With this review, Judge David Johnson has seen as many zombie movies as the ocean has plankton.
Zombies, kung-fu, zombie-eating tigers, bare breasts, and Joe Estevez.
Another day another microbudget Troma zombie movie.
Facts of the Case
The haphazard plot of Zombiegeddon involves Satan and his demonic sidekick (Joe Estevez) conjuring up a batch of shuffling, slobbering undead flesh-eaters to cause mayhem on Earth. It will fall to some overachieving kids and a pair of crooked cops to battle the marauding zombie army and make the world safe.
Amidst this loose plot framework, director Chris Watson has crammed in an abundance of Z-grade gore effects, a legion of cameos (Lloyd Kaufman, Tom Savini, Brinke Stevens, Julie Strain, Ron Jeremy, Linnea Quigley, Lilith Stabs, Brinke Stevens), rampant blasphemy, topless women of middling degrees of attractiveness, and a bonus preamble by Uwe Boll criticizing Zombiegeddon for its crappiness (!).
All the obligatory elements are present in this direct-to-DVD concoction to qualify it as a full-blown Troma release: nudity, gore, and washed-up porn stars and B-movie queens. Watson, who directed Slaughter Party, which kind of sucked pretty hard, has crafted a slightly more entertaining affront to good taste. Zombiegeddon earns points for its gleeful use of over-the-top low-budget gimmicks, but it stumbles mightily in its inane story and humorless writing.
Basically, it seemed that Watson was more interested in creating a smorgasbord of cult zombie movie genre nuggets than a coherent film, and what could have been a worthy entry into a crowded category is rendered irrelevant. A shame, really, because there is a moderate amount of fun to be had with Zombiegeddon.
On the positive end, Watson and his special effects crew have not shied away from gooping it up on screen, squeezing every dollar out of their vanishing budget (about $100,000, according to Watson on the commentary) to maximize the sinew on screen. Heads are crushed and hearts are ripped out and intestines spilled and Karo syrup flows like honey and the movie is better for it. These guys know that if you're going to throw together a zombie movie, you either innovate or follow the playbook with gusto. Zombiegeddon goes for the latter, and the filmmakers drench the proceedings in blood and gristle. Complementing the guts is the nudity, which shows up early on but lingers, and other bits of outrageous behavior, most notably Savini's ridiculously blasphemous rendition of Jesus. Offensive? I guess, but it's so stupid I can't see how anyone would care.
And at the end of the day, that's what Zombiegeddon is: stupid. It's a stupid-ass movie about zombies eating people. Watson recognizes this, though, and the result is a budget-free gore-fest that doesn't take itself seriously (unlike, say, the esteemed director highlighted at the very beginning). That's about the best compliment I can give to this otherwise utterly forgettable offering.
A tidy amount of extras accompany the disc. Watson gives a surprisingly interesting and honest commentary; the three "zombies" who deliver the other commentary in grunt-speak that gets old fast, do not. In addition, you get some bulky cast and crew interviews, a few uninteresting deleted scenes, some behind-the-scenes footage and an interview with Herschell Gordon Lewis.
Troma fans respectful of on-screen trash should enjoy this. It's definitely a Troma movie and much better than similarly scantily-produced efforts the schlock studio has unleashed. The majority of organisms with higher-functioning nervous systems, however, will likely be unmoved.
Guilty, sure, but I've had my time wasted by Troma in a much more egregious fashion.
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Scales of Justice
• Director's Commentary
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