The Plague.

This is sort of along the lines of a “Village of the Damned” sort of a thing… it’s all basically been done before… but has it ever starred DAWSON?  James Van Der Beek stars in Hal Masonberg’s straight-to-DVD picture “The Plague”.  Alright, here we go.  It was produced by Clive Barker, so, obviously, his name is on the cover in bigger writing than any of the actors.  Might even be bigger than the film title.  It is, however, Hal Masonberg’s only film credit…  ALWAYS a good sign.


[Ten years ago, every kid in town (possibly the world?) seems to have fallen ill… woken up with a frothy mouth, eventually they all had seizures and then become vegetables.]

Starkwell: If it looks straight to video, and it sounds straight to video, than the acting might suck.

Lovelock: You say that now, but just wait until Dawson shows up.

Starkwell: Is that going to help?

Lovelock: It will help prove your theory.


So it turns out THERE ARE NO CHILDREN in the entire world.  All kids are born dead, or, well, in a coma-dead.  It’s actually pretty fucked up.  The kids from ten years ago are all still alive, but they’re all in comas and kept in huge High-School Gyms turned Hospital.  Then Dawson makes his grand entrance, walking around a ghost town of rusty playgrounds and closed schools.  The youngest functional people in the world are 19. All the Coma Kids have seizures every day at the same time.  Dawson is an ex-con.


[Dawson visits his brother and ex-wife.]

Starkwell: Of course there’s an ex-wife.

Lovelock: What’s a movie without sexy complications?

Starkwell: It doesn’t seem very sexy.

Lovelock: Man, I just want the damn Coma Kids to wake up and start strangling people.

[Coma Kids all stand up and rip out their IVs.  Nurse is attacked.  Meanwhile, Dawson's nephew attacks his Dawson's brother.]

Starkwell: Ask and ye shall receive.

Lovelock: I guess… but they didn’t SHOW the nurse being strangled.

Starkwell: Dawson doesn’t seem very shocked considering he just found his bro with an exploded head and he just threw his nephew out the window.

Lovelock: Yeah but his hair is fantastic.  Sexy complications?  Likely so!


So then Dawson and the ex-brother-in-law go to find the ex-wife (not his brother, his brother's dead, he met up with his ex-wife's brother).  She’s a nurse (obviously) and works at the high-school gym where all the Coma Kids are being held (obviously).  Starkwell and Lovelock didn’t have much to say.  The movie is fairly cookie-cutter horror, part “Village of the Damned”, part “The Crazies”, part bad over-acting, and with a sprinkle of shitty dialogue.


Lovelock: Considering it’s likely that all of the Coma Kids in the world probably woke up, you would think there’d be a more interesting place to focus on than a shitty high-school in a shitty small town.

Starkwell: On this movie’s budget?

Lovelock: True…


There are some pretty good shots of people shocking themselves at their ability to bludgeon teenagers to death.  It still leaves Lovelock wanting more, though.  Then there’s a pretty dragged out scene of the ex-wife treating her Bro’s broken leg.  This leaves Lovelock wanting less.


Starkwell: Of course they’re hunkered down in an old church.

Lovelock: Well, yeah.  That way they can cut to random shots of Jesus.  And Mary.  And Bible.


The Coma Kids all seem to have a collective mind.  They take people’s souls and learn all that they know… together.  Also, now they have guns.  In the end, I think Dawson ends up offering his soul to them and making them disappear.  But then they’re back and Dawson is probably one of them now.  Great work, Dawson.  The end.


Zombies vs. Strippers.

Not to be confused with any other zombie films in the last few years that have the words “zombie” and “stripper” in the title, this one sets itself apart by being “Zombies vs. Strippers” as opposed to “Strippers vs. Zombies”.  Look, I know that sounds thin, but I was just trying to find ONE nice thing to say about this total turd before I fling it directly at Starkwell and Lovelock’s respective eyeballs.  “Full Moon” is really giving “The Asylum” a run for their money for the title of 'Kings of “we make shitty movies all of the time, deal with it”'.   That title sounded more positive than it should have.  It’s not a good thing.


[Disturbingly long credits, with shitty music and distorted shots of boob/ass/zombies.]

Starkwell: When your movie is only 75 minutes long, and your opening credits last almost four minutes… it ain’t a good sign.


[Dude named Spider runs a shitty failing strip bar.]

Starkwell: Of course his name is Spider.

