Can I give a film zero stars? We’ll…I’ll toss ‘em a half for spelling all the names in the opening credits correctly.
You’d think after SCARECROW GONE WILD, I would have learned my lesson. Happily, I never had to review that film for you fine Bloody-Disgusting readers, and blessed are your lives if you never had to sit through it. It seems that all the good grace I’ve been afforded since I gave up covering the films of German hack-meister Ulli Lommel has been wasted, sucked right out of every pore, wept out through every tear duct and sweat gland as I sat, jaw dropped open, at the utter monstrosity that ran across my television screen. In some deep recess of my throbbing brain, I thought it was impossible. Buried way down in my gut I never imagined the day would come. I just sat through a film that was worse than S.I.C.K.
For years I’ve held S.I.C.K. on a pedestal that could never be attained. It was far and away the worst horror film I’ve ever seen. All that changed on the afternoon of March 26, 2007 as I nonchalantly placed a DVD screener of Westlake Entertainment’s ZOMBIES GONE WILD into my DVD player.
The film itself is billed as comedy. It’s a road trip-gone-wrong-misadventure about three buddies who are looking to score some sweet college ass while on Spring Break but wind up being seduced by a gang of bloodthirsty temptresses. I sort of envisioned a cross between FRATERNITY VACATION and BORDELLO OF BLOOD. Sure it looked dumb, but it had the deceptive cover art scam going for it. Yeah, it’s a crappy photoshop cover, but in my mind it captured that circa 1988 teen genre market that brought out films like TRANSYLVANIA 6-5000 and MUNCHIES. And OK, those films suck too, but how bad could this one really be? I mean it can’t be as bad as S.I.C.K. right?
Wrong! This is the microbudget scene we’re talking about now. If the filmmakers spent more than the price of a Happy Meal on this movie then somebody’s got some explaining to do. There’s sort of an understood idea that in no-budget filmmaking, the less money you have to complete a production, the more inventive you become as a filmmaker. Certainly this isn’t always the case, but it often holds true, and if you told genre fans how little many of these DIY films actually cost; it would impress the hell out of most of ‘em.
ZOMBIES GONE WILD exists to defy that logic. It’s the worst in what microbudget filmmaking can offer. The dialogue is ignorant, and there is far too much of it. The comedy is not funny, even by accident. The horror takes well over three-quarters of the movie to get started and when it does, it is neither terrifying, nor creative, nor funny. The only thing that is scary is that anyone in his or her right mind would distribute the finished product.
The film is everything that is wrong with the marketing of low budget pictures these days. That some poor unsuspecting genre fan will walk into a Blockbuster or a Hollywood Video and rent this film based on the product description and cover art does a disservice to legions of below the radar filmmakers out there slaving away at day jobs and shooting 40 pages of script in weekend blur-a-thons. That kid who gives you his three dollars and is just looking for some blood and boobs to pass the time is never gonna get far enough into this film for either one to appear. I’ve seen well in excess of 10,000 films and I’ve never so desperately wanted to turn a movie off after the first 15-minutes than I did during this production.
Gorehounds who will rent anything are getting fewer and further between, and it’s because one too many films like BTK KILLER, MR. JINGLES and their ilk are making it onto store shelves and granting legitimacy to filmmakers who may love the genre, but have no ability to transfer that passion into watchable cinema. It’s unfair to the viewer and frankly unfair to lead on untalented filmmakers with the promise of some slick artwork and a snappy synopsis to sugarcoat their sad sack productions.
I can’t even manage to write a descent review of this trash. In fact, this review sucks as much as the movie. Stop reading it. Go about your lives, happy in the knowledge that you’ll never rent or buy this film. I’m sorry I’ve taken up some many free seconds of your day.