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Film / Cabin Fever

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Step 1: Have sex. Step 2: Die.

Dennis, the Pancakes Kid

Cabin Fever is a 2002 American horror film directed by Eli Roth, about a group of college students who stay in a secluded cabin on a camping trip and subsequently find themselves falling victim to a flesh-eating virus (''Fever'', geddit?). Roth's directorial debut, the story was inspired by a trip to Iceland, during the course of which Roth developed a skin infection.

Inspired by many of his favorite horror films, such as Evil Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), and The Last House on the Left, Roth wanted to step away from what he saw as the "watered down" studio horror films. Rather, he saw the violence and nudity as essential ingredients of what he saw as a throwback to 80's horror. Roth would later continue down this path with the Hostel series and The Green Inferno.

Cabin Fever was followed by a sequel, Cabin Fever: Spring Fever, in 2009, and a prequel, Cabin Fever: Patient Zero in 2014. A fourth film, Outbreak, was also tentatively planned but was jettisoned in favor of a Recycled Script remake in 2016.


This series contains examples of:

  • Apocalypse How: The flesh-eating virus variety.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The infection acts like a bacterium - replicating in water without a host, remaining contagious long after a host expires, being inspired by Real Life flesh-eating bacteria - but is called a virus by the scientists in the prequel. They're completely different types of pathogen, people!
  • Blood from the Mouth: One of the later symptoms of the virus (how much later seems to vary between movies) involves vomiting blood—a lot of it.
  • Body Horror: It's a horrifying flesh-eating virus. What do you expect to happen? (And in the second movie, this is turned up to 11.)
  • Cool, Clear Water: HAHAHA no. The virus is waterborne; it thrives in the nearby river.
  • Facial Horror: People in the late stages of the disease tend to have their lips rot away, exposing their teeth.
  • Advertisement:
  • Gorn: Again, horrifying flesh-eating virus.
  • Inescapable Horror: Getting more so by the end of each movie...
  • Karma Houdini: Winston the Party Cop. He repeatedly survives encounters with numerous infected people in the first two movies, most of the time not even being aware of the true danger of the virus or even caring, as he's preoccupied with partying. At the end of the first two movies, he unknowingly ruins any hope of containment by accidentally spreading the virus even further. He's avoided getting infected so many times that it's quite likely he must have some sort of natural immunity to it.
  • Made of Plasticine: It's a flesh-eating virus and it rots your flesh. This is what happens to your body as a direct result. Inevitably that would make the virus even more dangerous - it's tough to take samples to create a cure because it deteriorates so quickly.
  • The Plague: It is hinted that the disease will reach pandemic levels, insofar as the hint practically parades in front of the audience in stiletto heels and fishnet stockings singing "Sweet Transvestite" and twirling flaming batons.
  • Quarantine with Extreme Prejudice: The cops and the government try to keep the virus contained—-and because it is so lethal, it involves killing anybody unlucky enough to be on the infected area (even if it's a bunch of kids). And every time, the virus still manages to escape...
  • Splatter Horror: Naturally, given Roth's enthusiasm for bloodshed in horror movies and the inclusion of a flesh-eating virus. While other horror series may start tame and ramp things up over successive movies, Cabin Fever starts out over-the-top and stays there.

Cabin Fever contains examples of:

  • Anatomically Impossible Sex:
    • Watch Paul's arm when he embraces Marcy at the end of their sex scene. It's level with the top of her hip. So her crotch must've been pumping Paul's belly or chest, not his penis.
    • Even more apparent in the full-screen cut, where you can see how impractically wide Marcy is straddling Paul and how high her thrusts go.
    • Just the opposite for the other sex scene, as it's the widescreen cut that spoils the illusion - you can see that "naked" Marcy is wearing underpants.
  • As You Know: "You don't use condoms?" A pretty obvious question when you are literally in the middle of a sexual romp and your partner hadn't made you put on a raincoat before she climbed aboard. But of course, without a mid-coital dialogue about it, how would the audience know that there are virus cells swimming through those mixing bodily fluids?
  • Asshole Victim: Bert & Jeff.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Done brilliantly. The store owner is asked what the rifle behind the counter is for, and he replies "That's fer niggers." Later, a group of black people walk into the store and he quickly grabs it and politely hands it to them, because they dropped it off for repairs.
  • Brick Joke:
    • "That's fer niggers."
    • When Paul gets bitten by Dennis, he tells Dennis's dad there should be a warning sign about the kid. Guess what's there in the final scene?
      • Ironic since Dennis is now infected. "Do not sit next to Dennis", indeed.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Subverted via a strange coincidence. During the credits, a band plays "Swing Low", a song very much suited to the movie's perennial theme of facing death. One verse being:
    "I looked over Jordan and what did I see?
    Coming for to carry me home?
    A band of angelsnote  coming after me,
    Coming for to carry me home."
    • Which is an uncannily meta set of lyrics, considering that the main characters first discover the prospect of death bearing down on them when they look over Karen (played by Jordan Ladd) and see sickly wounds upon her leg.
  • But We Used a Condom: Inverted. Paul and Marcy make a point of telling the audience they are doing the deed without a raincoat. Of course, riding bareback with a deadly disease spreading through the cabin is just asking for trouble. Obviously, Marcy is already infected and is leaving poor Paul with a bad case of Cabin Fever.
  • Coitus Ensues: A sensitive new age guy goes in to comfort a friend who is frightened by all the illness around them, and winds up getting wildly laid by a babe who was almost certainly the prom queen.
  • Cool Old Guy: Old Man Cadwell who seems racist but is actually Pretty Fly for a White Guy.
  • Coming and Going:
    • Marcy and Paul's impulsive romp in the sack is framed around a shot of motionless Karen dying alone in the tool shed. Marcy's aroused breathing has even been inserted into the Karen shot. This was done to illustrate the moral decay that had developed within the cabin (with 2 teens selfishly enjoying a good screw while their friend croaks).
    • Undertones of sex are subtly present across the entire spread of the disease throughout the main characters:
      • Karen is discovered to have the deadly illness when Paul is feeling her up - it's implied that her first wound was near her vagina because that's the area Paul was touching her when he found the blood.
      • Burt's first disease wounds are discovered just above his crotch.
      • Marcy's first disease wounds are the rashes on her back that appear during her passionate sexual encounter with Paul.
      • Paul actually contracts the disease from his unprotected sexual encounter with infected Marcy. (See Death by Sex below.) In addition, his first definite sign of being sick are small wounds he finds down near his crotch. Of course, this doesn't mean it's an STD going around, but Getting On Down with somebody who's dying from a waterborne infection is not really the best idea...
  • Covers Always Lie: The back cover states that there's "something burrowing beneath [the character's] flesh", implying a parasite of some sort.
  • Creator Cameo: Roth plays the memorable character Justin.
  • Creepy Child: Dennis, hands down.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: "I MADE IT! I FUCKING MADE IT!" *gunshot*
  • Deadly Bath: The actual bathing is not shown, but Marcy tells the group she's going to take a bath after an argument earlier in the movie. Possibly how she initially became infected ( the virus is waterborne)).
  • Death by Irony: Oh, yes.
    • Karen is ironically infected by the man who loves her, Paul, who does so attempting to comfort her, not realizing that the glass of water he's offering her contains the disease.
    • Bert seals his own fate by forgetting about his bet with Jeff and drinking a sip of water.
    • Paul's infection with the deadly disease is doubly ironic. Once because Marcy explicitly assured him she was healthy while they were having unprotected sex, while in reality she was unhealthy and was passing her deadly sickness over to him. And secondly because having unprotected sex with her in the first place went directly against his own advice to Marcy and Jeff earlier in the movie to have 'safe sex' .
    • Jeff's death is Lampshaded Death by Irony. After successfully evading the virus for two days, he stands upon the cabin porch, proudly proclaiming: "I fucking made it!", only to be immediately gunned down by a squad of trigger-happy sherrif's deputies.
    • Paul's depicted ending is ironic, in that he tried to warn Winston that the virus was in the water supply, only for Winston to misinterpret his utterances of, "Water..." as pleas for some water to drink, subsequently leading to Winston abandoning Paul by a stream, under the strange belief that he was giving Paul what he wanted.