Lovelock: There is no way that a shitty strip club in the middle of nowhere that is FAILING would have a girl that would even look somewhat CLOSE to that good.  And she doesn’t even look that good.

Starkwell: Not to mention, there aren’t any customers… so why would he need a bouncer, a bartender and four strippers on hand?


The film is trying real hard to develop characters.  Here’s the problem: They all suck and the acting sucks and it’s so stupid.  Anyways, then a girl named Bambi strips in front of two guys that have obviously become zombies.


[One zombie eats the other zombie’s hand.]

Starkwell: Well now that just doesn’t make any sense.


There’s a black girl named Vanilla and she is literally a textbook of bad stereotypes.  Then there’s a super long scene where Spider tells everyone he’s closing the bar and the characters go on and on about their shit.  And then they throw a party or something.  It’s honestly like a ten or fifteen minute long scene, and it ends with a customer coming in and offering them a bunch of money to keep the bar open for him.  He kind of looks like a cross between Carrot Top and Adam Ant.  It all sucks.


Starkwell: Ok, I’m out.


Lovelock: So, they’ve definitely established the Strippers portion of “Zombies vs. Strippers”… What with the fact that we’ve seen a million boobs and only two zombies.

[Zombies finally show up at the club, saying “brains” repeatedly.]

Lovelock: Yeah… ok… I’m out too.


It didn’t get any better.  Because, you see, once they took care of those zombies, that was it for another twenty minutes at least.  I’m glad they left before they could see just how bad it kept getting.  I think Vanilla said “This is your brain on drugs” at one point.  Also, there was a Michael Jackson “Thriller” zombie that did Jacko dance moves and grabbed his crotch.  Also, it’s one of the slowest moving films ever.  Seventy five minutes feels more like infinity hours.  It’s like they thought by casting porn stars, and then sprinkling a booby and an ass here and there we’d forget that nothing happens and that none of it makes any sense and that it all sucks and that it's the worst.  Guess who ain’t buying?


Zombie 5: Killing Birds.

Zombie 5” was a film released in 1987, before “Zombi 3” and “Zombie 4”,  the two 'previous' films in the fabricated series of “Zombie” movies (which start with “Dawn of the Dead” somehow).  Obvioulsy at the time, they didn't KNOW it was the fifth installment yet.  How could they?  The third hadn't happened. If that isn’t already enough nonsense, this one involves birds.  It is safe to say that “Killing Birds” was not Robert Vaughn’s finest hour (and a half).  No doubt said hour (and a half) will feel quite a bit longer to the unprepared Starkwell and Lovelock, who are going into this expecting the wacky shenanigans of parts 3 and 4.  Man, are they ever in for a letdown.  How bad is this movie?  Joe D’Amato is an uncredited director.


[Some kind of Johnny Rambo returns from war only to find his woman in bed with a man, that he then kills.]

Lovelock: That’s why I never date soldiers’ wives.

Starkwell: Yeah, that’s… wait what?

Lovelock: Or soldiers.

[He kills her next.  Then he kills the two neighbors.  He spares their baby.  But then the birds peck out his eyes.]

Lovelock: And that’s why I’m afraid of birds.

Starkwell: No one is forcing you to keep like a hundred falcons on your porch.

Lovelock: I’d like to see them try!

[Soldier Boy is treated at the hospital, and then given back the baby, which I guess is his baby now (???).]

Starkwell: How did he get to the hospital without any eyes?

Lovelock: I’m sure the ambulance came to get him…

Starkwell: They didn’t notice the four dead bodies, his bloody knife and clothes… they didn’t ask about the birds?

Lovelock: It’s probably not legal to have that many hawks and falcons in cages with those little hats.

Starkwell: Also, what kind of hospital just says “Here you go, guy with no more eyes and a bandage around your head who appears to be bloody, mute and homeless… take this tiny infant and be on your way.   Godspeed.  It is your baby right?” ???!?!?!?

Lovelock: The kind of hospital found in terrible movies.


They talked for a while about the different birds, and just how many holes in the plot this one scene had already created.  They decided that this might be the laziest, most irresponsible and incompetent writing they have ever come across.  They missed a whole mess of other garbage, including some of the worst acting anyone will ever see, while they compared it to other horrible movies.


[A mish-mash of eighties clichés and bad actors make up a group of bird watchers, journalists and photographers that will be going to watch birds… I guess at Blind Rambo’s house.]

