Zombie Movie Night: August! Go!
Last year the movie Infected teased us all with the thought of zombie deer. It did not deliver, but lo and behold, my dream of zombie deer tearing shit up was given new hope when I saw that there was a zombie movie called Buck Wild. Going on nothing but name alone, I entered Buck into the ranks of ZMN.
In a standard horror set-up, four buddies are going on vacation to a secluded hunting lodge for a weekend of bonding and not-getting-murdered. Unluckily for them, the lodge’s owner was recently bitten by a chupacabra, the cryptozoological “Goat Sucker,” and seems to be under the weather as a result. Spoiler Alert: He turns into a zombie.
THE GOOD: Buck Wild is a zombie comedy…..and it’s actually funny. The lead is a lovable loser. His buddies are a male slut and an uptight stiff (dare I say, nerd? I’ll leave that for the next review). But the scene stealer in Buck is the lead’s off-kilter cousin, who comes along for the ride and proceeds to make everyone uncomfortable by sharpening his knife in his sleep and practicing martial arts in the nude. This kind of character has been tried plenty of times and typically succeeds or fails based on the actor and dialogue. Luckily, in this case, both are strong.
THE BAD: I liked this movie a lot, but there were two moments that really fell flat. 1) The chupacabra at the beginning was a terrible looking puppet and overall unnecessary. It never returns and there was no reason to include this as the cause of the outbreak. 2) A scene in which a zombie provides Freudian psychotherapy to the main character really didn’t work. It certainly didn’t fit with the type of zombies the movie portrayed, but more importantly, it wasn’t funny. The next scene shows the lead sleeping, so I’ll at least give Buck the benefit of the doubt and say that it was a dream sequence.
THE ZOMBIES: And now the moment you’ve been waiting for! Zombie Deer……..are not present (wah wah). Nope, just standard zombies. Sometimes running, somewhat functioning when first infected, but overall pretty standard (save for scene mentioned above).
VERDICT: I went into Buck Wild with zero expectations. Based on title, poster, and description I thought for sure we were looking at bottom 10% of the list. I can’t really remember the last time I was this surprised on ZMN. This is a damn good movie. Definitely worth checking out. Grade: B+
Current ZMN Rank: #38 out of 146
Golden Zombey Watch: I could potentially see nominations for this one all over the ballot: Best Actor, Supporting Actor, Villain, Duo, Origin, Best Zombie Comedy, Soundtrack, Most Memorable Massacring, Bizarre Zombie Behavior, and WTF Moment.
Attack of the Vegan Zombies
If I’m going to give Attack of the Vegan Zombies any credit at all, it has a wacky-ass original premise. Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. A couple owns a vineyard. Years of unsuccessful harvests have led them to the brink of bankruptcy. In order to save the farm, Wife goes to her mother for help. Mom is a witch (resentful of her rebellious daughter, who chose not to be a witch). Wife and Mom make a potion to create a bountiful harvest. One of the ingredients is blood, which Wife collects from Husband (by tricking him into crazy, nasty, vicious, bloody, off-screen sex). Potion works! Fast forward to next year, the vineyard is so successful the couple hires local students to help them harvest all the grapes. But these are angry grapes. Aggressive grapes. See, Husband had been drinking before Wife took his blood. His blood angered up the grapes and now they crave….wine! And what’s the best way to get wine? By creating zombies, of course. Zombies that crave….wine! And if they can’t get wine, they’ll settle for the blood of humans that have recently drank (drunken?) wine. Because the wine is in their blood! Got it? Good. Let’s move on.
THE GOOD: No, let’s start with THE BAD: it makes more sense that way. Because this movie is bad. Really bad. First off, with a title and a description like that, you’d think that this would be tongue-in-cheek, off the walls whack-a-doo. But, it’s played fairly straight the whole time. Odd decision, but OK. Worse than this is the fact that all of the acting and all of the characters are terrible. Two of the students are nerds. You know they’re nerds because they wear glasses, button down shirts, pocket protectors, and reference Star Trek in nasally nerd voices. This wasn’t funny on Saved by the Bell, and it’s not funny now.
THE GOOD: The only saving grace for AotVZ is that it is at least enjoyably bad. Much on the level of Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill, everything in this movie is so bad that you can’t help but root for it. And, there is a throwaway lesbian with some boobage. They’re not the greatest boobs, but hey, credit where credit is due.
THE ZOMBIES: Oh yeah, the zombies look terrible too. Green face and body paint accompanied by neon green blood, a la Troll 2. And did I mention that the zombies attack humans to get at the wine in their blood? WTF!?!
THE VERDICT: So bad it’s good still doesn’t really equal a good movie. For the hardcore only. Grade: D
Current ZMN Rank: #128 out of 146
Golden Zombey Watch: Likely nominations for Origin and Bizarre Zombie Behavior. Best Nudity would be a stretch, but I’m not sure how much competition there has been this year. The whole movie itself could get nominated for WTF.