Thursday, August 28, 2014

Redneck Zombies (1989)

WARNING:  I am going to pick apart this movie and give away major details. If you truly have the urge to see this horrible movie and don't want spoilers, now would be a good time to stop reading.

There are some movies that are so bad that you have to wonder why anyone bothered to waste everyone's time. You have to get the actors, the cameramen, editors, people to hold the props and lots of other people. This is (presumably) after you've put forth the effort to actually write the script. You'd think that someone would wonder if this is really worth the effort. (I'd imagine that a percentage of projects never make it to viewers, but there's no way of really knowing how lucky I am.) When I saw Redneck Zombies on, I knew I had to see it just to see how bad it could get.

The movie starts with some text telling us about some nuclear waste that was disposed of unless it wasn't because all of the waste was disposed of except that there's a barrel that wasn't or something or other. A lone military officer named Robinson is transporting a barrel of the toxic waste in the back of a jeep. There's no backup, no safety gear, no biohazard suits or anything that would protect Robinson or the general public from this toxic material. So, of course, Robinson goes over a bump and loses the barrel on Ferd Mertz's property. (Yes, his name is actually listed as Ferd.)

Ferd isn't the brightest bulb, even by redneck standards, but he doesn't like people trespassing on his property, even if it is to get rid of toxic waste. He chases Robinson off his property and claims the barrel as his own. Being a below-average redneck, he looks at the "Dangerous: Radioactive" warning and reads it as "Do Not Open Until Christmas." (Seriously.)

Before Ferd can do anything with his early Christmas present, The Clemson Clan (Pa, Jethro, Junior and Billy-Bob) come along. Ferd offers them the barrel to settle a dispute over some moonshine, which they accept. Not being much brighter than Ferd, they mix the toxic waste in with what moonshine they have left and distribute it to the townsfolk without even having a sip for themselves.

Meanwhile, a group of random friends is camping nearby. One of them (Wilbur, I think) knows the perfect area for camping. There's even a pond to piss in. (Be prepared; one camper actually does piss in the pond.) This is a pretty diverse group of people. There's pre-med vet student, a heavy drinker and a guy with a USS John F. Kennedy cap to name a few. Most serve as some sort of joke, such as always wanting to wear a new shirt.

Back at base, Robinson reports that he's lost the barrel. His commanding officer tells him to take as many people back as he needs to find the barrel. So what does he do? He takes two of his fellow officers, one of which is a very stereotypical, very effeminate guy who apparently wouldn't mind hearing banjos during a canoe trip. It doesn't really matter because at this point, most of the townsfolk are already zombies. All three officers become lunch.

Most of the campers have survived to this point, but those that have survived know that something is up. Wilbur seems to think it's a local bear or something on the loose. No one really thinks it's serious enough to call a ranger or the police. You'd think that at the very least, they'd head back. If there was something in the area that could disembowel two of my friends, I don't think I'd want to stick around to become number three.

Instead, when the party does finally come across a zombie, they manage to take it down and have the pre-vet guy do an autopsy, despite the fact that he's not studying people in school and his acid finally kicked in. This makes for a very trippy and very funny autopsy. I think it was actually much funnier than was originally intended.

Given the combined IQ of the characters, it's no surprise that only one makes it out alive and unchanged, although she does actually get raped by a zombie. Yes, she falls down and is raped by a zombie. By some very cheesy special effects, I think it's implied that she's carrying the zombie's child, although it's hard to tell. The ending makes almost no sense.

This isn't to say that the rest of the movie is the pinnacle of clarity. The beginning makes absolutely no sense and everything else seems to be designed to segue from one zombie attack to the next. We even have some minor nudity, but it's in a scene that's so bizarre that it has absolutely no erotic effect at all. (We're talking, "Ok... Moving right along" bizarre.)

This literally looks like someone's project for a film class. I think if I had turned this in, I would have run the risk of being kicked out of the school. There are so many things wrong with this movie that I can't even say it was for the sake of moving the story along. I mean, what self-respecting branch of the military would entrust a barrel of toxic waste to one guy in a jeep? You'd think that if it was so important, they'd spring for appropriate transport.

It also looks like it was shot on VHS tape. I don't know if this was done for effect or if was due to budgetary concerns. This may have contributed to how bad the effects were. (Actually, the only effects were when people were tripping on something.)

It looks like very few of the actors went on to do anything else. If you look on IMDb, you'll see a lot of the actors have only Redneck Zombies listed under credits. (This is why I haven't mentioned any actors' names; it's doubtful that you would recognize anyone.)

I was able to stream this movie through my iPod from Netflix, which saved me the trouble of having to wait for it in the mail and send it back. This movie is just weird. We're talking WTF weird. I'm not even going to get into how bad the original music is. Even Robinson didn't like one of the songs. I think this might explain why one of the campers drank so much. It's not that it was written into the script; I think the actor realized what a POS movie it was and just had at it.

This movie gets one star. Only watch this if you're like me and consider a bad review to be a dare.

Official Site (distributor)

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