Starkwell: No… I can’t do it.

[Starkwell leaves.]

Lovelock: I’m staying, but mostly for the music, and to see Robert Vaughn.

[Enter blind, mangled, Robert Vaughn.  He is a bird expert and two of the students interview him for his… knowledge… I think.]

Lovelock: Well, I’ve seen Robert Vaughn.  So what, they’re looking for a special bird… or?


Then there’s a bunch of bird footage and a dude fake-playing a harmonica.  The teens all smile at one another and have a great time filming what looks to Lovelock like “the same four birds over and over again”.


[They find an abandoned truck with a decomposing corpse in it.]

Lovelock: Aww… just a plain corpse… I guess it was too much to hope that there would be zombies in a movie called “Zombie 5”… somewhere in the first hour or so.


Running scared from the corpse, the teens come across an abandoned old house that they then decide to explore, seemingly unaffected by the fact they just saw a dead body.  It’s clearly the house where Robert Vaughn killed those people all of those years ago.  It takes them like ten minutes to explore the house, find nothing and have nothing happen.  Then randomly one of the teens starts FREAKING OUT and seeing zombies.


[Dude sees his girl crucified… but it was all in his imagination.]

Lovelock: He sure is scared of that blind guy.  Also, he sure is sweaty.  Also, I sure am bored.


Then one of the characters whipped out a gigantic late eighties laptop and Lovelock spent the next ten minutes talking about how far technology has come.  He almost ends up missing the first actual zombie attack.


[Blonde girl has her head smashed in.]

Lovelock: Hooray!  Good luck stopping the zombies with your big laptop and floppy disk!

[I honestly don’t know why he would say that.  This is one of those moments that would have left Starkwell bewildered.]


Nothing is ever explained.  At one point a dude spontaneously combusted and Lovelock laughed so hard that he threw up a little.  But that was really the highlight for him.  Well, that and the part where the girl’s head is sort of pulled off.  Pound for pound, this movie truly sucks.  As bad as you think it is, it’s worse.  Also, where did the baby go?


Lovelock: More like "Zombie 5: Killing the Series".


Zombie 4: After Death

Claudio Fragassi is best known as the visionary behind “Troll 2”.  But honestly, he is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT!  He seemed to have spent the better part of his directing career under either an alias (this one for instance is credited to one ‘Clyde Anderson’), or as an uncredited director brought in to finish works that were abandoned by Bruno Mattei.  If Mattei gives up on a movie, I’m afraid to see the finished product.  Nonetheless, here we are.  “After Death” or as it is also known “Zombie 4”, begins with a throaty dude talking complete nonsense about a group of humanitarian scientists who conduct research on a remote tropical island, research to fight man’s oldest foe: DEATH.  Then horrible eighties synth rock starts playing and Lovelock and Starkwell immediately start rocking out all over the living room.  Buckle up folks, this is gonna be one nutty ride.


[Voodoo Priest says gibberish while Tina Turner (not actually Tina Turner) does an interpretive dance to horrible synth tribal music.  Light enters her mouth and she vomits.]

Starkwell: I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that they won’t explain much in this one.

[Tina Turner sinks into the ground, and floats to hell.]

Starkwell: Luckily, the group of nerds with machine guns and flashlights seem to know what’s going on.  

Lovelock: Also, they look like they work in a zoo.

[Nerds gun down Voodoo Priest, Tina Turner explodes out of the ground, as a zombie and rips off one nerd’s face.]

Starkwell: Why?

Lovelock: When things make me happy, I find it best to stop asking questions, and fall deeply in love.

Starkwell: What's love got to do with it?


There are a bunch of characters.  We don’t really know who any of them are, or how they relate to one another.  I don’t think that really matters, since most of them have already died, and there are rabid running zombies everywhere trying to kill, and likely eat everyone.  Lovelock is grinning from ear to ear.  Starkwell is grinning too, but mostly because he’s laughing so hard at the movie.


[Some little Blonde girl survives, and now we flash forward to her all grown up and she and her mercenary friends end up on the very island where everyone died.]

Starkwell: So how did she survive?  What happened to the… ? Why wouldn’t she know that wasn’t just a dream? What… the fuck… ? Who has mercenary friends?

Lovelock: Dude, “Zombie 4” eats your questions for breakfast.

Starkwell: Will it vomit answers?  Please?

Lovelock: Who needs answers when you have people being eaten every minute?