      • Especially ironic in that Paul's efforts to warn others of the danger ultimately led to him contaminating the water supply of the whole community.
  • Death by Sex:
    • Marcy has sex with Paul because she's upset that Jeff bailed on all of them. Paul is concerned that they aren't using a condom, but Marcy claims that she hasn't caught the virus yet. Afterward, Paul douses his genitals with Listerine to be sure - too late! Turns out she was wrong, as we see her with handprint rashes on her back where he touched her immediately after they finish.
    • Another example happens earlier on where Paul is fondling Karen. He soon finds out that her legs are bleeding and infected, and he was actually touching one of the sores.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Subverted with the unexpected Love Triangle that develops between Karen, Paul & Marcy late in the movie. Both ladies die within minutes of one another, leaving Paul (who ultimately dies himself) with no hope of ending up with either one of them.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Though not as bad as many horror examples.
  • Despair Speech: Marcy's "We're all gonna die... It's like being on a crashing plane..." speech certainly qualifies.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: You just never should in general. Everything will want to eat you, including the bacteria.
  • Downer Ending: None of the four main characters live to warn somebody. The kids buying and selling lemonade made with contaminated water are infected with the virus and will most likely infect the rest of the townspeople, and the water is bottled and shipped to another part of the country.
  • Drone of Dread: A sickly whine is used frequently. Mostly to overlay shots of the infected water, or to indicate the moment a character becomes infected or realizes they are infected (or both, in one case).
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Paul feels Karen up whilst she's in a sickness-induced sleep, going as far as fingering her. Somewhat subverted as it's not actually her vagina, and he comes away with blood-covered fingers.
  • Ear Ache: Fenster, one of the hillbillies, dies when a screwdriver is jammed into his ear.
  • Eaten Alive: Marcy is chased and eaten by a rabid dog.
  • Ethical Slut: Though she's mostly known as the film's Ms. Fanservice, Marcy was also one of the only two people who cared enough to comfort Karen and clean her up after she started vomiting blood. She also seemed to be the most remorseful of the group about locking Karen in the shed as she brought Karen dinner soon afterward.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: "...Goodnight, fucker..."
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Paul advises Jeff and Marcy to have "safe sex" when he accidentally walks in on them about to do the horizontal hula at the start of the movie. Though it's not clear one way or the other if they actually take his advice, it would later turn out to be extremely important advice that Paul, himself, fails to follow when he has sex with Marcy later on.
    • During the campfire scene, Marcy tells Paul, "trauma bonds people" and Paul corrects her, "it bonds the people who go through it." Throughout the remainder of the movie, Marcy and Paul go through trauma together, to the point they end up having sex.
    • Marcy's quote: "...All you want to do is grab the person next to you and fuck the shit out of them because you know you're going to be dead soon anyway." This turns out to be an eerily accurate description of her remaining lifespan. Pretty much all she does after that speech is grab the guy sitting next to her, have sex with him, and then die shortly afterward.
    • The director's cut version includes an extra scene that shows how everybody spends their last night in the cabin. Marcy and Paul are shown sleeping in the same bed, both fully clothed, due to how Marcy's relationship with Jeff has deteriorated throughout the night. This of course foreshadows Marcy and Paul "sleeping together" in the more biblical sense.
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Invoked by a special feature on the DVD called "Chick-Vision", which puts up the silhouettes of hands over the screen whenever a scary or gory scene is about to come up.
  • Great Way to Go: When her friends start succumbing to the disease, Marcy decides that what little time she has left would best be spent doing the horizontal mambo.
    Marcy: '''It's like being on a plane when you know it's going to crash. Everybody is screaming "We're going down! We're going down!" And all you want to do is grab the person next to you and fuck the shit out of them, because you know you just gonna die soon, anyway.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Marcy leaves her breasts hanging free and visible when we first see her washing up after her intense sex scene. But she soon covers them with her arms, while holding a small towel up to her face and keeps them covered for the duration of the scene.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Marcy virtually shuts down completely after Jeff abandons her. Before she is assertive, selfless, and driven. But afterward, all she does is have one last screw, resign herself to death, and have a bath.
    • Paul grows increasingly out of control after seeing Marcy's mangled remains. Supposedly the hero of the film, he ends up going on a killing spree, killing several people including his own love interest.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After spending most of the movie being an incorrigible prick, Bert sacrifices himself allowing Paul to kill the evil townsfolk.
  • Homage Shot:
    • Paul and Marcy's sex scene draws on the first two Species movies in numerous ways:
      • The scene begins with Marcy forcefully hurling Paul down on to the bed, just like Natasha Henstridge did to Alfred Molina.
      • The initial shot of them is very similar to shots of Natasha Henstridge having sex with Alfred Molina; similarities that would've been even more apparent if Eli Roth had had his way and Cerina Vincent had filmed the scene completely naked, just as Natasha Henstridge had been in her scene.
      • Both male characters in these scenes timidly question the women about using a condom. Both times the women overpower their common sense with their aggressive seduction.
      • The final part of the scene resembles the first sex scene in Species II, where Justin Lazard's second lover squeezes his back while they are having sex, only to discover he's grown alien tentacles. However, while the horror element is made evident to the woman in Species II, in this movie the disturbing revelation that Marcy has the disease is only revealed to the audience.
    • The Slo Mo shot of Marcy walking to the empty house is a deliberate recreation of the butt-tracking scene from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974).
  • Hypocrite:
    Paul when he sees Marcy about to have sex with Jeff
    Paul: Yeeeeah... Safe sex!
    Paul while Marcy is having sex with him
    Paul: You don't use condoms?
    Marcy: Don't worry, I'm healthy.
    Paul: (Implied by silence) Oh, alright then.
  • A House Divided: None of the characters actually die from the virus.
  • Irony: The brand of beer shown in the scene where Jeff takes all the beer and bails on his friends is the very real "Arrogant Bastard Ale".
  • Instant Seduction: Marcy somehow manages to turn a maudlin speech about how hopeless their situation is, and a pensive gaze into High Octane Nookie Fuel. No sooner has she finished telling Paul how doomed they both are, then the film cuts to a shot of them both naked, with Marcy throwing incredulous Paul down on the bed.
  • Internal Reveal: Just after Marcy assures her reluctant sex partner that she's healthy, we're shown that his hands are leaving unusually nasty rashes as they squeeze her back - cluing us in, as if we didn't already suspect, that Marcy was already riddled with the disease.
  • Immodest Orgasm: Jeff at the beginning makes a lot of noise.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • The second sex scene is an ironic echo of the first one:
      • The first begins with Marcy giving a speech about how great the coming week's going to be, the second begins with her giving a speech about how all they've got in their future is sickness and death.
      • Paul advises Marcy and Jeff to use a condom at the beginning of the first sex scene, at the beginning of the second he tells Marcy he's concerned that they aren't using a condom.
      • Both scenes are cut into two sections, framed by a still shot of what one of their friends is doing at the same time.
      • Both have soundtracks, the first is upbeat and carefree, the second is dark and ominous.
      • The first scene is quite vocal, the second one is mostly silent - symbolizing the breakdown of communication/relationships among the group.
    • Paul's infection is an ironic echo of Karen's. Both come about as a consequence of him attempting to give moral support to one of his overwrought female friends, and both occur accidentally through what was intended to be a 'loving' gesture (Paul offering Karen a drink of water to calm her, and Paul and Marcy making love.)
    • Dennis randomly shouting "Pancakes!" when he bites Bert's hand and gets infected. Later, when he's being treated in hospital, the mascot bunny is actually feeding him pancakes.
  • iSophagus: At a party, a guy playing his harmonica gets it shoved down his throat after getting smashed in the face with a guitar. Cue him falling to the ground gasping for air complete with harmonica sounds.
  • Jerkass: Jeff, who runs off and abandons his girlfriend after two of their friends have caught the virus.
  • Karma Houdini: Jeff, the jerkiest of jerk-faces in the entire movie, quickly abandons everyone and only looks out for himself, even in a rare moment that he actually COULD make a difference. He's the only one that survives. Well, until the mob clearing out the infected gun him down when they don't realize he's clean.
  • Literal Metaphor: Marcy likens her and Paul's hopeless situation to one where "all you want to do is grab the person next to you and fuck the shit out of them", which leaves Paul Dumb Struck. She proceeds to grab him and fuck the shit out of him.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Marcy gets ripped to pieces by a dog.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: Pancakes!
  • Mercy Kill: Paul kills Karen with a shovel to put her out of her misery.
  • Mistaken for Racist: The shotgun that's "for niggers" isn't to shoot them. Rather, the store owner has some black friends from out of town and the gun is theirs.
  • Modest Orgasm: Despite the pulse-racing tempo of her doomsday fling, Marcy reaches the grand finale with just a quiet gasp and a toss of her hair. Paul's reaction is even less noticeable (Though he's shot only from the back, so it's not like we're in a position to see him).
  • Musical Spoiler: The sinister background music over Marcy and Paul's sex scene make it pretty clear that something dark is happening here ( namely, Paul catching the disease from Marcy) as if the expository statement about their lack of condoms wasn't clear enough.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Marcy's sarcastic remark to the men, the morning after they accidentally killed the sick hobo to stop him from stealing their car.
    Marcy: You boys gonna kill each other'', now?
    • Also when she criticizes Paul for being a little too excitable when they slept together.
