Directed by K. King, Starring: Danny Trejo, Martin Copping, Clare Niederpruem, Horror USA, 2013, 88mins, cert 18
Released in the UK on DVD, Blu-ray by Signature on 21st October 2013.
Whilst Danny Trejo tears up the screen in Robert Rodriguez’s MACHETE KILLS, this low-budget CGI zombie fest slinks ashamedly straight-to-DVD/Blu-ray in its shadow. And whilst it’s understandable that Danny’s name and image is writ large across the cover art, I feel compelled to warn all who enter here that Mr Trejo’s screen time is considerably less than you’d be led to expect.Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a mysterious street drug called ‘Natas’ (yep, spell it backwards in a Johnny ‘Alucard’ stlyee kiddies) has turned the population into purple-blooded zombies. The film opens with three ‘Natas’ users crashed out in a dilapidated sitting room whilst on the TV two newsreaders outline the devastating effects of ‘Natas’. As the female newsreader reads the teleprompter her male co-presenter turns sideways and hurls a hose-like amount of vomit before we’re told one of the side-effects of ‘Natas’ is vomiting (and the manufacturer label on the TV is: ‘Zombisha’ – these are the jokes folks!).
One year later and the world has gone to pot, or rather ‘Natas’, as MAD-MAX-wannabe ‘Hunter’ (Martin Copping – now there’s a CARRY ON surname if ever I saw one) drives through the wasteland wasting ‘eaters’ and constantly splattering purple CGI blood onto the camera in the process. He comes upon a small merry band of survivors led by Danny Trejo’s zombie-slaughtering priest ‘Father Jesús’ (subtlety thy name is not K. King – who co-wrote this with Kurt Knight, presumably because they shared the same initials). No sooner has ‘Hunter’ regained consciousness from a car crash than pole-dancer ‘Fast Lane Debbie’ (pneumatic blonde Jade Regier) is offering him a free horizontal dance; much to the disgust and disappointment of good-girl virgin ‘Alison’ (Clare Niederpruem) whose singled ‘Hunter’ out as the ‘one’.Our group of survivors (who also include two Hicksville chaps and a veteran ex-pilot) have a plan to escape by plane to an off-shore island to start again. There’s just one problem, they have to cross through the town of Dahmer (wink, wink) which, as it turns out, boasts a chainsaw wielding laughing zombie named ‘Funny Man’. And then there’s some kind of hybrid ‘House of the Dead’ monsters to contend with.
I’m sure none of this nonsense is meant to be taken remotely seriously (at least I hope not) but it really isn’t that funny either. The zombie make-up is uninspiring and the purple CGI gore laughable. The performances are exactly what you’d expect from a script which contains such ‘gems’ as; “He was like a damned Ninja Turtle” and my personal favourite: “I’ve heard stories – you wouldn’t want to hear them - but I’ve heard stories” (a perceptive observation as it turns out).I’m all for undemanding low-budget gore-fests, but come on guys – if you’re going to include scenes with genre film posters on the wall couldn’t you have come up with something better than OSOMBIE and ORCS?
This review was originally published on the FRIGHTFEST website.