Starkwell: Well, me, for one.

Lovelock: Your loss.  YOUR LOSS.

Starkwell: Wait, did she mean to go back to that island?  I’m confused.


[A group of three researchers venture into the cave, end up swarmed by zombies, two are eaten.]

Lovelock: It’s like Meat Loaf says, “Two out of three ain’t bad”.

Starkwell: Dude, it’s all bad.  This whole thing is bad.

[Then they show the same zombie rising out of a grave twice, almost in a row, and Starkwell and Lovelock both laughed hysterically.]


Then the Surviving Scientist meets up with the Mercenary Gang, and they blow away a million zombies.  But they JUST KEEP COMING.  This movie’s body count is impressive, and we’re only an hour in. 


[One mercenary turns zombie, eats girl’s face, goes after Blondie, and then absolutely everyone shoots him in the face.]

Starkwell: I love how they were like “We can’t kill Tommy!” and then one minute later all scream “Kill him!” and machine gunned his face.

Lovelock: Yeah… real conflicted… and then they throw his body into a bonfire.


Then Blondie SUDDENLY remembers everything about her past.  Seriously, every intricate detail, details she couldn’t possibly know, since she was only like four at the time.  Starkwell rolled his eyes so hard he passed out momentarily.


Lovelock: Can we just stop for a moment and talk about how killer this soundtrack is?

Starkwell: Moment’s up.

[Suddenly one of the zombies has a consciousness and can talk and laugh and use a gun.]

Starkwell: Sure.  Why not?

Lovelock: No seriously, why not?


[Dude goes Kamikaze and explodes the house.]

Lovelock: Did he just FISTPUMP while exploding?

Starkwell: Does that make it good?

Lovelock: That makes it the best.  The best ever.


Blondie tries to close the gates of hell, she fails, her face explodes and Captain Science is ripped apart.  Now she becomes the QUEEN DEMON.  I think.  Same synth rock from the opening credits start playing and Lovelock plays air guitar so hard he starts crying.  Starkwell just leaves the room.  It’s obviously no “Zombi 2”, and it doesn’t quite hit the hilariously explosive heights of “Zombi 3”.  But “After Death” certainly earns itself a place in history among the best of the “so bad they are good” movies, wedged somewhere just below “Zombi 3”, which in turn is being sat on by “Nightmare City”, which is being peed on by most of Lucio Fulci’s work.


I Walked With a Zombie.

Jacques Tourneur is often one of those names you hear referenced by film makers when talking zombie shop.  Considering that this is his one and only major entry into the genre, hopes are staggeringly high for this film.  This one was a Val Lewton production for RKO Pictures, which means the budget will be shoestring but that, nonetheless, the expectation is still that it will leave the crowd pleased.  When Starkwell and Lovelock are the crowd, it is almost impossible to predict these things.


[Opening credits roll.]

Lovelock: Wait… there’s an actor named Sir Lancelot?  How old is this movie?


Nurse Betsy, from CANADA, is sent to St-Sebastien to care for a rich dude’s wife.  There is a lot narration by Betsy as she goes about her business, as this whole thing is a flashback.  The mood, atmosphere, lighting, set design, directing, acting and writing are all top notch.  This of course means that Starkwell is ecstatic and Lovelock wants something to explode.


[Betsy hears a woman crying, while searching for the source she wanders into the sickly Ms. Holland wandering around like a zombie.]

Lovelock: No job is worth this shit.  I’d run home to Canada.

Starkwell: You and me both.


It is clear that Betsy’s employer Mr. Holland is creepy and not to be trusted.  Lovelock feels like it’s mostly due to his awful moustache.  Starkwell feels it’s because he CLEARLY is keeping his wife as some kind of horrible zombie.


[Singer Man sings a creepy song about the island.]

Lovelock: That’s the same guy and the same song in “Zombies On Broadway”.

Starkwell: This came out first so really… well never mind.  Anyways… That’s Sir Lancelot.

Lovelock: My hero.


Then there’s a whole thing where Betsy is worried about Wesley’s drinking problem.  But then she’s clearly hitting on Paul (whose wife she is caring for).  Starkwell was all confused.  He was sure she was into Wesley, but then suddenly she liked Paul.  Lovelock called her a slut and tried to high-five Starkwell, who then left him hanging.  Eventually Betsy hears that there are Voodoo Witchdoctors that could potentially help Ms. Holland and decides to bring Ms. Holland to them in the middle of the night.  It's all a bit soap opera-ish.


