Tag Archives: spoilers

The Blood Baths

pooldvdTHE POOL

3.5 Stars  2001/15/92m

“Evil has surfaced.”

A.k.a. Swimming Pool: Der Tod Felert Mit

Director/Writer: Boris von Sychowski / Writers: Lorenz Stassen & Ryan Carrassi / Cast: Kristen Miller, Elena Uhlig, Thorsten Grasshoff, John Hopkins, James McAvoy, Jason Liggett, Jonah Lotan, Isla Fisher, Cordelia Bugeja, Maximilian Grill, Lynda Rybová, Bryan Carney.

Body Count: 11

Laughter Lines: “Forget it, Frank, I’d put an end to your sex life before it even got started.”


Beware! Spoilers ahead.

The triangular formation of pretty young faces tells us where the influence for this collaborative European venture hails from. The Pool even starts with the old girl-tormented-in-house routine, as a planned dinner date is crashed by a skull-masked machete-swinging schizo.

At the International Highschool of Prague, exams wrap up and everyone wants to party, which is the big thing for rich, popular man-about-campus Gregor, who is renowned for his amazing secret after-parties. Obv heroine/American Sarah is smart and nice, everyone’s friend blah blah blah, while her German BFF, Carmen, is the promiscuous siren. There’s also Scottish bloke, British bloke, American bloke, German bloke, Australian girl, Czech girl, and girl-whose-accent-I-couldn’t-place.

pool7Scottish bloke and Australian girl are boyfriend/girlfriend, and also happen to be played by bona fide Hollywood A-listers to be James McAvoy and Isla Fisher. No big name should go without having been in a teen horror film before hitting the big time. It’s law. Anyway, She’s screwed up her final and is a bad mood, which lends well to her storming off and being the next one to meet Mr Skullface, who stalks her through the woods in an effectively pumped chase scene.

After the official school graduation ball thingy, the gang meet up and Gregor leads them convoy style to a pool complex outside the city. Swimsuits are provided, nobody knows they’re there, and they successfully jimmy their way into the bar. Awesome times ahead.

Well, awesome times would be ahead were it not for one of the group having stopped taking their meds, slaughtering his own stepsister, and is now among them at the party. But who, who? A grumpy detective in on the case, but he inexplicably speaks English to his Czech colleagues and says “damn kids” a lot. He’ll be useful.

pool1Sarah doesn’t swim and she doesn’t talk about it. Although later, when the issue is forced, her big secret warrants a one-line exposition of “oh… is that it?” gravitas. She lets the others have fun, flirt, pair off, la de da…

Up next is the infamous waterslide murder. An inventive set piece I’m sure we’ve all worried about at one time or another while sliding down the inside of a plastic tube towards God-knows-what. What if there’s crap in the splash pool? Or a dead body? *gasp* what is something sharp penetrated the floor of the slide!? See the results in this old Icky Way To Go. Ouch.

The murders are discovered and the group find that they are locked inside. Spitting into two groups, as numbers deplete, Sarah’s friends try to convince her that Gregor (elsewhere) is the most likely suspect. He brought them there. He made loads of suspicious statements earlier. One half of the group attempts to escape through the venting system, only for the killer to start piercing it with the machete.

pool2By this point it’s fairly obvious who the killer is, and it was a bit of a ‘that old chestnut’ situation as it’s revealed to be – yawn – the British guy, but the actor does a fine job of camping it up as he goes head to head with hydrophobic Sarah.

One distinguishing feature of The Pool is that not everyone else dies, there’s quite a number left intact by the time the credits roll. It’s helpful, as it offsets the weight on Kristen Miller’s shoulders, as she’s something of a cookie-cutter final girl, all deep trauma and niceties. Normally, the promiscuous girl who, it turns out, bedded Sarah’s boyfriend, would be sliced in no time, but she actually ends up saving the day here.

pool4The refresher comes from the cross section of accents and looks; the film was initially going to be a German-language homegrown production (evidenced by three of the five surviving characters being German), but cottoned on to the global market well enough, is produced with enough gloss to rank well as one of many Scream knock-offs, and doesn’t shy away from the bloodletting in favour of laughs. One eyebrow-raiser is the “advanced age” of several of these “teens” – some of them look like they should be thinking about retirement rather than graduation.

