Escape From Tomorrow
Two Stars (out of five). 2014. Released by FilmBuff. In Black and White. Running time 90 minutes. Not rated, but is definitely not for me. Has closed captions The DVD has commentaries and a 'making of' featurette. This was reviewed on DVD on May 28, 2014.

I lost my job, and I'm in Disney World...I dunno what's worse! In Escape From Tomorrow, family man Jim White is on a family vacation at Walt Disney World in Florida when he receives some bad news: heís being let go by his firm. Dazed, Jim decides to keep the bad news to himself as he and his family go about having fun in the happiest place on earth. But as he goes on several rides, Jim sees the features of the animatronic characters twist into distorted, demonic faces, and when a strange woman whom he meets (and whom he later has sex with) later tells him that the turkey leg that Jim is eating is actually from an emus, we begin to get the feeling that not is all well in Disney World.

You wanna ride the Rollercoaster Of Doom? Escape From Tomorrow is more fascinating for its behind the scenes story than for its actual story itself. Filmed on the sly at Disney World--without the knowledge or participation of Disney--itís a great example of guerilla filmmaking at its best. Itís a wonder that the Disney corporation, which is notoriously protective of its content, didnít go after the filmmakers, especially considering the nefarious goings-on they show taking place at the theme park (of course, it probably helped the filmmakersí case that they put up a pre-title disclaimer which absolves Disney and states that the film is strictly a work of fiction).

Welcome to Jail-Bait Land! The problem with the film is that itís hard to be on Jimís side when heís such a raging pedophile. He spends the better part of the filmís running time stalking two teenaged French girls throughout the park, using his own kids as cover. When the girls go on a ride that Jimís young son is reluctant to go on, Jim forces him, which leads to the poor kid throwing up afterwards. Yet the fact that he made his son sick doesnít matter to Jim; he quickly exchanges his son with his wife for his daughter and goes right back out on the hunt in the park for those nice young French girls. You see what I mean? It's pretty dman hard to root for this guy right from the get-go.

Look, you want your fortune read, or not? I don't have all night! The nefarious goings-on lead to an underground base where scientific experiments are being conducted on park-goers. Yet this sharp turn into science fiction feels too bizarre and out of place; a filmmaker like David Lynch could pull off a really weird plot twist like this because heís a genuine visionary whoís truly "out there". But here, it just feels like the filmmakers were desperate to come up with something--anything--that could end their film properly, but it still falls flat. Escape From Tomorrow will be more famous--and rightly so--for a group of filmmakers who had the guts to take on the Mouse, and win. --SF

Main Review Page | Horror Review Page| Escape From Tomorrow