    Marcy: Jesus, Paul, you really did a number on my back!
  • No Body Left Behind: Marcy almost completely disappears after meeting her gruesome end. There are bits and pieces of her scattered around the surrounding forest, but her corpse is nowhere to be found. That dog must've been really hungry!
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Despite Marcy's pleas for him to stay in the cabin, Paul is determined to wander off after their sexual ride, on a seemingly pointless mission. Of course, seeing as he suspected her of giving him the deadly disease, you can understand why he was so eager to get away from her. Also, see Sex Changes Everything.
    • If there is any doubt about his true motive for leaving being the post-coital awkwardness (as opposed to a genuine attempt to save his friends), take a look at the direction Jeff ran off in, and then take a look at the direction Paul returns from after he hears Marcy's death screams. He went searching for Jeff in the completely opposite direction to where he last saw Jeff running!
  • Out with a Bang: Marcy justifies a spontaneous affair with Paul by rationalizing that they will both soon be infected and dead from the disease, so why not? By doing it, she actually infects (presumably) healthy Paul with the illness she was carrying.
  • "Psycho" Strings: A double beat string motif is used during the scene where Marcy infects Paul by having sex with him.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The film's inspiration came when Eli Roth developed a skin disease during a trip to Iceland.
  • Reveal Shot: When a tense discussion breaks up, the camera pans on to the table to reveal a cup of tea where Marcy had been sitting, indicating that she had drunk some of the infected water during the meeting.
  • Right Through His Pants: Marcy is topless but she is wearing panties during sex with Paul.
  • Rule of Sexy: Many reviewers, both pro and amateur, have noted how improbable and out-of-place Paul and Marcy's sudden tryst seemed. Likely, it was written in because Roth wanted his debut to return to the staples of classic horror (one of which being gratuitous nudity).
  • Scare Chord: After Paul is wheeled into the hospital, he has a dream of him and Karen before everything went down. There's very nice music, the final scene shows the two of them about to kiss...and then it smash cuts to Karen's flesh-rotted face with a JARRING scare chord playing.
  • Sequel Hook: The bottled water truck driving off at the end of the movie is shown in the sequel to have delivered its deadly cargo to the population of a high school prom.
  • Sex Changes Every Thing: Subtle hints throughout the film show Marcy's relationship with Jeff decaying while she grows closer to Paul. A scene cut from the cinema version even shows them sleeping together (fully clothed) on their last night. On their last morning, they do everything together. Then, after Marcy finally has sex with Paul, he can't get away from her fast enough.
  • Sex for Solace: Debatable. Marcy's sudden urge to screw Paul seems mostly due to Jeff breaking up with and abandoning her.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: See Cruel Twist Ending.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The ending where the only remaining uninfected survivor is shot in the head by the arriving posse closely mirrors that of Night of the Living Dead (1968).
      • Speaking of NotLD, some locals investigate the titular cabin. While piling infected corpses to burn, one comments that they should check the basement for survivors.
    • Two characters are listed in the credits as "Shemp" and "Fake Shemp", in an homage to the Evil Dead films.
      • A Shout-Out of a Shout-Out, in fact, as this is ultimately a reference to The The Three Stooges, who hired an impersonator to be strategically filmed to complete scenes featuring Shemp in their movies after the real Shemp suddenly died during production.
    • The Thing (1982): Karen, like Dr. Blair, is banished to a tool shed by the group.
    • The second sex scene has numerous ties to the Species franchise (see Homage Shot). note  In addition to the direct stylistic matches listed above:
    • The "rabbit man" in the hospital is supposedly a Shout-Out to the man in the dog costume, briefly glimpsed in The Shining.
    • The scene in the hospital where Paul pulls up his gown and discovers some of the symptomatic scabs of the disease is reminiscent of the Dream Sequence at the start of Aliens where Ripley pulls back her own hospital gown to reveal a bulge in her belly where an Alien is about to burst out.
  • Shown Their Work: One of the sound mixers survived an actual bout with flesh-eating bacteria. He maintains that the makeup in the film is 100% accurate.
    • Eli Roth himself had flesh-eating bacteria while he was backpacking abroad in Iceland-namely a bout of Trench Foot.
  • Slo Mo shot of Marcy's pert posterior swaying its way up a grassy hill.
  • Spoiler Title: On the soundtrack album, the audio track that plays over Marcy's unexpected sex scene with Paul (and the speech that led up to it) is called "Paul Marcy Screw".
  • Surreal Humor: The "pancakes" scene.
  • Tempting Fate: See Cruel Twist Ending above. Did Jeff not realize what kind of movie he was in??
  • There Will Be Toilet Paper: ...Just not nearly enough of it. Not enough in the world.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • How many women, if when they were shaving their legs, and the skin started to come off on the razor with noticeable amounts of blood and scraping noises to Squick pretty much anybody within the county out, would continue shaving their legs?
  • Toplessness from the Back:
  • Wham Shot: After having sex with Paul, Marcy goes to the bathroom to shower and notices red hand marks on her back revealing she is infected.