A fun diversion, aided abundantly by Prague’s beautiful scenery, and some ambitious ideas. The sort-of sequel is merely a re-edited Do You Wanna Know a Secret? with some new scenes tossed into the salad. As there’s no way in hell I’ll ever subject myself to that film again, I’ve not exposed myself to it.

Take a dip.

Blurb-of-interest: Miller was the bitchy girl, Cindy, in Cherry Falls.

pool6

The 100 Worst Slasher Films: #20-1

worst-stripMy belated Christmas-slash-New Year’s gift to you is the entire countdown of IMDb’s worst ranked slasher films from the 673 I’ve enjoyed/endured.

It saddens me to think of the days spent watching some of these dreadful, dreadful films. If nothing more, I hope this list provides you with a warning of what the avoid next time you’re in the mood for a stack of dead teenagers…

Regardé:

See full commentary for #100-81

100. Fatal Pulse (1988)
99. Blood Cult (1985)
98. Small Town Folk (2007)
97. Axe Giant (2012)
96. Study Hell (2004)
95. StagKnight (2007)
94. Slaughtered (2009)
93. Scar (2005)
92. The Prey (1980)
91. The Jackhammer Massacre (2003)

90. Heebie Jeebies (2004)
89. Hayride (2012)
88. Evil Breed: The Legend of Samhain (2005)
87. Dark Walker (2003)
86. Cut (2010)
85. A Crack in the Floor (2000)
84. Cheerleader Massacre (2003)
83. Blood Reaper (2004)
82. Silent Bloodnight (2006)
81. Shadows Run Black (1981)

Commentary for #80-61

80. The Masque of the Red Death (1989)
79. BreadCrumbs (2011)
78. Adam & Evil (2004)
77. Kill Keith (2011)
76. The Choke (2005)
75. The Graveyard (2006)
74. The Pumpkin Karver (2006)
73. Knock Knock (2006)
72. Goodnight, God Bless (1987)
71. Camp Blood 2 (2000)

70. Drive In (2000)
69. Hatchetman (2003)
68. Switch Killer (2005)
67. A Night to Dismember (1983)
66. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)
65. Horror 102: Endgame (2004)
64. Scared (2001)
63. Terror at Tenkiller (1987)
62. Motorhome Massacre (2006)
61. Deranged (2012)

Commentary for #60-41

60. Bikini Girls on Ice (2009)
59. Dead Above Ground (2002)
58. Camp Blood (1999)
57. The Catcher (1997)
56. The Curse of El Charro (2005)
55. Scarecrow Gone Wild (2004)
54. Paranoid (2000)
53. The Watermen (2011)
52. Blood Sisters (1985)
51. Detention (2010)

50. Seed (2007)
49. Hollow Gate (1988)
48. Splatter University (1984)
47. Devon’s Ghost: Legend of the Bloody Boy (2005)
46. Do You Wanna Know a Secret? (2001)
45. Final Examination (2003)
44. Jolly Roger: Massacre at Cutter’s Cove (2005)
43. Snapped (2005)
42. The Retreat (2005)
41. Memorial Day (1999)

Commentary for #40-21

40. Beyond Remedy (2009)
39. Bloody Murder (1999)
38. Dr Chopper (2005)
37. Bunnyman (2010)
36. Drive In Massacre (1976)
35. The Greenskeeper (2003)
34. Dark Harvest (2004)
33. The Last Slumber Party (1988)
32. Scream (1981)
31. Zombie Island Massacre (1984)

30. Jack-O (1995)
29. Mr Ice Cream Man (1991)
28. Hazard Jack (2013)
27. Stupid Teenagers Must Die! (2007)
26. Roadside Massacre (2012)
25. The Bagman (2002)
24. Carnage Road (2000)
23. Hollywood’s New Blood (1988)
22. The Fear: Resurrection (1999)
21. Night of the Dribbler (1990)

Leaving us with the twenty worst received slasher films I’ve seen according to public opinion.

