Let’s talk about flix bay-bee… (you sang that, didn’t you?)
HAIRMETAL SHOTGUN ZOMBIE MASSACRE
• RELEASE DATE: TBD; Head here for details
• WRITTEN BY: Josh Vargas, Jvstin Whitney
• DIRECTED BY: Josh Vargas
• STARRING: Andrew Bourgeois, Bobby Haworth, Travers LaVille, Garret West, Parrish Randall
This must be my lucky year, creeps! Less than a month into this bad bastard and I’m already reviewin’ the second fright flick in my beloved metal/horror genre! And no matter what you think of these kinds o’ flicks, ya can’t deny they have the snappiest titles in the horror biz! Don’t believe me? Just slap yer putrid peepers on the name of this thing: HAIRMETAL SHOTGUN ZOMBIE MASSACRE! While the title grabs the ol’ attention by the short and curlies, let’s see if everything else about this rock n’ roll nightmare can live up to that monstrous moniker.
HAIRMETAL SHOTGUN ZOMBIE MASSACRE spins the yarn of up and cumin’ rock n’ rollers Witches’ Lips as they head to a remote recording studio to find their musical identity and do massive amounts of drugs… maybe not in that exact order, but equal importance is placed on both. Seems prosaic enough, except for one minor detail—that remote studio they head to? It comes with its own graveyard and an altar to evil in the basement (complete with a satanic tome, ’natch). Well, before you know it, some wicked words are read, and the dead start becoming incredibly less so. It’s then up to our hairy heroes to set things right and battle the undead hordes while keepin’ their mascara from runnin’!
Over the top, ridiculous, unbelievably un-PC… and completely Grade-A, rad-ass awesome, HAIRMETAL SHOTGUN ZOMBIE MASSACRE is as full-on F’n fun as the hair metal genre itself! Packed fat with gallons of sweet, sweet practical gore, some killer original tunes (composed by the ever-awesome Tim “Ripper” Owens and Marzi Montazeri), and off-the-wall near-cartoon sensibilities, ol’ HMSZM will be well-loved by metal heads and horror hounds alike!
If someone held a can of Aquanet and a lighter to my face and demanded somethin’ for the negative column on this one, I’d offer up two things: 1. I loved the ultra-ov kult black metallers that feature in a sub-plot of the flick, and could have used more of their nonsense, and 2. One of the characters has a weaponized guitar and I loved that concept so much I really, really wanted more nutso elements like that! (But that can be fixed in the sequel… and let’s get that sooner rather than later. Please?!) So, not negatives at all I guess.
So there ya have it! Grab this as soon as it becomes available and place it snugly between TRICK OR TREAT and BLACK ROSES (f–k the alphabet), ‘cuz this is metal/horror gold!
• RELEASE DATE: Available February 2nd on DVD
• WRITTEN BY: Mark Rapaport, Daniel Robbins
• DIRECTED BY: Daniel Robbins
• STARRING: Gene Jones, Ben Getz, Kyle Kirkpatrick
Werewolf flicks: I love ‘em, you probably love ‘em too… and we sure as s–t don’t get enough of ‘em (‘cuz they ain’t cheap like zombies or vampires… do you even know the price of fake fur on the open marketplace? I mean, I sure as hell don’t, but it has to be pricey). Anyway, UNCAGED is a werewolf flick, so score there, but does it have any bite or does it just do that whole bark at nothin’ BS?
Jack (Getz) has a disturbing habit of waking up in the woods completely naked. Could he just be a sleepwalker with an exhibitionist streak? Yes, yes he is. I fooled you. There is no werewolf in this film. The End.
Hahaha, no I fooled you again (I’m awesome at it). Anyway, Jack decides to get to the bottom of why he’s butt naked every morning, so he straps a camera to himself as he goes sleepy-bye. Viewing the footage the next morning, Jack sees that he becomes rather hairy and violent… and by violent I mean he rips people open and devours their innards. A bit of a dilemma for sure. He is then forced to confront his dark family legacy while getting involved in the machinations of a gangster (seems rando when I read it back, but trust me, it makes perfect sense when you see this beast).
I have to be honest, I expected absolutely zero from this fright flick, and I was beyond pleasantly surprised to discover this is a well-made, super fun lil’ furry fright fest! The young leads are likable and had some banter that called to mind the early sequences of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON without being a rip-off (minus some of the obligatory transformation scene’s effects). The cursed family aspect is a nice twist, and the utilization of comic book style illustrations to relate their legacy (as well as transition between some scenes) was clever and unique, as was the use of the GoPro to reveal Jack’s nocturnal habits.
If there is one thing that works against this film, it’s the almighty dollar. The werewolf effects are kept to a minimum, and when you see the creature, it isn’t quite as spectacular as you’d hope (spurned on by that complete bait and switch of a DVD cover). But, as you know, I give high-marks for actually trying to do something fun with your fright flick no matter the odds stacked against you, and I believe the filmmakers did the best they could with the crazy creature, so kudos to them for showing the beast at all.
So if you’re looking for something a bit different from your normal werewolf flick, and you want some comic book style storytelling mixed in with your kibble n’ bits, this is a good flick to lay your putrid peepers on. Just temper your expectations on the FX and I think you’ll have a howlin’ (your groans are a symphony to me) good time with this one!