Cabin Fever 2 contains examples of:

  • Anguished Declaration of Love: John confesses his love to Cassie while he is pissed off and screaming at her about dating a douchebag.
  • Animated Credits Opening: Shows the spread of the virus through the water supply as a visible red taint. A corresponding animated credit sequence occurs at the end, showing the further spread of the virus and that the country is pretty much screwed.
  • Artifact Title: There's no cabin in Cabin Fever 2. Almost the entire film takes place in a high school.
  • Blatant Lies: The bus driver claims he didn't see Paul, but Paul was standing in broad daylight in the middle of the empty road for a good 15 seconds. In fact, the bus had to go over the yellow divider in order to hit him.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: Everyone at the prom after the infected punch kicks in and they start vomiting blood all over each other.
  • Bloody Hilarious: The guy driving the truck of bottled water into town, who appears to have a stoma, starts choking while eating at a diner. Borderline dramatic. He tears his shirt open to reveal much of his chest and side have been eaten away by the virus. It's horrifying. He continues choking as a waitress attempts to perform an exorcism on him and suddenly starts spraying the place with blood squirting out of his stoma. Uh...
    • The projectile blood vomiting prom scene. At least two of the shots are straight-up visual gags.
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: Invoked by the stripper at the end.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The girl who was just crowned prom queen before everything goes to hell throws an unholy tantrum because everyone is too busy vomiting out their liquefied internal organs to pay attention to her big moment.
  • Death by Sex: The wisecracking best friend is treated to some oral sex. The girl who administers it has a cold sore...which turns out to be the beginning stages of the disease. The disease spreads to aforementioned friend in a seriously disturbing way.)
  • Downer Ending: Only one student survives the sudden quarantine of her high school as the virus continues to spread across the nation with no chance of stopping.
  • Fan Disservice: The stripper at the end. You may never have an erection again.
  • Fingore: The wisecracking best friend sees one of his fingernails coming loose as he is getting ready for prom. He sticks it back in with superglue.
  • Foreshadowing: The punch a girl mixes up with the contaminated water looks unusually like blood...and the contamination depicted in the animated titles sequence.
  • I Drank What?: Turned up to teabagging levels here. The punch that everyone is drinking at the prom is not only made with the contaminated bottled water, but it was also pissed in by an infected custodian. (It's complicated).
  • Jerkass: Marc, who not only bashes an infected student's head in but bashes Cassie in the head with a hammer and attempts to kill John.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: After Our Intrepid Protagonist gets some infected blood on his hand, he tries to forestall his own infection by cutting off said hand with a chop saw, with Cassie's help. It doesn't work.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When faceless government goons come in and start shooting everyone, you're supposed to cheer for the plucky survivors who escape, right? Except by surviving and escaping, they've essentially doomed the rest of the world to The Plague.
  • Oh, Crap!: Winston when he realizes that the bottled-water company is delivering the infected bottled-waters after witnessing an incident at a restaurant.
  • Prom Baby: Happens very gruesomely, wherein a random promgoer has an extremely messy birth in the school restroom after contracting the virus. There is blood everywhere, including a rather conspicuous trail leading to the trashcan, suggesting a stillbirth. The actual condition of the newborn is left as an exercise for the viewer.
  • Senseless Phagia: To their credit, the promgoers do remark that the punch tastes like piss...
  • Shout-Out:
    • Carrie (1976): Cassie spends the last third in a prom dress splashed liberally with blood. (And of course, her name.)
    • Evil Dead 2: The hero cuts off his hand when it gets infected. It didn't involve a chainsaw, though - he used a chop saw in the shop class.
    • One of the dance scenes features the theme from Prom Night (1980).
  • The Stinger: Daryl and Dane (the only two characters who are clearly not infected) are seen watching a movie at home, and one of them says "Prom blows!"
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Played with. Paul is revealed to be still alive (albeit falling apart) at the beginning, only to get splashed across the front of a school bus five minutes in.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: Which leads to much grossness when the virus is waterborne.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Let's just pretend that it's possible for the quirky female love interest to change her mind about going to prom, finding tickets, picking out and ordering a really nice prom dress, and getting her hair styled in time at the last second.
    • Most prom dresses are bought weeks or months in advance and her boyfriend had just dumped her so she had probably been planning to go before. Also, not every Prom requires tickets, in fact where I live that's the exception, not the rule. Even ones that do, the tickets can often be bought at the doors as you arrive.
    • As Phelous pointed out, it seems pretty weird that Liz would treat Alex with disdain and even mock him for asking her to go to the prom with him...when ten seconds earlier she was quite willing to perform oral sex on him.
    Phelous: So he got getting his cock sucked? Seems a little backward.
    • In this case, it wasn't about performing a sex act on him specifically, it was more about using him as a tool to get back at her asshole of an ex-boyfriend. He didn't matter to her beyond that. Although I'm sure he wasn't excessively concerned...