Wait no longer, fresh in at #20…

20. Blood Lake (1987)

IMDb rating: 2.6
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

Three teen couples (actually one couple are like 13) vacation at a shack by a lake, where a Dom DeLuise-a-like killer lays some of them to waste. Two of them to be exact. And maybe two or three other victims? I can’t remember, but this video-made film has poverty row stamped all over it.

19. Killjoy (2000)

IMDb rating: 2.5
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

killjoyUrban/ghetto slasher films feature heavily up this end of the worst list. An undercurrent of racism? Possibly, but none of the films are objectively any good. In this one, a sub-Beetlejuice vengeance demon is summoned by a dork who is repeatedly beaten up by the nasty local crew. At only 72 minutes, at least it’s over pretty quick.

18. Appointment with Fear (1986)

IMDb rating: 2.5
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

A man who has sold his soul to some Egyptian tree god kills his wife and goes after his infant son, who has been left in the care of the autistic neighbour, Heather, who has a band of purple make-up around her eyes and pretends she lives inside a jar. At a house in the desert, teens are dispatched until the evil-eyed final girl can rescue the bub and defeat the killer. Debisue Voorhees from Friday V pops in for her usual topless scene, and there’s decent use of one of those handheld satellite-hearing-from-afar thingies, but everything else blows.

17. Movie House Massacre (1984)

IMDb rating: 2.5
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

mhm1Teens working at a rundown old cinema where a fire killed loads of people years before are stalked and knifed by the ghost of a geriatric usher, who had murdered the ticket girl the night of the fire. Demented in every possible way, if it’s supposed to be a comedy it ain’t funny. Mary Woronov has a small role (despite top billing) as the bitchy manager’s assistant. Look out for a girl who dies from sliding down a wall!?

16. Spiker (2007)

IMDb rating: 2.4
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

A mute, Albino serial killer who stabs his victims with railroad spikes escapes custody and returns to his old haunt where three teen couples are having themselves a party. All usual tropes are checked off the list.

15. Scarecrow Slayer (2003)

IMDb rating: 2.4
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

The second outing of the shoddy Scarecrow series sees Tony Todd as a paranoid farmer who accidentally shoots a teenager, whose soul is transferred into the scarecrow and goes on a killing spree. By far the worst of the ‘series’, topped off with WWE wrestling between two scarecrows. One good line: “You know, you have a real small penis for a guy who’s a real big dick!”

14. Nine Lives (2002)

IMDb rating: 2.3
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

ninelivesParis Hilton is the first to die in this rubbish flick set in a Scottish manor house where a English-hating ghost kills off nine ex-public school friends. But Paris is American. Uh? A final boy emerges as he’s Scottish and immune to it. Painful from start to finish.

13. Dark Fields (2003)

IMDb rating: 2.3
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

Five teens on their way to a concert get car trouble and end up stuck in the house of a madman. Zero thrills in this cheap video project from the folks who later doubled the misery with Study Hell.

12. The Slaughterhouse Massacre (2005)

IMDb rating: 2.3
VeVo rating: 0.5 Stars

Two annoying couples explore an old abattoir where a man blah blah killed blah was lynched blah… Of course the loon’s name is Marty Sickle. This is the very worst – outstaying its welcome by forever, pandering to girl-on-girl filler because it’s so fucking empty.

11. Zombie Nightmare (1987)

IMDb rating: 2.2
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

zn5Adam West and Tia Carrere star in this demented voodoo revenge slasher, in which a be-mulleted jock is killed by a group of reckless teens in a hit and run, resurrected by the local Haitian priestess, and sets about evening the score. A bad movie dream, with totally different actors playing the zombie in various scenes, cringey acting, but a sense of inoffensive 80s stupidity.

10. Sweet Insanity (2006)

IMDb rating: 2.2
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

Girl’s parents go away for the weekend. Girl has friends over. Friends get stabbed. Cheapo Haute Tension-esque climax is confusing and the audio track is so bad it’s nearly impossible to comprehend what’s going on anyway. Retitled Stranger: A Soul Mate of Chucky for the UK, with a doll on the cover, even though there is no killer doll, no spooky doll, and no mention of dolls in the entire film.

