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YMMV / Red Zone Cuba

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  • Awesome Music: The film is a real-deal stinker, but the film's main theme is nice... in a So Bad, It's Good fashion, of course.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: At one point late in the film the trio stop to put up the hood of their stolen convertible. However the hood gets stuck and they struggle with it for almost a minute before giving up. Given the quality of the film it is entirely possible they didn't know it would get stuck but didn't bother to reshoot and put the scene in anyway. The entire scene also seems to be there just to have an ironic statement by the Burma-Shave ad ("Where" "Will" "You" "Spend" "Eternity?").
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  • Catharsis Factor: Griffin's death at the end was clearly meant to be tragic. Instead, many found his death fulfilling, due to him being a complete scumbag.
  • Designated Hero: The main characters are entirely unsympathetic, particularly Griffin. He is supposed to be viewed as a put-upon everyman who just suffers from poor impulse control, but is instead portrayed as a selfish, violent, and hypocritical murderer and rapist. When the work page describes Griffin as "one of the most disturbingly realistic portrayals of a sociopath in film", something went wrong.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • "He's Cherokee Jack!" He's a lovable idiot with a lot of personality for someone who only appears in one scene.
    • The Cuban Lady of War at the prison camp also impressed quite a few viewers even though she never speaks.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The Fat Bastard Designated Hero is named Griffin.
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  • Moral Event Horizon: Griffin crosses this when he rapes a blind girl and murders her father.
  • Narm: "Griffin ran all the way to hell...with a penny and a broken cigarette."
  • Narm Charm: Again, the theme song "Night Train to Mundo Fine". Despite John Carradine's froggy, giggle-inducing singing voice, the old fella could actually carry a tune.
  • Special Effect Failure: The obviously fake beard on Fidel Castro.
  • Too Bleak, Stopped Caring: The film owes its largely negative reception to this. Griffin is an Unintentionally Unsympathetic Designated Hero whom the film portrays as a flawed but decent guy, but any heroic actions he did were for selfish reasons. The film intends him to cross the Moral Event Horizon when he rapes a blind girl and murders her father, but he was an unrepentant Jerkass from the start. Needless to say, few viewers felt sorry for him after he died.
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  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: The actress who plays Chastain's wife gives a surprisingly emotive performance for the few minutes she's in the movie. At least compared to everyone else.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Griffin was meant to be seen as a mostly decent person who was down on his luck and held back by a Hair-Trigger Temper, and what happens to him at the end of the movie was supposed to be tragic and thought-provoking. However, he does nothing even remotely heroic or altruistic at all throughout the entire story; anything he does that seems so (asking for water for a sick man in a POW camp, or treating the wife of said sick man nicely) is merely calculated to advance his own agenda. Griffin was supposed to have fallen beyond sympathy when he rapes a blind girl and murders her father, but he failed to establish any sympathy to lose by that point.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: John Carradine's appearance as an Advertised Extra might seem a little surprising, but those familiar with his resume will probably know that his taking such a role really wasn't anything out of the ordinary.note  However, why on earth the film-makers decided that Carradine should perform the film's theme song is a different matter entirely; just listening to a few seconds of the song will tell you that whatever other talents Carradine may have had, singing definitely wasn't one of them. On the other hand, given what a bleak, gray and downbeat movie this is, Carradine's rough and unpolished performance fits very well.


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