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Case Number 14343: Small Claims Court

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Necroville

Pop Cinema // 2008 // 80 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 22nd, 2008

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson vacationed in Necroville last year. Lots of despair and ambling undead. Oh wait, that was Utica.

The Charge

Saving the world one paycheck at a time.

The Case

The city of Necroville is overrun by creatures of the night: Zombies, werewolves, Goth kids, and a particularly aggressive vampire master, who's pulling the strings of the undead. Enter Jack (director Billy Garberina) and Alex (writer Adam Jarmon Brown), two wiseass best friends who find themselves out of a job as video store plebes following an unfortunate zombie encounter.

The two end up at Zom-B-Gone, a shady outfit specializing in exterminating monster infestations. Their adventures take them to a sorority house plagued with zombies, a vampire hangout, a pack of werewolves feasting on a carcass, and eventually to the Big Bad himself, the master vampire (Mark Chavez). Meanwhile, Jack has an oppressive, demanding girlfriend to deal with and Alex a Holy Water drinking problem.

Yes, the movie is actually as jumbled as the above synopsis makes it sound. There are a handful of cool ideas embedded in Necroville and some laughs to be had, but overall this half-baked, low-budget excursion into the buddy-comedy/slapstick-horror genre falls plenty short of a recommendation.

Take the idea of Necroville itself. I dig that. An alternate reality where zombies and werewolves running around feeding on homeless people are as common as pigeons flying away with bread in their beaks. But instead of exploring this concept further, the filmmakers are content to have Necroville and its oddball mythology just kind of lounge around in the background; it's more of a vehicle to get monsters for our heroes to shoot guns at or bludgeon with a baseball bat. There are moments where these guys almost seem to capitalize on the concept—the aforementioned homeless massacre, to which passersby observe with mild disinterest—but mostly we're talking missed opportunity.

The biggest grenade I have to lob at the film is the acting, which is terrifying even in the context of homebrewed horror comedies. Garberina and Brown are just brutal, hamming up their schtick with reckless abandon, relying on the F-bomb as a crutch to make up for weak dialogue, and generally annoying the bejeezus out of me. And since they command the runtime by a wide margin, their presence proves a mortal wound to any chance Necroville had of emerging as a winner.

But let's not end on a sour note. In the liner notes, Billy Garberina talks about a vampire kill "never before seen in cinema." He is exactly right. The Final Bad Guy Death is one for the ages, hilarious and goopy (the gore effects are, overall, not too shabby). If only there was something else—anything else—happening in the film as memorable as that.

The transfer is decent (1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen) and 2.0 stereo up to the task, but the standout on this release is a load of extras: Director's commentary, outtakes, deleted scenes, featurettes on actor Mark Chavez and the visual effects, two short films, liner notes, and trailers.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 55

Perp Profile

Studio: Pop Cinema
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Comedy
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Outtakes
• Featurettes
• Short Films
• Liner Notes

Accomplices

• IMDb








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