[There at the Voodoo ceremony, while Betsy has a conversation with Paul and Wesley’s mother, the natives stick a sword through Ms. Holland’s arm, which doesn’t bleed.]

Lovelock: That’s no way to treat a guest.

Starkwell: “Who’s this?  She doesn’t speak much… Let’s put a sword through her arm.”

Lovelock: That’s apparently their “zombie” test.

Starkwell: I’d hate to see the people that fail their test.

Lovelock: "The good news is, you're not a zombie.  Bad news? Well, you're about to die, I think I nicked an artery."


After Betsy takes Ms. Holland back home, the natives continue their ceremony, this time using some sort of doll they have dressed up like Ms. Holland. Eventually Paul and Wesley’s mother finally told everyone that she moonlights as a Voodoo Witchdoctor.


Lovelock: It’s a little strange that Paul doesn’t buy the whole Voodoo thing, but then openly admits to hearing people’s thoughts.


Anyways, Paul opens the gate to let zombie Ms. Holland wander the jungle in search of her Voodoo Masters.  But then he kills her and drowns himself in the ocean.  Then one second later, “THE END” and epic music plays.  Way epic, and way depressing.


Lovelock: So wait, I’m still confused.  Isn’t Betsy married to some guy in Canada?


Dawn of the Dead.

Zack Snyder, nowadays, is known for making large scale movies that pretty much look and feel like cut scenes from a video game.  Don’t get me wrong, it might be a decent video game at times, but a video game nonetheless.  At this point I’m not sure how much the actors actually even have to act anymore in his movies.  This is part of the reason why, when looking back, it’s pretty peculiar and, well, awesome, that when Snyder decided to “re-boot” Romero’s classic “Dawn of the Dead”, he went fully old school for the special effects and used minimal amounts of CGI.  But I digress, Starkwell and Lovelock, I present to you, the re-make of your beloved classic.


[Blonde Girl named Ana works at a hospital as a nurse.  People seem to be getting sick.  Emergency broadcasts on the TV and whatnot.]

Starkwell: It’s interesting that Snyder already plays on the fact that the audience knows it’s a zombie film, and so he puts in all these hints that shit’s about to go down.

[And then shit goes down immediately.  Little Zombie Girl shows up and eats Ana’s boyfriend.  Zombies run!]

Lovelock: Well, he certainly isn’t wasting any time.  Although, I do wish that it wasn’t a little kid.  Kids are lame.

Starkwell: Nothing’s ever good enough for you.

[Boyfriend turns immediately, Blondie goes outside, all Hell has broken loose.]

Lovelock: Ok… I’ll forgive the kid thing.


It’s definitely more of a “loosely based on” type of a thing, according to Lovelock.  In any case, the two of them sat pretty quietly as the gang of characters ended up almost immediately at the mall.  There are the “regular” good guys and the “not so good” good guys and the “totally bad, at least for  for now” guys.  There was a nice Tom Savini cameo at one point that made Lovelock applaud.  And then shortly thereafter there was a Ken Foree cameo and he was like “THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.


[Two Asshole Security Guards act like they own the place, but the Get Along Gang turn the tables on them and put them in a holding cell. Some more people show up, and Get Along Gang let them in and now the Get Along Gang is bigger.]

Starkwell: With this new group, I’m sure we’ll be able to cover all the clichés.

Lovelock: Obviously there’s the rich snob guy, the organ player, the criminal!

Starkwell: The father-daughter duo!  The preggers chick!  The slut!

Lovelock: They turn much faster in this one than in the original.

Starkwell: Yeah… except the pregnant woman, who seems to be taking a long time to turn.

[Fat Woman dies, immediately comes back.]

Lovelock: First the Kid Zombie, now the Fat Zombie?   "Covering all the clichés" is right…


Then there’s a montage of them living at the mall, for… I don’t know how long.  Richard Cheese plays and Lovelock dances.  The two Asshole Security Guards are still locked in the holding cells.


[Mekhi’s Pregnant Russian Wife is strapped down to a bed squirming, turning into a zombie and going into labor.]

Starkwell: So… no one is noticing any of this?  No one has been like “Hey ummm… about the whole ‘your wife is chained to the bed thing’?”


