Fringe Media, Troma Entertainment
Release length: 54:42
Right away, Pot Zombies looks and sounds like something from the eighties homemade “shot on video” era, but was in fact filmed in 2005. The movie itself is a series of short stories, around ten minutes each, revolving around various individuals who happen to smoke radioactive weed at some point, and change into The Incredible Hulk, though not quite as muscular. There really is no plot other than the city is just becoming infested with these zombies, as indicated by the end showing all the infected walking around town, and the opening credits of two people adding the radiation to the large bag of marijuana. The only thing really linking these stories together, aside that clip and the tainted weed, are two random news packages that play here and there talking about the epidemic, and instructing people to just not have any fun as the infestation continues to grow.
While these are all short stories about the people the marijuana infects, they are just not that great. First off is two people who are probably meant to be teens more than college students, who got high before class. They turn in their seats, and one punches a hole through the teacher and gets her heart. Another is a sun bathing Punk stereotype who is attacked by two zombies, then strung up by two hooks pierced through his back while swinging in the air with no damage to his body despite seeing the zombies tear him open, and while eating his supposed body parts below him. Later on there’s a concert being recorded, and a lesbian make out scene that finds one of the girls turning into a zombie while eating out the other.
Aside seeing some tits to attract the male demographic, there’s a few more important scenes that come up and help you understand what it is you’re watching. First is the group of three Metal fans sitting around watching a horror movie (which seems like Night of the Living Dead at first but I could be wrong) and ordering pizza. They all smoke some weed as they wait for a pizza they ordered. A retarded looking Pizza Delivery Guy (Lloyd Kaufman) waddles in, and gives a clue that this is a Troma film by mentioning the company randomly while looking at some magazines as he waits to be paid, only to be eaten by zombies instead. But, the best of them is the stoner who gets pulled over, and then goes off about how he tried to buy some chicken, but the guy only messed with him and he didn’t get any. This was actually really funny to watch, but eventually the cop (Richard Houghton) searches the car, and is attacked by the stoner.
But, that clip with the cop and the stoner shows the horrible CGI being used. Pot Zombies was shot on an estimated budget of one thousand dollars (US currency, according to IMDB.com), so some effects are going to be really fake, such as many blood sequences they digitally put in like during the lesbian scene when a puff of blood appears as if it were queefed out. However, it’s clear they couldn’t afford to have a real cop pull the aforementioned stone over, instead adding the blinking red and blue lights in through computer graphics, and often not even looking as though they are attached to the car, or even remain on it before they cut to the cop at the driver’s side window asking questions. On top of that, the gore scenes look horrible, often having the physical blood seem like nothing more than watered down pasta sauce, and horrible rubber props like the teachers heart, which is interesting considering the zombie punches her in the stomach, not the chest. More than likely, most of the budget was spent on the marijuana for the film, even though the first scene involving three redneck hunters has three disclaimers saying it’s fake. These include text that reads “The makers of Pot Zombies do not condone the use of marijuana,” as well as an arrow pointing to a blunt and claiming it’s “Not real,” and large text stating “Marijuana is illegal!” with a siren that goes on for way too long. Given the end credits are behind the scenes footage, largely of cast members smoking weed, it’s a safe bet it is real, and that was meant to be a loop hole to get out of legal trouble, or they just thought it would be funny.
Then there’s also the acting, which is just abysmal. It’s obvious nobody with real acting talent is in this film, or at the very most didn’t care that much about their performance. Wvery scene does become rather painful to sit through due to this, with the exception of Lloyd Kaufman going a bit over the top as the mentally retarded pizza guy, and I think again at some point as a father drawing a bath for his son during another short story. Then again, given everything up to that point, the wonky approach is just something different to be amused by all together. Perhaps the best acting is done by the animated blunt that appears here and there to seperate the stories, including the final one where it seems to dance in place for a second, turn around, and fart marijuana smoke at the camera. But, if you want the most memorable, then it’s the Cheerleader (Amy Brown) that recaps what she saw in the school, talking about slipping in the gore and how horrible was. This cuts to a flashback of her walking forward on cue, and falling in a horribly fake manner towards the lower torso of someone. It’s easily the worst clip of the film, and so bad you won’t soon forget it.
With the way this film is put together, chances are good you will have no idea what you’re watching, as well as loathe the release. Of course, this is all within good reason. Pot Zombies is a shoe string independent zombie film that either was made for Troma Entertainment, or eventually was picked up by them. Five minutes with this movie and you’ll automatically assume that’s who is behind it anyway if you get a version without the Troma introduction, which is what the Comcast version I saw was missing. If you go in expecting one long, consistant plot, you’ll definitely be let down. Instead, you get a series of short stories, some loosely related to others or not at all, that was probably put together and filmed while everyone was high, which is how you’ll probably need to be to get the most amusement out of it and the horrible effects, as well as general production quality. It’s truly a rough experience from stat to finish, especially if you don’t know what it is you’re even watching. But, when armed with the knowledge of what you’re about to see planted in your head, and understanding it was shot on an estimated one thousand dollar budget, this becomes a lot less painful to sit through. At least, it is if you can factor it all in. If not, then just avoid this one entirely.
|Overall Score: 4/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by personal funds.