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero contains examples of:

  • Artifact Title: Like with Spring Fever, this doesn't take place in a cabin, rather on a disease research facility on a remote island.
  • Black Comedy: A few unexpected moments in this relatively serious installment:
    • A researcher in the late stages of the disease tries to shoot one of the protagonists with a handgun. The recoil snaps his gun arm off below the elbow and propels the gun (still in his hand) back through his skull, killing him.
    • The Cat Fight described below is so absurd that it becomes darkly hilarious.
  • Cat Fight: One occurs late in the movie, but any potential fanservice is killed by the fact that both women are in the late stages of the disease.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The mouse that one of the scientists drops is later revealed to have been infected with the virus by Porter to force a lockdown.
  • Fanservice: With one of the plotlines centered around a beach vacation, there are plenty of bikini-clad women and fit, shirtless men to go around before everything goes to hell.
  • Fan Disservice: Hot woman in a bikini? Awesome. Formerly-hot woman in a bikini, suffering the late stages of a flesh-eating virus that causes her skin to slough off if you pull on her arms too hard? Not so much.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The guy in the late stages of the disease who tries to shoot one of the heroes. The recoil snaps his arm off entirely and sends the gun through his own face.
  • Jerkass: The lead scientist studying the disease, who is willing to put his own team at risk, imprison a man indefinitely without trial, and release the disease into the wild so he can make a fortune coming up with a cure.
  • Madden Into Misanthropy: It's unclear exactly when Porter snaps, but it's clear at the very end that he gives zero shits about keeping the world safe from the disease he carries.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: The disease can now not only survive in the ocean but infect two people who just swim through the water. In real life, there is a species of ocean bacterium that can cause necrotizing fasciitis but infection is very rare since it requires a deep cut in the skin to enter a body
  • No OSHA Compliance: Invoked by the lead scientist so he can make a fortune engineering a cure for the flesh-eating disease.
  • Senseless Phagia: A character performing oral sex on his girlfriend doesn't notice that she is bleeding heavily from the crotch, only thinking that the wetness is a sign that she's that aroused.
  • Typhoid Mary: Porter is an asymptomatic carrier of the flesh-eating disease that killed his family.

