Modern flesh-eating film overload

A bunch of quick picks of the gut munching variety. It’s a little bit of everything, from “smart” horror to schlock!

RETARDEAD (2008)

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The opening of Retardead promises that this is going to be a fun, low-budget popcorn movie. First we get one of those old school animated concession stand ads, given a really dirty twist. Then we are treated to a couple of Grindhouse trailers paying homage to bad gothic monster movies of the Hammer variety.

It’s kind of jolting to get to the main feature only to find it’s a low-production value flick of the direct-to-video camcorder variety. And despite the so wrong title, the film isn’t even vaguely as tasteless as you’d hope. Sure, there’s a perv called the “weenie wagger” on the loose, and a mad scientist is planning to make a group of intellectually disabled people his Guinea pigs in an experiment, but the movie fails to step into much offensive territory, especially disappointing to those of us who have built up hard exploitation calluses.

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The movie shies away from any serious mockery of the disabled and quickly turns into pretty standard no-budget zombie stupidity. But there is definitely plenty of gore—some cheesy bad and some pretty dang gross. And while the film lacks the level of dumb humor you’d anticipate, I did find myself laughing nonstop like an adolescent brat during a scene in which the mad doctor has to rip the guts out of a body and his two assistants just keep puking repeatedly. Retardead needed to sink to this level more to be a real winner.

Interestingly, the opening narration is handled by splatter master Herschell Gordon Lewis!

DEAD GENESIS (2010)

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After an awesome opening scene of a child being eaten alive by a zombie, Dead Genesis becomes less about zombies and more about human behavior during a zombie apocalypse. So if that’s your thing, you should check this one out. Since it’s so heavily character driven, it’s beneficial that there’s a good cast of actors here.

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A chick wants to do a documentary on rebel groups that are sprouting up around the country to fight the zombies. So she grabs her camera (no, it’s not a found footage film) and follows a group called the deadheads. Naturally, some of them aren’t so welcoming initially…and some are keeping secrets. So begins all the drama. And really, it’s predominantly a talkie drama that closes with a meaningful zombie confrontation.

ATTACK OF THE VEGAN ZOMBIES (2010)

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Sadly, Attack of the Vegan Zombies is not as funny, campy, or schlocky as its title implies. A couple with a winery is about to go out of business due to bad crops. So the wife asks her witch mother to use a spell to fix up the crop. The next year, the vines are growing out of control and the husband hires some college kids—2 geeks and 2 blonde babes—to help with the harvest.

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Aside from a lesbian sex scene and an off-screen kill, nothing other than talk happens until about the last twenty minutes of the movie, which happens to take itself pretty seriously until we finally see that the vines are keeping the crew from leaving. And as for zombies, there’s pretty much just one green-faced zombie that kills people by shooting a vine from its mouth and does cartwheels while smoke machines let loose around it. Too little awesomeness too late.

EDDIE: THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL (2012)

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Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal is so quirky and bizarre that you can’t help but stay transfixed. It’s about an artist who comes to a small town and soon finds himself the guardian of Eddie, a man with an intellectual disability.

The artist soon discovers Eddie has another problem—he strips down to his tighty whities at night and sleepwalks out into the woods to eat animals. Before long, that turns into a craving for human flesh. But instead of putting a stop to it, the artist finds inspiration for art pieces that he can sell for loads of money.

This is darkly comic gory goodness…and Eddie has a bangin’ bod.

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ZOMBIE HOOD (2013)

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If Dead Genesis left you wishing for less smarts and more “brains!”, do not hesitate to check out indie flick Zombie Hood. There is so much awesome and grisly zombie action that it actually leaves little room for an actual plot! After about 40 minutes of “vignettes” of tons of zombie attacks, we are finally able to figure out who the main characters of the film are as they come together and try to stay alive.

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The cast is quite good and what I really like about this film is that the main characters are totally not prepared to be taking on zombies, so they totally fuck up left and right. So if you want zombie gore galore and eventually somewhat of a plot, check out Zombie Hood.

WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD (2014)

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Based on the hype, I expected Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead to be a gorefest of Dead Alive proportions but it’s really pretty average in the zombie blood spill department. Even so, that doesn’t mean it’s an average movie. It is wacky zombie action fun.

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The main dude is a simple family man when he gets a call from his sister that some fucked up shit is going on in the world. This begins a trippy, post-apocalyptic journey for both of them as they take on not only zombies, but a psycho organization that has plans for the human race. Armored cars, armored men, and zombie mind control are just the beginning of the insanity.

My only complaint about the Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is that, aside from the cutie bear leading man, every fricking hot dude he meets dies within minutes. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

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LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS (2014)

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Not as humorous as it seems to want to be, Love in the Time of Monsters will still give you a few laughs. It has a bunch of people trapped at a mountain resort by a bunch of zombies in Bigfoot costumes. No. Really. Horror icon Kane Hodder leads a Bigfoot tour group and he and his costumed employees accidentally fall in a lake full of toxic waste.

There’s blood, boobs, and a pretty funny gay guy who could have brought a lot more humor if he’d lasted longer.

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There are also killer moose, killer fish, killer birds, and killer squirrels. And Kane Hodder becomes an electrified ZomBigfoot. It all leads up to a painful slowdown in the middle of the movie that finally picks up with loads of gory chaos in the finale.

You might want to save this one for a drunken party as a double feature with Zombeavers. Liquor just makes zombeavers and zomBigfoots better.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES.

I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.

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