9. Deadtime (2012)

IMDb rating: 2.2
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

dt2Another rock band stalked by another killer whilst making a video for their big comeback. The only distinguishable thing about this one is that it’s British, but this helps none, as it traipses through a bog of bad production unities and a ridiculously annoying killer.

8. Grim Weekend (2003)

IMDb rating: 2.2
VeVo rating: 1 Stars

City folk go to a cabin in the woods, picking up a sexy hitchhiker on the way, where they are tormented by a clown with an axe. Horrible production values and obnoxious characters abound.

7. Cutthroat Alley (2003)

IMDb rating: 2.1
VeVo rating: 2 Stars

The ‘black guy dies first’ cliché is flipped in this urban LA slasher: Most of the cast are black but the white guy gets the blade first. Members of a street gang are being targeted by the masked psycho just as one ex-member is about to go to college after successfully turning his life around. Can he work out who it is before he’s next? A bit more surface polish than the other ‘ghetto’ slasher films make it more bearable and not so deserving of its place here.

6. Skeleton Man (2004)

IMDb rating: 2.0
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

A bizarre fusion of 80s action tropes and supernatural slashings as a Delta force team are sent to South America to put a stop to the skeleton-faced figure who is killing everyone. The body count almost reaches 40, a helicopter is shot down with a bow and arrow, Michael Rooker and Casper Van Dien are in it… An unbelievable film experience.

5. Alice in Murderland (2010)

IMDb rating: 2.0
VeVo rating: 0.5 Stars

alice1Sub-cheap rubbish with sorority girls throwing a birthday party in an old abandoned something or other… Alice is 21. Her mother died exactly twenty years ago that night, aged 21. They theme the party Alice in Wonderland. The killer dresses up as one of the characters from the book. An 86-minute endurance test.

4. Dead End Road (2004)

IMDb rating: 1.9
VeVo rating: 2 Stars

A killer who bases his murders on the works of Edgar Allan Poe does in various unfortunates in this cheap, but not awful film. There’s a good twist on The Tell-Tale Heart at the beginning, a pitchfork in the face, a decapitated head churned out of the bowling ball conveyer-return thingy. It’s low end for sure, but there’s worse.

3. Voyeur.com (2000)

IMDb rating: 1.6
VeVo rating: 2 Stars

College girls are invited to live in a house and be filmed 24/7 by sleazy low-end producers. Their plans for fame are thwarted by a masked killer who does everyone in. All the usual sex, bi-curiousity, pot-smoking stuff occurs and the killer turns out to be the shy girl heroine.

2. Urban Massacre (2002)

IMDb rating: 1.6
VeVo rating: 1.5 Stars

The entourage of growing rap quintet The Supernatchrals are being offed by another clown masked killer. What it is with urban slasher movies and clowns I do not know… but this one isn’t so bad until the end where the group have the killer cornered, lean in to unmask him and then stop, look at the camera and tell us we have to wait for the sequel. What. The. Fuck.

1: THE WORST RATED SLASHER FILM ON IMDb

Ax ‘Em (1992)

IMDb rating: 1.2
VeVo rating: 0.5 Stars

ax-emAn unsurprising victor, Ax ‘Em is quite deserving of its worst-of-the-worst title. Made by a talentless crew, what you can pick up about the story is a group of friends go to a house in the woods where a killer is at work, using strange metal spring things to kill folks with. Again, it tries to reverse the race suppositions by killing off the while characters and leaving about a dozen black people running around between the trees. Only a few of them die, others just vanish from the film altogether. This is less than camcorder made-a-film-on-vacation quality, it’s head-scratchingly strange, with absolutely no apparent knowledge of filmmaking on show. As someones own private film they made with friends, fine, it will give them a laugh at their ten year reunion, but to give it any kind of home video release…? Unfathomably awful, there are not enough sublatives in our language to justify how bad it is.

