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Film Review: Die You Zombie Bastards! (2005)



Directed by Caleb Emerson, written by Haig Demarjian and Caleb Emerson, and starring Tim Gerstmar, Geoff Mosher, Pippi Zornoza, Jamie Gillis, Hasil Adkins, Joseph James, and Sandra Kennedy.

"Red Toole (Tim Gerstmar), a serial killer with a heart of gold and a cape made of human flesh, is on a mission to save his wife, Violet (Pippi Zornoza), and the world's population from wicked Baron Nefarious (Geoff Mosher). While Nefarious hatches an evil plot to turn everyone into zombies, Toole is hot on his trail, killing anything that gets in his way. Monsters and naked zombie girls add to the ambiance of this undead superhero free-for-all."

Wow. Where do I begin? I was surfing through the 'Watch Instantly' zombie section on Netflix this evening, and decided to pick whatever movie had the best title. Based on that only rule, here we are, and I'm glad I picked this one. Make no mistake, this movie is demented. Demented, but hilarious all the same. The film seems very Troma inspired, and with good reason. Writer and director Caleb Emerson has worked on many Troma Entertainment projects, such as Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV and Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead. While working on Citizen Toxie, Emerson met many of the crew members that would eventually assist him in this production. Beyond the original Toxic Avenger and Poultrygeist, I'm not too familiar with Troma works, but compared to those two, I can definitely say that I feel Die You Zombie Bastards! comes out on top (with Toxic Avenger at a near second). Most of the actors and actresses are first-timers (including One Man Band Rockabilly Legend Hasil Adkins), with the exception of a few porn stars. But since the whole plan from the start was to have everyone overact in almost every scene, it really doesn't matter in the end.
The whole film is very random (and rabid), so it makes sense that the plot and story structure is as well. It starts off with Red, the serial killer who chops off the heads of hippies and wants to be a superhero, spending time with his wife, Violet. At a picnic, Baron Nefarious decides to kidnap her and make her his wife, while in the process of changing the world into zombie slaves. The zombies are really more of a side story, and resemble the almost forgotten voodoo zombies once featured in movies, which I found to be a nice throwback. So, Red sets off to find his lost love, but that's where the story pretty much halts, for a while. What truly makes the movie so crazy is all of the random places and odd people Red meets in his search, each one providing another clue to his next destination, while all seemingly to be practically useless. But it's still a hell of a screwed up, fun-filled ride. So, I won't spoil any of the twisted joy for you.

The film features original music by Paul Leary of the chaotic, genre-destroying band Butthole Surfers, and fits in absolutely well. There's really only one or two scenes in which I felt the music hindered it a little, but overall, it was well suited. For me, the best acting was done by the main star, Tim Gerstmar as Red, Geoff Mosher as Baron Nefarious, and Sandra Kennedy as Super Inga (who apparently is also a DJ, found here). As I said before though, it was all done with overacting in mind, so it's a bit hard too pick out the 'bad ones'. The props used in the movie didn't really do much for me in the way of humor. What stood out the most to me was the witty dialog, which was more adept than the usual B-movie fare. For instance, Red asks a Swedish woman, speaking in phony Swedish gibberish, if she speaks English, and she replies, "No, but I have subtitles." Even simple, little lines of dialog such as "Who...the fuck...are you?" had me laughing out loud because of the timing and the over-the-top manner in which it was presented. Also worth mentioning is the terrible sound editing, which, in actuality, is quite amazing. It's obvious that it was intentional, and I found myself chuckling numerous times just because of the mismatched edits.
Even outside of the movie, the film provides for ample entertainment. Case in point: "Editor Daniel Strange cut this film to fulfill his end of a bet made with director Caleb Emerson while the two were in film school together. Strange and Emerson hated each other (and claim to hate each other to this day). In an attempt to jinx each other they made an agreement that if Strange got funding for a feature film first that Caleb would have to do the special effects, and if Caleb got funding for his feature first that Strange would have to edit it gratis. The two never spoke throughout the process of editing this feature film; they communicated to each other only through notes, emails and messages relayed by assistant editor Paul Nadjmabadi." So, is Die You Zombie Bastards! worth it? Definitely. Sick? Yes. Perverted? Of course. Which is all the more reason to enjoy it. If you're interested, you can find the film's official site here. I'd also like to point out that my favorite scene (which is also the 'best quote' just below) is featured at the bottom of the review. Basically, the set-up is that two cops come to Red's house asking about three missing girls. He says he hasn't seen them, and then one cop sees a lot of blood on the floor. He asks what it's from, and he replies a "spider". Then he tells this completely random story to account for the massive amount of blood. It's not as funny with the extra scenes cutting away from his crazy face, and all of the screaming at the end, but it's still hilarious. The music is still the same, which added to the effect. But they left out his "Can you believe iiiit?" in between the lines, which was the best part, in my opinion.

Best quote: Officer Konash- "Sir, what's this?" Red- "Blood!" Officer Konash- "I know what it is. What's it from?" Red- "Spider!" Officer Konash- "Spider? Was it a big one?" Red- "Wicked! In fact, it is said that in the Tower of London, high in the bell tower, there lived a spider once, for over a hundred years. And in time, drinking from the oil lamps, it grew to the size of a man. Can you believe it? It is said that if left unchecked, there is no telling just how long a spider might live, or just how big a spider might grow..."

2 comments:

Jay Amabile said...

I need to see this now! Those green skinned ladies look quite fine to me! lol

Haig said...

Thanks for liking the movie. You really get it. That's good.

Zombastically,

HAIG