Tempe Video // 2002 // 105 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Bill Gibron // September 1st, 2003
Move over Buffy! There's a new sugared-up supernatural slayer in town.
In the tacky town of Tromaville, 23 year old über-dork Mulva is getting ready for her first Halloween trick or treat trek since a fateful run-in with bully Chest MclargeHuge and his toady Takateru several years before. Together with her bovine friend Cassie, they intend to take the town for all its sweet creamy caramel candy goodness. Mulva is a professed chocoholic, with a permanent smear of Hershey syrup across her drooling lips. Dressed as a favorite spook-boosting film star, she starts her jaunt out into a very fateful fall evening. But little does she know that forces are conspiring against her. Chest and Takateru are looking to terrorize the nervous nerd once again, and Lady McPouchsweat and her crotch-obsessed man-friend are giving out more than popcorn balls at their creepy abode. But it's the sudden appearance of monsters, throngs of the living dead, that poses the biggest threat to Mulva's big nougat night. With the help of the Bill Cosby/Jell-o pudding obsessed Mr. Bonejack and the prince of polyester, simian soul man Teen Ape however, our loco for cocoa lass will go from meek geek to reanimated rump roaster as she determines to save All Hallow's Eve by becoming Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker!
When two female college misfits get sick and tired of not fitting in, they make a deal with a demon to turn them into hot smoking sex scoring mega-babes. But the price to pay is rather steep. Seems the evil imp wants the blood...and the booty of whomever he can get his hands on as reimbursement. So as our hubba-hubba heroines Julie and Liz crash cool kid Max's combination kegger and kegel celebration, they are joined by the groping gorilla Teen Ape and the horny horned one for a night of drinking, debauchery, and deadly derring-do. As the party participants begin dying, one by one, our made-over misses learn that it's their desire to be desirable that has caused all this carnage. Still, when there's nookie and alcohol to be indulged in, who cares about malevolent forces from the underworld reigning death and droll humor? Everything will be punch and pie as long as they stay away from the overheated humper from Hades with a hankering for human heart juice and the totally tubular name of Filthy McNasty.
Chris Seaver must be some sort of psychotic cinematic savant. Armed with a dinky digital camera, a cast of willing friends, and an imagination as fertile as the vineyards of Ernest and Julio Gallo, this no budget hyper independent filmmaker has created not only one of most original homemade movies ever produced, but one of the funniest. Minute for minute, Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker is as ferocious in its humor as South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, as jam packed with pop culture references as an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and as deliciously gross as a Farrelly Brothers' farce. It's not just that the movie is crammed with gag-a-second Airplane style dialogue and set pieces; it manages an extreme rarity in parent's basement motion picture production: it creates a series of wonderfully wacky three-dimensional characters that we actually get to know and care about. As Mulva, Missy Donatuti gives one of the great non-professional performances ever (she's in a band called The Stereolites). She turns a hairstyle, a speech impediment, and a mouth smeared with chocolate syrup into on of the most enduring images and individuals in motion pictures, high or low budget. Mr. Bonejack (the Caucasian Seaver in make-up and Don King wig), a throwback to Amos and Andy racial insensitivity, actually turns that entire minstrel concept onto its narrow-minded head. There's the fey villainy of Mike Nicolai's Chest MclargeHuge, the Asian action movie dubbed daffiness of Joe Anime's Dragonball Z obsessed Takateru, and the Disco Stu as simian silliness of LBP (Low Budget Pictures) mascot Teen Ape. Along with the ancillary antics of Lady McPouchsweat (the vivacious B-movie goddess Debbie Rochon) and the gore glorious presence of the reanimated corpses, Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker has everything a fan of over-the-top terror could want: laughs, lewdness, and the living dead.
Just as Mulva deconstructs the zombie horror film, the companion movie Filthy McNasty tries a similar tactic on the teen sex romp, and for the most part it succeeds. Of course, there is a decidedly demonic angle to the antics since the main catalyst for the chaos that ensues is a smooth talking hellspawn named Phil (as in Phil...Fil...Filthy McNasty). But again, Seaver and his cast of cousins, friends, and fellow film lovers create instantly recognizable characters with individual idiosyncrasies and memorable onscreen moments. Unlike Mulva, which only suffers from a lack of energy toward the end (how long can you keep such madcap mania working?), Filthy McNasty does have some decided tone issues. Both Phil the Demon and Teen Ape spend the majority of the movie on the make and have some of the most misogynistic mean-spirited pick-up lines in the history of the carnal cavalcade. They test one's PC proclivities. And when it comes to gross out humor, Filthy really tries to earn its funky foul movie moniker. There is a scene involving a character named Mooney, a desire for self-satisfaction, and some questionable "human" waste product lubricant that is quite possibly the funniest, most disgusting gross out moment in recent cinema. And many of the celebrity attacks (Adrian Zmed? Mario Van Peebles?) are absolutely fabulous. But then Seaver and his willing sinners start ripping off Scary Movie (a deadly bout of head) and relying on misguided nudity (is there such a thing?) to try and corral their out-of-control creation and they're only partially successful. Thankfully, Mr. Bonejack with his carnal Cosby routine shows up at the end to save the film from completely falling apart. Filthy McNasty is not as "complete" as Mulva, but it's still light years above other attempts by self-made motion picture monarchs (we're looking at you, Dale Resteghini) to make something unique and entertaining.
Both Mulva and Filthy have been available before on DVD. Mulva made an appearance as a bonus short on something called Hell Asylum. Filthy turned up on the DVD issue of a film called Dead and Rotting, again as an extra. Thankfully, Tempe Video saw the light and decided to give these films a double feature DVD release all their own. Video and audiophiles beware, though: Seaver and his gang don't call their enterprise Low Budget Productions for nothin'. These are movies shot on video cameras (sometimes directly to VHS tape) and edited in any way possible (Mulva apparently benefits from a computer cutting program). Sound is single mic, usually synced and incredibly thin. There is a nice mix of ska and classic pop tunes in each film (God knows how they avoid the rights issues) and for what are essentially personal home movies, they look and play damn well. The DVD contains an insert essay written by Ms. Rochon that explains how she (and Troma) became involved with LBP. It's an interesting read. The other main added content is the multiple commentary tracks. Each features director Seaver and several members of his LBP cast and crew. Part MST3K quip-a-thon, part personal in-joke jest fest, these narratives are less about the filmmaking process and more about the people involved in the creation of these twisted titles. This is a group of people whose brains have been damaged by massive exposure to the mediocre pop culture around them, and like mischievous sponges, they have absorbed it all and readily spew it out in inventive and original fashions.
Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker and Filthy McNasty prove that you don't need elephantine budgets, big-deal effects, and dozens of script doctors to turn out something clever, creative and crazy. All you need is an insane visionary ready to spill his id onto video for the entire world to see. And Chris Seaver and the gang at LBP have done just that. Here's hoping he cleans up all the mental mung left behind before it starts to stink.
Review content copyright © 2003 Bill Gibron; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Tempe Video
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 105 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
* Intros to Each Movie by the Filmmaker
* Commentary Track on Mulva
* Two Commentaries Tracks on Filthy
* Insert with Introduction Essay by Debbie Rochon
* IMDb: Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker
* IMDb: Filthy McNasty