*

So there we have it… The 100 Worst. Of course, there are hordes of titles with mysteriously favourable rankings that didn’t make the list, and some that are frankly better than they may seem. Karma.

And the best, you caw, well they’re right here!

 

Killer Cop Out

scream-queens-1338SCREAM QUEENS

1.5 Stars  2015/585m

“Pretty evil.”

Cast: Emma Roberts, Skyler Samuels, Lea Michele, Jamie Lee Curtis, Abigail Breslin, Billie Lourd, Glen Powell, Keke Palmer, Diego Boneta, Oliver Hudson, Nasim Pedrad, Niecy Nash, Nick Jonas, Breezy Eslin, Lucient Laviscount, Jeanna Han, Ariana Grande.

Body Count: 21

Laughter Lines: “This school could survive a few serial killings but I don’t think this university could survive losing me.”


Necessary spoilers follow.

The generally accepted path for a slasher story to take is that young, lively characters are introduced and over the course of the tale we watch them get stalked and slain by a vengeful mystery killer. Unless you happen to be Ryan Murphy. If you’re Ryan Murphy you create a set of obnoxious, nasty, bitchy girls as the centrepiece of your little slasher universe while the audience enjoys the anticipation of watching them die later. And you kill precisely none of them.

For all the masses of hype Scream Queens threw up all around itself like a bulimic sorority girl – Nick Jonas! Ariana Grande! Random fashion blogger girl! – after 13 loooong weeks of enduring little more than a parade of acid-tongued put-downs, the series fizzled out with a damp squib of a finale that was akin to promising a child an Xbox 360 for Christmas and giving them a box with some cat shit in it.

sq3I watched Glee for awhile and, for awhile, it was fun. Pristine acapella arrangements of great songs that slowly began to morph into bland, straight-up cover versions, just as Scream Queens might have begun its life in script-form as an ode to all things stalk n’ slashy. I know Murphy is at the very least capable of decent horror scribblings thanks to the early seasons of American Horror Story and his dealings with The Town That Dreaded Sundown. But for all the “I was obsessed with slasher films” rhetoric, you’d think he watched Sorority Row and half of a Halloween sequel and thought “I can do that.”

Emma Roberts leads the cast as the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority president, Chanel Oberlin, no more than a retread of her role as a bitchy actress in American Horror Story: Coven. She spends much of her screentime calling her sisters sluts, whores, or gashes, making borderline racist comments and reminding us how rich she is. This type of character is supposed to die. The inexplicable supposition that gay men adore this type of high-society, entitled thing has always eluded me, but Murphy and co. aren’t able to write interesting ‘nice’ folks anyway.

Twenty years (never nineteen, never twenty-one) after a girl dies during childbirth at the  sorority, the hardass Dean (Jamie Lee Curtis, a bright spot) goes to war with Chanel and alters the charter to allow anybody to pledge the house, leaving them with just a handful of misfits rather than the usual tide of label-loving, anorexic, bitches who hate everybody. Said group includes Lea Michele’s back-brace wearing weirdo, a candle vlogger, another girl known as Predatory Lez for several episodes, plus the cut-n-dried homespun heroine, Grace.

sq1Coinciding with this, a psychotic killer wearing the school’s mascot uniform – a Red Devil – begins targeting all those associated with the sorority. The ensuing twelve episodes should play along the mystery theme as Grace tries to solve the mystery while Murphy would skewer slasher tropes and rapid fire bitchy girl dialogue. It worked for the aforementioned Sorority Row because they bothered to KILL Leah Pipes, but, save for a few decent lines, it doesn’t work here.

With a murder-count of 20, the show notches up zero heart-pounding chase sequences. There are a few splashes of gore here and there but most of the kills are supposed to be funny rather than horrific. That nearly all the victims are ancillary characters and not the vile, entitled main roster is just salt in the bloody wound.

