on The New York Observer:
Two horror flicks open this week after making the film-festival rounds, both more horrible than horrifying. Enter at your own risk.
Aftershock is the latest shlockfest from cult actor-director-producer-writer Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever), directed by Chilean horror icon Nicolás López. It features an assault of grotesque tortures, atrocities and slaughters of sexy Latino women set against the 8.8-magnitude Chilean earthquake in 2010. Mr. Roth plays an American tourist from San Diego on vacation in Chile, nicknamed “Gringo,” who joins two local dudes and three smoking babes for a wild all-night dance party on a picturesque mountain in the coastal town of Valparaiso. All he wants is to get drunk and ravaged, but before he can get laid, nature turns violent, trapping them all in a flaming disco, snapping the cable car to the mountaintop and destroying the town below. During the aftershocks, a severed hand slides across the dance floor, tripping up the sweaty bodies of people trying to escape. A woman opens a manhole to the street and a car drives over her head, crushing her skull like a melon. The six injured, panic-stricken partygoers run for their lives, land in the sewers and, one by one, meet a series of unspeakable deaths just as the walls of the local prison collapse and the inmates go on a murderous rampage. The actual Chilean earthquake killed 300 people and turned thousands more homeless, but this movie distills everything for comic effect. Everyone gets robbed, raped, impaled, mutilated, decapitated or burned alive. But that’s not all. Crawling through the blood-drenched debris, here comes the tsunami!