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A group of anthropology students take a road trip to the family ranch of one of them for a weekend of drinking and taking drugs, the latter under the pretense of researching ancient rituals. They run in trouble, however, because the brother that lives on the seemingly abandoned premises displays disturbing behavior in his search for a "bride" and a stranger named Delgado turns up to enact revenge for a misdeed in the past by one of the students. Written by
Rites of Passage is a flawed piece of filmmaking about a college dweeb trying to prove his manhood to his peers by dragging two van loads of his peers plus a professor (played by Stephen Dorff in a nothing role) out on a field trip to his family home in order to observe ancient Indian land on his property and take ancient Indian hallucinogens.
In the meantime, his disturbed brother (Wes Bentley) is almost as obsessed with finding a woman as he is with Native American history. He, along with his deranged, grieving grounds keeper (Christian Slater), have been cooking, using, and selling the hallucinogenic flowers as well. Of course, it's bad news when these two unstable characters run up against a bunch of pretty young students, especially when a tragic coincidence turns out to link them in an unexpected way.
The short review of this movie is that it sucks. Essentially, it's just an overcomplicated dead teenager movie with an above average cast. In one of the few highlights of the movie, scream queen Brianna Evigan pops up in a smallish part and spends most of her screen time in her underwear. In fact, most of the actresses are either in their underwear or bikinis for most of the movie but there's no actual nudity. Not much gore, either. And the characters aren't remotely likable so this is the sort of movie where you're hoping for everyone to die but disappointed when the death scenes are generic, mostly bloodless and generally forgettable.
Rites of Passage is all over the place, silly, and kind of pointless. It's not really an anti drug movie, it's not hardly scary, and it's not often funny. The only entertainment value comes from Christian Slater's crazy, over-the-top acting as he scrambles around waving a shotgun, muttering to himself, and hallucinating. Basically, imagine Tucker and Dale vs. Evil made without any of the wit.
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