Were the project to be edited down to a 90-minute film, most of the top-tier cast members wouldn’t even feature as the central clique of bitchy girls spend more time commenting on fashion, body image, boyfriend prospects, or plotting against one another. By the eleventh episode, there have been at least three attempts to murder the person they suspect is the killer. There’s so little going on upstairs in this show that it’s forced to recycle the same material just to fill out its half-season quota.

scream-queens-jamie-lee-curtisEventually, several different characters are revealed to have committed murder at one point or another, at least two of them get away with it, while the production pinky-swore that there would only be four characters left standing for the say-it-ain’t-so summer camp set season two, there are in fact ten. It reeks of Murphy et al being too afraid to lose their cast members in case, god forbid, a second season is greenlit. It’s a slasher story, fucking grow a pair and kill someone other than the pizza guy, the replacement mascot, or any other one-episode arc extras!

Even the ‘good guys’ are made up of bland, barely drawn out bores who are too serious and not worth rooting for. Niecy Nash’s hopeless security guard rocks the boat with the best lines but is still marginalised and written as a dimwitted moron; Curtis chews up the barbed dialogue, easily outperforming her co-stars in the laughter stakes; and there’s a very good soundtrack to prop things up. Here though, the positives abruptly end.

How a so-called slasher tale could be so wimpy and gutless is a testament to some atrocious decision making. It’s like Jason restricting himself to murdering hitchhikers and rednecks around Crystal Lake but never bothering to hunt down the pot-smoking, sex-having camp counsellors!

This makes Scream – The TV Series look like Scream – the movie.

scream-queens-red-devilBlurbs-of-interest: JLC’s slasher credentials go from Halloween, Halloween II, Prom Night, Terror Train, Road Games, in the early years up to Halloween H20 and Halloween: Resurrection more recently; Emma Roberts was in Scream 4; Oliver Hudson was in the Black Christmas remake; Steven Culp made a brief appearance in the same episode as Jason Goes to Hell was name checked (incorrectly, I might add).

Stay Single

newlydeads_webTHE NEWLYDEADS

1.5 Stars  1988/77m

“Till DEATH do them part.”

Director/Writer: Joseph Merhi / Writer: Sean Dash / Cast: Jim Williams, Jean Levine, Jay Richardson, Roxanna Michaels, Scott Kaske, Captain Mike, Rebecca Barrington, Michael Springer.

Body Count: 9


This often laughably inept Troma has a skewered moral compass among it’s many, many problems. Beware spoilers…

A lodge owner makes a play for the hot blonde who’s just checked in, only for a wig to slip and reveal that she is in fact a he. A fight breaks out and the owner kills her.

Fifteen years later (never fourteen, never sixteen), the owner’s own wedding day is disrupted by the appearance of the ghostly transvestite, who proceeds to begin killing guests at the lodge in between tormenting him, laughing like Freddy Krueger through a worn out microphone, three rooms down the hall during an electrical storm.

A psychic woman who pieces bits of the story together stops by with her skeptical husband, as well as a dim-witted couple, oversexed couple, an aged, deaf couple, and two rockers/stoners – all of them guests at The Newlywed Lodge. But in the case of one couple, it’s a surprise trip for him to propose, despite the name of the place, his girl has no clue!?

newlydeads1The film is a complete mess, with one guy driving off to find a functioning phone, the psychic woman realises he’s in danger and goes off on foot to find him, but makes it to the same place in seconds, whereas it took him some while to drive there. She finds him dead in front of a crowd of people, but returns to the lodge as if nothing has happened and resumes helping the remorseless owner.

Several characters completely vanish from the film and, come the end, there are seven people running around the woods at the same time, as well as the ghostly killer. Eventually, psychic woman sacrifices herself to save the murderous owner, WHO GETS AWAY WITH IT!

Objectively bad in every way, but some of that bad at least seeps over to slack-jawed amusement. Double-bill it with Honeymoon Horror.

2015 Halloween Spectacular Part 2: Zombie Nightmare

zombie-nightmareZOMBIE NIGHTMARE

1.5 Stars  1987/80m

Director: Jack Bravman / Writer: David Wellington / Cast: Adam West, Frank Dietz, John Mikl Thor, Manuska Rigaud, Shawn Levy, Tia Carrere, Allan Fisher, Hamish McEwen, Manon E. Turbide, Linda Singer.