The 2016 Remake contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Marcy's seduction of Paul is less forceful, and more vulnerable, while she really didn't seem to think that she might have been infected and when she notices the marks on her back, she seems more subdued, and frightened, while not trying to blame it on Paul. Paul himself also seems to have really been looking for Jeff, and not just grabbing a pretext to avoid Marcy afterward.
    • Rather than trying to kill Paul in the woods and later dumping him in the lake after he makes it to the hospital, Deputy Winslow is convinced to let Paul go and flee into the woods.
  • Boléro Effect: In this version, Paul and Marcy's "It's like being on a plane..." scene is backed by sombre strings that reflect the bleakness of their situation. Drums sound as they tentatively kiss for the first time and as their activity becomes more and more passionate, the soundtrack becomes increasingly more powerful; quickly eclipsing its slow beginnings with a much livelier tempo. By the time Marcy and Paul are naked and making love wildly, it has become a commanding tribute to their passion.
  • Gender Flip: Deputy Winslow's character is made into a woman.
  • Human Notepad: Marcy is covered in ink and it's pretty much entirely writing.
  • I Have Brothers: After Marcy scares the dog away by shooting the gun, she says this almost word for word when Bert asks where she learned to shoot like that.


Video Example(s):


It's Like Being On A Plane...

Marcy can think of at least one thing to do in the face of certain death that's better than just sitting around and moping.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / DoYouWantToCopulate

Media sources:

Main / DoYouWantToCopulate