Then one of the Asshole Guards (the real scumbag one) gets all eaten and Lovelock was like “aw yeah comeuppance”.  And then the other Asshole Guard, C.J., totally helped out and became a valuable member of the team and he was like “aw yeah redemption”.


[Zombie Preggers explodes with a Zombie Baby, Old Lady walks in on it.]

Lovelock: So good! The Old Woman is like “Hey hon', I brought some candles! OH SHIT ZOMBIE! KILL IT!”

[Mexican Standoff between Mekhi and Old Woman.]

Starkwell: And the winner is… no one?

Lovelock: Dude, the winner is both of us.

[Zombie Baby.]

Lovelock: Well, there it is.  All the lame clichés possible.


The old lady didn’t become a zombie, so they concluded that only if you die from a BITE do you turn.  This is definitely a departure from Romero’s vision, and a source of anger for Starkwell.  Lovelock and Starkwell argued about this during a montage of the Get Along Gang preparing buses for their upcoming trip to the marina.  Apparently the plan is to take Rich Snob’s boat to an island.


[C.J. sacrifices himself for the good of the Get Along Gang.]

Lovelock: And with that bit of redemption, the final cliché checkbox is ticked.

Starkwell: Well… we still need a sad ending.

[Get Along Gang sail off into the sunset.  Arrive at an island… but… it’s overrun with zombies.  EVERYONE DIES.]

Starkwell: There it is.


This movie was very successful, and was honestly a fair re-imagination of the original, albeit not very faithful or particularly inventive.  But it had characters that you actually grew to like, and care for, and was a lot of fun to watch.  The biggest issue with this movie was that its success spawned a bajillion mockbuster copycats of this new zombie film formula.  But Starkwell and Lovelock won’t let that take away from how much they enjoyed this remake.  Anyways, they said a big part of what sets this apart from the cookie cutter zombie schlock out there is character development.


The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.

Ray Dennis Steckler had a number of different aliases that he went by.  Usually this happens when a director also works in porn.  Well, Steckler was no exception.  In any case, this 1964, "world’s first, monster movie musical", is often regarded as one of the worst films of all time, and Steckler’s best work.  How does that happen?  What does that say about the rest of his work?  I for one can’t wait to confuse the bajesus out of Starkwell and Lovelock by finally showing them something that truly needs to be seen to be believed.  The film starts off at a carnival, and an ugly psychic is being insulted by a drunk guy.


[Lady Psychic orders creepy looking man servant Ortega to turn the Drunk into one of her pets, they pin the Drunk down and pour something labelled poison all over his face.]

Lovelock: What the hell is on her face?

Starkwell: Ortega might be one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen.


The credits roll and show a dude mutating into some kind of disfigured being.  Then there’s this really long dance scene.


Starkwell: We’re only a few minutes in, but CLEARLY we can see that "discriminating" is not one of Steckler’s strong suits.

Lovelock: All filler no killer.


Steckler, playing some slacker dude named Jerry, has a conversation with a heavily accented European friend, named Harold, who is CLEARLY reading his lines off of the “magazine” he is holding.  Jerry and Harold go to pick up Jerry’s girl.  Obviously her mother doesn’t approve of slacker Jerry, who claims “the world is my college.”  They go to the carnival.


[Horrible stand up comedian is the warm up act for the dance act we saw earlier, which we now see again.]

Lovelock: Is that what the open mics you do are like?

Starkwell: Basically.

[Drunk dancer girl falls down.]

Starkwell: Actually, that’s much funnier than most of what I sit through.


[Footage of people riding roller coasters.]

Starkwell: I’d imagine that given the size of cameras in the sixties, it must have been kind of insane to take one onto a roller coaster like that.

Lovelock: Steckler don’t care.  He don’t care about nothing.


[Drunk Dancer Girl goes to see Psychic.]

Lovelock: Here’s a reading: Hey DANCER LADY, you look like a DUDE.

Starkwell: Weak.

Lovelock: Where’s Ortega?


[Jerry, Harold and Angela go see the Psychic, Angela has her fortune told.]

Lovelock: Madame Estrella should tell Angela to tone down that bee hive on her head.

Starkwell: It’s a fortune reading not a fashion consultation.

Lovelock: Come on dude, she gave her fifty cents.  I’d expect a little honesty.


After that first scene before the credits, seriously, nothing has happened.  Starkwell and Lovelock agreed that “he set the bar a little too high a little too early in the film.


