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Case Number 13275: Small Claims Court

Snuffin' Zombies

Karl Benacci // 2007 // 105 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 21st, 2008

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All Rise...

Snuffin' zombies is the name of a tasty drink Judge David Johnson once had in a small Turkish bar, three years ago.

The Charge

Money and zombies don't mix.

The Case

Note to all filmmakers out there, real or imagined: apparently if you transmit any series of moving images onto an optical disc that can be played on a DVD player, DVD Verdict will compel one of its hapless staff members to watch it and spend his or her time writing a coherent review of it.

Coherent. An interesting word. There are several things one could use "coherent" to describe. A children's story about cats for example. Or the warning labels on gas pumps cautioning against lighting matches. These items tend to make sense. They exist to pass along a codified idea. The children's story tells a happy tale about kittens. The gas pump warning labels offer helpful tips about preventing self-immolation.

You know what you cannot use the word "coherent" to describe? Snuffin Zombies. This homegrown melding of comedy, zombie horror, and paint-fume ingesting rambling is a 100-minute excursion into the mind of a crazy person. Literally, I think. Writer/producer/director/star Karl Benacci might be clinically insane and the tortured voices in his head have been transposed into DVD form.

Benacci plays Frank Wilkens, a grown man who lives with his grandmother and spends his life in a bar. His best friend is a mentally challenged man who works on a farm. One day, Frank is asked if he's interested in making big money making snuff films. He says yes, starts shooting people on camera, eventually the corpses turn into zombies, he makes a lot of money and then blah blah blah, the plot really isn't important because the film is an excuse for Benacci to pretty much freeform his insanity—with dubious results.

The weird thing is, I think this is a guy I would have a lot of fun with if were forced to sit together at table for an overlong wedding reception. He'd likely keep everyone entertained between the main course and the cutting of the cake. His sense of humor is surreal, random, and borderline nonsensical, but I would be lying if I said I didn't laugh more than a few times at his ravings in Snuffin' Zombies.

Take this exchange, for example, which takes place early in the film between Frank and an old woman clipping tree branches:

Frank: "The only time I want to be around horses is when they're drunk."
Old Lady: "Yeah, about that, can you please stop feeding my horses beer?"
Frank: "Please understand, I would if I could."

I laughed at that. That's surreal, random, and borderline nonsensical. The film is packed with moments like these, but their effectiveness is essentially neutralized by the fact Benacci is resistant to editing. Scenes go on and on and on and despite my appreciation for the type of whack-job humor going on, my patience was shortly tested from the all-over-the-place, over-extended moviemaking. Basically, Snuffin' Zombies is stream-of-conscious filmmaking, and as a viewer I felt hopelessly adrift on Benacci's randomness. Once in a while, some hilarity can be spotted, floating listlessly in this sea of oddness, and I'm grateful for that.

But most of the time, my brain hurt.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 55

Perp Profile

Studio: Karl Benacci
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 105 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Comedy
• Independent

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• Official Site

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