Stoner comedies; one genre that – up until now – had mostly managed to steer clear of the Undead. (Well sure, Idle Hands was a close one but that’s not really a zombie movie per-se. However that may well be reviewed here at some point in the future if deemed zombie-worthy). Bong of the Dead most certainly is a zombie stoner movie, and as such your enjoyment of this film may depend on your tolerance for such high-art comedy.
Two dudes (stoners, obviously) have by pure luck managed to survive a full-blown zombie apocalypse and are spending their lives as some of the last of the living smoking what remains of their precious weed stash. In an attempt to prolong their hoard they experiment with some scientific cultivation methodologies: a.k.a. liquidizing zombie-brains and using it to water their pot. Somehow this proves spectacularly effective and produces some mind-blowing hash, but the plucky dudes unsurprisingly smoke their way through the lot of it and realise they need to find some more zombie brains in order to regrow their batch and continue their life of luxury.
We follow these stoners as they set off into the ‘Danger Zone’ trying to track down some zombie brains, and get to meet just some of the people – living and dead – that they bump into on their travels. It turns out that outside of their hotboxed abode life goes on, it’s just a life that’s not exactly the same as it used to be. But still, plenty of fun japes to be had, plus numerous near-death experiences thrown in for good measure. And also a zombie-powered shower for added cleanliness.
Bong of the Dead is a surprisingly good fun zombie comedy. reminiscent of Last of the Living it finds a welcome niche in the zombie canon. The gore is impressive, there are some great comedy set-pieces and – despite the dubious acting in places – the performances are generally enjoyable. Even the lack of norkage in the shower scene can be forgiven – but that’s probably just because some topless zombie ladies rock up later on.
Gore Score C+
Norks Score C-
Originality score C+
Overall Score C
DVD is available now from Left Films
Time to delve into the murky world of the late-night Horror Channel for this little number: Zombie Dearest (2009). Low expectations are needed when undertaking such a mission; low expectations and a resolve of steel to make it to the end of a film that promises so little. Well, we’re happy to report that our expectations were not misplaced; Zombie Dearest is one of the worse breeds of low-budget horror – slow, boring and unfunny.
So what is the film actually all about? Well the basic plot revolves around a young couple trying to repair their relationship. (It appears that getting naked in front of your sister-in-law with a finger-puppet on your ‘unmentionables’ doesn’t do your relationship much good). They go about this marriage guidance in a curious manner; the wife decides to get a job with her ex-boyfriend and the husband decides to excavate the septic-tank at the back of their house. While doing so he excavates a dead body that he accidentally brings back to life by grabbing its ‘jolly wobbler’ while coincidentally wishing he had some help with this excavation malarkey. (Apparently ones desires can be granted by holding onto a dead persons wanger and making a wish – who knew?). This zombie then comes to life and takes over the digging duties while the husband decides to hone his stand-up comedy routine.
Now, usually the final sentence of the above paragraph would be “…with hilarious results!” but not this time. Neither the plot itself nor the stand up comedy (which seems to consist entirely of Caveman jokes) provoke a smile or even a groan of embarrassment. It’s actually hard to tell whether this stand-up comedy is intentionally unfunny or if the script of the movie is the failure.
Whether the jokes are meant to be funny or not is not the only confusing thing about this film. Sometimes the characters act as if they’re terrified by the rampaging zombie day-worker, sometimes they treat the movie as if it’s a comedy and aren’t bothered by the walking corpse at all. There’s no method to the madness here, you’ve genuinely no idea when a scene starts whether the characters will play for laughs or for horror. Not that this matters really; neither genre works to any extent – the comedy is never funny and the horror is never scary. There’s no gore, no jokes, no fun, and it’s unbearably slow to even get going. It’s a shame really, because the plot has some originality in there – creating a zombie by mistake and forcing them to act as a slave while the couple try to live out their dreams isn’t something that has been done before (well, Fido had zombie slaves as pets, so I guess it’s not that original after-all).
This movie also has to be marked down for committing two cardinal sins of horror movies – showing a sex scene where the characters stay in their clothes, and including such as ridiculously cop-out ending. Seriously, even a tacked on Hollywood style happy ‘Coda’ ending would have been better than the garbage route they went with.
Gore Score F
Norks Score F
Originality Score C+
Overall Score D-