[Jerry decides to go see the nudey show, Angela doesn’t want to, so Jerry tells Harold to drive her home.]

Lovelock: Shit, Harold, grow some balls.  Also, Angela, lose the Jerry.

Starkwell: Seriously… who is Jerry?  Who does he think he is?

Lovelock: Jerry is the man, I guess.


Then we see the whole show, minus the nudity.  But they made sure to show the lengthy ballad sung by “girl with bee-hive hair-do number a million”.


Starkwell: Why would the bulk of the audience at the strip show be older women?


Then Jerry went backstage to meet the stripper Carmelita, but was ambushed by a hypnosis session given by Madame Estrella, with Ortega and Carmelita watching.  After a few minutes and some horrible sounds effects, Jerry is eventually under Madame Estrella’s control.


Lovelock: I know it SAID it was a musical, but I guess I was expecting the musical elements to somehow incorporate zombies, as opposed to just being a bunch of shitty people performing shitty music sandwiched in between insane shots of Steckler being an asshole and Warty McPsychic doing evil with her mutant sidekick.  Also, dancer lady that kinda looks like a dude.

Starkwell: Well, we’re half way there… so… it will all be over soon enough.  Ugh… more stand-up?


[We see the same dance number for the third time.  Then a possessed Jerry kills the two dancers.  DURING THE SHOW.]

Lovelock: That’s more like it.

Starkwell: Why didn’t the film just start around this point?  It would have saved us forty five minutes.

Lovelock: That would be too easy.

Starkwell: Wait, that’s it?  No one is going after Jerry?  He just killed two people in front of an entire audience.


Then there was the most amazingly nonsensical dream sequence that made Lovelock shit his pants.


[Jerry gets up and goes to see Harold.]

Lovelock: Same clothes?  Gross.

Starkwell: No wonder Angela’s mom doesn’t trust him… same clothes all the time?  Creepy.

Lovelock: Well, also, he did just kill some people.

Starkwell: Yeah but she don’t know that.  Only the entire crowd at the carnival/nightclub know that.


[Jerry goes to see Angela, she twirls her umbrella, Jerry is hypnotized and strangles her.]

Lovelock: That’s why I never twirl umbrellas.

Starkwell: Yeah that’s why.

Lovelock: Wait… the mom didn’t call the cops?  They just caught Jerry STRANGLING her!

Starkwell: Jerry LITERALLY gets away with murder.  And attempted murder.


Anyways, the movie trails on with more crappy musical numbers, and Harold working with Angela and her family, trying to get a hold of Jerry before the police find out about him.  Neither Lovelock or STarkwell really understand "what's in it for Jerry?", but they're ignoring that.  In the meantime, Jerry is going around killing people.  There was a shot of Jerry killing some dude, but we only saw the shadow of Jerry stabbing the shadow of the dude in the head.  It was pure genius.  Lovelock and Starkwell watched it over and over again and laughed hysterically.


[Psychic and Ortega try to put Jerry in the cage with their other Acid Face Melt Zombies, the zombies escape and start strangling everyone in sight!]

Lovelock: Take away all the shitty musical numbers, and you actually have a pretty enjoyable turd of a film here.

Starkwell: It would only be seven minutes long.

Lovelock: Well, no one likes a long turd.

Starkwell: Unless you’re really backed up.


Lovelock: Why are all the zombies dressed the same?


Then the zombies interrupted yet another long dance number by strangling a bunch of the dancers.  Then the cops show up and shoot all the zombies.  Lovelock can’t help but wish that the zombies had made their appearance much sooner, and had stuck around much longer.  Eventually, after a long beach chase, Jerry dies too.  And the crowd goes wild.  The end.  This certainly is one giant unforgettable mess.


Dead Heat.

Buddy Cop Movies may have been a dime a dozen at one point, especially in the eighties, but one sub-genre within that sub-genre that has only been explored once (that I can think of) is the Zombie Buddie Cop Movie.  Joe Piscopo and Treat Williams in a buddy cop movie together would already be enough to get most people laughing at the cheesy potential… but now throw in a Mad Scientist and some zombies, and well, you have a truly unique experience for the whole family. That is, if your family is Starkwell and Lovelock.  It is DEFINITELY worth mentioning that director Mark Goldblatt’s only other directorial credit is the Dolph Lundgren “Punisher” movie.  This just keeps getting better and better.  Did I mention Vincent Price is in this?


