It's Memorial Day weekend in Hazelville and the tourists are flocking in to spend their days camping out in the forest. Although an unseen evil turns what should be a time of fun for friends and family, into an unforgettable nightmare as a Great White Pine is killing and eating anyone who sets foot in the woods. It's up to Park Ranger Cody, botanist Max Cooper and Squint the local lumberjack to put an end to the monsters reign of terror.
Even though I truly hate parodies, I came across a parody movie a couple years back that I was not only had me curious about it, but I also really wanted to see it. That movie my friends, is called "Trees", a "Jaws" parody involving a man-eating Great White Pine tree...
I'm sure your first thought was, "surely you jest." You may have even said, "a movie that contains one of the most absurd ideas, of a killer tree attacking forest visitors and campers, with it being up to a Forest Ranger to stop this monster. It is not possible for such a movie to exist, that is simply too crazy."
Oh but I sure you, it is quite real and not only does it actually exist but it spawned a sequel. Sure the idea of killer vegetation is nothing new with movies like "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes", "Please Don't Eat My Mother", "The Head Mistress", and of course the classic "Little Shop of Horrors". Though most of which deal with either alien-plants or mutated-plates, I really can't think of any movies off the top of my head where it is considered "normal" for a regular tree to be wandering around and attacking people. Though why would you make a movie about something like that? Which is why Michael Pleckaitis is either a genius or a madman...Could be a brilliant madman...
Either way, while the idea may seem ridiculous, Pleckaitis makes it work by treating it as a serious movie rather than saying, "This is a dumb idea so lets try to make it as dumb as possible." Of course he doesn't take it seriously to the point where "Trees" tries to be an actual scary movie, because lets face it, there is not a chance in hell anybody could ever be scared by the movie's concept. This is a comedy first and foremost, with shades of horror and suspense elements which mostly come from the original source material. Though what really helps sell this concept as being something serious, are the actors portraying the characters of this small lumberjack town being terrorized by this pine-menace. They are all here; Ranger Cody, the Park Ranger who is doing what he can to save the people of the town. Max Cooper, the botanist from New York City who wants to help Cody, Squint the crazy lumberjack who knows all to well what it takes to hunt down a vicious killer tree. Of course with any terrorized town you have to have the evil Mayor who is willing to put the towns-folk at risk to avoid any bad publicity. There are of course all the side characters included to help fill the gaps, move the story along and provide any additional humor to the movie. Naturally, all the characters, big and small, do their job of filling their predicted cliched-archetype duties. This is low-budget, so of course the acting isn't going to please most viewers, but the fact is everyone does good job of selling the story and providing entertainment. Sure some may go over the top, others may be down right bad, but it all works in the favor of the movie since it helps make it that much more fun, because it is okay to laugh at it for being bad.
Since this is a parody, there really isn't anything to be said about the story because if you've seen "Jaws", well then you know how this is going play out. It doesn't ever actually deviate from the plot outline of an unseen terror showing up and people turn up missing, people panic, people think the menace is stopped, more people die and then three misfits head into the woods to stop it once and for all. So while the killer tree concept is unique, the story isn't so much, but that isn't the point of the movie. It's sole purpose is to entertain you by making laugh by giving you one of the most absurd ideas for a movie, and it works. Not only that, but it does contain enough of its own original material for jokes that it can and does support itself and goes beyond being just a parody, and is a clever comedy-horror movie.