Body Count: 10

Laughter Lines: “I’m old enough to be your older sister.”


And I wanted my 666th slasher movie to special! Kinda got what I wished for.

Serving as a kind of resume urban legend for some of the big names involved, Zombie Nightmare‘s IMDb rating of 2.2 (up from around 1.8 and a place in Bottom 100) provides a fairly accurate reflection of what to expect…

BUT… bad movie lovers amongst us will enjoy this veritable feast of How Not To Make A Good Movie, from drastic changes in hair, clothes, and even actors mid-scene.

I would reckon zombie movie fans have picked up this one excitedly in the past, only to painfully discover that, title aside, and just like Zombie Island Massacre, this ain’t nothin’ but a punk ass slasher movie.

zn5Anyway, after a baseball game, the Washington family walk home, and big dad Bill tries to help a young girl being harassed by two punk ass teen, uh, punks. For his trouble, he gets himself stabbed in front of wife and young son.

Years later, young son has grown up into be-mulleted hunk Tony (Thor, of the band Thor), all round great guy, who looks after mom and is nice to all, or so we assume from his few minutes of screen time. Tony is sent to fetch groceries from the couldn’t-be-more-stereotypical Italian shopkeep, who is later referred to as Hank Peters (!). During his errand, more punk ass punks attempt to rob the store (Hank gasps “Mamma Mia!”) and Tony beats up their punk asses but is then run over by yet another group of punk ass teen punks, who just drive away. They have no collective remorse, with the guy at the wheel even saying he got a buzz from it.

zn3Shopkeep takes Tony’s body to his mom’s house and then suggests they call the police, but she has better ideas, calling in a favour from local Haitian Voodoo Priestess Molly Mokembe, who can resurrect Tony in zombie form long enough for him to seek revenge on those responsible.

So it goes, the quintet of teens are hunted down by the hulking zombie, initially sporting the same mullet but later cropped down to sensible Ken-doll hair, while he breaks necks, impales with baseball bats, or just smashes skulls into walls n’ shit. Curiously, the nasty teen most responsible – big blown out, feathered hair – goes fairly early on, leaving Tia Carrere and boyfriend to be stalked to the last.

Tony: Before and after

Tony: Before and after

As if this weren’t awesome enough ingredients for the best film y’ever saw, halfway through Adam freakin’ West turns up as the police captain, whose detective (Dietz) is hot on the trail of the killer. The murders are somehow being reported as drug-infused suicides. Of a victim, the Captain says: “He ran with a bad crowd… Running red lights, getting drunk, smoking marijuana – you know the usual bad stuff.” Yeah sounds like an epidemic.

Tony eventually rids the world of the punk ass teen punks and is free to rest in peace, but not before Zombie Nightmare plays its ace card: Adam West is one the punk ass punks who killed his dad!

zn-westBut, hey, wait a sec… The M.E. says that an earlier victim was aged around 43, whereas West was pushing 60 in 1987 – and how many years were supposed to have passed between Tony’s dad being murdered (by “teens”) and Tony being grown up? 10? 20?? 30???

Nothing really makes a lot of sense in Zombie Nightmare. At one point, things just grind to halt so we can watch two people play tennis for several minutes. But at least there’s pre-Wayne’s World Tia Carrere as one of the teens, and the ringleader was played by Shawn Levy, who went on to direct the Night at the Museum films along with numerous other Hollywood titles, whereas Zombie Nightmare‘s director, Jack Bravman, later gave us the even worse Night of the Dribbler.

  • Elsewhere, why does the priestess talk like a sheep singing a Belinda Carlisle song?
  • Why does Zombie-Tony look like he’s doing interpretive dance in the final scene?
  • Why does a near rape victim think that saying: “I’ve had enough of your childish sexual advances – go away!” would ever work?
  • Who is the hero in this film, seriously? Zombie Tony? The detective?

zn4The thrash metal soundtrack, with songs from Motorhead, Thor (of course) and a load of other bands I’ve never heard of, seems to be where the budget went. Come for the music, stay for the hair and the comedy.

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