The Ruins


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This is yet another variation on the "yokels terrorize yuppies" genre which has experienced a recent upsurge in popularity. This particular one comes from the foreign sub-genre, which means that it's not about smart-ass, reckless, and disrespectful yuppie students heading for the country and getting raped and tortured by toothless inbred yokels from West Virginia, but is instead about those same characters heading to remote foreign locales and getting raped and tortured by wealthy neo-Nazis (the Hostel sub-sub genre) or swarthy, mustachioed, resentful natives (the Turistas sub-sub genre). Actually in this case the kids have less trouble with the local people than with the local flora, which consists mostly of some killer crawling snapdragons which seem to be a hybrid created by crossing kudzu with Venus flytraps and then splicing the result with the plant from Little Shop of Horrors.

The requisite stereotyped yuppies, with an undue sense of American entitlement, make their way to some remote and forgotten area to see some Mayan ruins which have been preserved particularly well and are not listed in any of the guidebooks.

Little known fun fact: those Mayan pyramids and temples should not be called "ruins" at all. They are not ruined. They look exactly the same as when they were built. The expert Mayan architects just created them that way to give them a retro look, just as we build faux-Colonial villages. That may sound like modern thinking to you, but the Mayans were far more advanced than we realize, and we have much to learn from their ancient wisdom. They already had precise astronomy, frosted toaster pastries and color TVs when Europeans were still living in houses made from their own feces.


Anyway ...


It's one of those movies designed to make you squirm. One of the male students has to have his legs amputated by the others, and one of the girls has to have the creeping vines removed from inside of her with some makeshift surgery followed by a scene where a long string of plants is pulled from her, like an endless string of scarves being pulled out by a stage magician.

The film offers no explanation for the strange supernatural plants, nor history of the haunted pyramid, and the kids are not very appealing, but that is just as well. Considering their fate, the audience is probably not meant to have an emotional investment in them. You would watch this one entirely for the repulsive gross-outs, which are creepy and original, and not for the plot or characterization. It's a genre film for those who like their genre films undiluted and uncompromised.




* Info not currently available.






41 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)
48 (of 100)


6.9 IMDB summary (of 10)
C+ Yahoo Movies


Box Office Mojo. Opening weekend: eight million dollars in 2800 theaters.


Laura Ramsey does a pretty good (albeit brief) nude scene, and even offers a quick flash of lower frontal action. The scene is completely unnecessary, and the nudity irrelevant to the plot. Thank God some filmmakers still believe in gratuitous nudity.

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


The film has been praised by genre lovers, but mainstream filmgoers will find it repulsive.