[Crooks rob a jewellery store, Joe and Treat are called to respond!]

Starkwell: I don’t know what’s worse… Joe Piscopo’s acting or his hair.

[Crooks are shot, they bleed a lot, but don’t fall down or die.]

Lovelock: Cops and Zombie Robbers!  I love it!


Piscopo blows one up with a grenade, and Treat rams the other one with a car.  Great effects, great violence, and the crowd goes wild.


Starkwell: Is it racist that the chief is ALWAYS an angry black guy?

Lovelock: Racist? Maybe.  Awesome? Definitely. “You guys pull this shit again, it’ll be your ass in the something something!”  And so on and so forth.


The Detective Duo meet at the morgue and find out that the two that they killed had already had autopsies performed on them.  This leads to them investigating a pharmaceutical company.  Almost IMMEDIATELY Piscopo breaks into an area he isn’t supposed to go in, finds a resurrection machine, and fights a fat fucked-up looking biker zombie.  Treat hears gunfire and goes to find and help his partner.


[Treat dies.]

Lovelock: Well, his name is Roger Mortis… probably should have seen it coming that he would die.

[Piscopo and Becky from the morgue use the resurrection machine to bring Treat back.]

Lovelock: Either Becky from the morgue is a genius, or that is one easy to use resurrection machine!

Starkwell: Or the writers were lazy and bad.

Lovelock: I guess…

Starkwell: And where are all the scientists that designed this machine? Isn’t ANYONE curious why there’s a resurrection machine here? Anyone can just waltz around the crime scene?  Where are all the police? How does Becky know about the side effects of the resurrection machine?  ISN’T ANYONE CURIOUS ABOUT WHO CREATED THE RESURRECTION MACHINE!!?!?!??!!


Lovelock had to try to tune him out, because Starkwell continued to ask questions for the next ten minutes.  Treat had to start wearing makeup to cover up the fact that he is dead, colorless and starting to decompose.  It was all a little silly.


Starkwell: Piscopo has at least five hundred more one-liners than any person should have in one film.

Lovelock: In one film?  Try in one lifetime.


The Duo end up fighting more decomposing zombie criminals while they try to get to the bottom of what has happened to Treat.


[Treat starts losing his hair.]

Lovelock: Take anything, but don’t take my hair!

Starkwell: Why is he looking at himself in the mirror, shirtlessly brushing his hair?

Lovelock: Seriously... American Psycho.


Then there’s this crazy scene in Chinatown where a mad Chinese wizard turns on some magic electricity in his butcher shop and a bunch of food comes to life and attacks them.  It is an impressive sequence and has Lovelock doing roundhouse kicks.


[Dead meat attacks them.]

Starkwell: Why would a skinned headless cow carcass come back to life?

Lovelock: Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown


Vincent Price plays a rich dead guy who we all suspect is behind the resurrection machine.  Treat goes to investigate the guy’s house with the girl they met at the pharmaceutical company.


[Picture of Vincent Price with Ronald Reagan.]

Starkwell: I hope that was the writer’s subtle way of implying that Reagan was a zombie.


Then Treat finds Piscopo dead and seriously isn’t very shocked or upset.  But then again, no one ever really seems upset about anything in this movie except, of course, the angry black police chief, who is REALLY worked up all the time.


[Pharmaceutical Girl is actually a zombie.  She takes a shower and then she decomposes, melts and turns into dust in seconds.]


Starkwell: How come she looked normal up until RIGHT NOW, whereas Treat is slowly decomposing?

Lovelock: Just stop being an asshole and enjoy this.

Starkwell: You’re right.  That is pretty sweet.  IF YOU HATE LOGIC.


Treat figures out that it ISN’T Vincent Price after all, it’s the Evil Coroner!  Anyways, then he ends up riding an unmanned ambulance down a hill, and explodes.  And Becky is dead.  And then it turns out it really IS Vincent Price behind it all.  This was one of Price’s last roles, and he is as awesome as always.


[In a demo to rich donors, Price and Coroner demonstrate the newly perfected resurrection machine using Piscopo.]

Starkwell: Why would they use Piscopo?

Lovelock: More importantly, why would Piscopo wear such high cut Mom Jeans?

[Piscopo immediately joins forces with Treat, they kill the Coroner by blowing him up,  and then they blow up the resurrection machine, and now they’re gonna die.]

Starkwell: Seriously that’s it?  Everyone dies and no one cares?  Wow.

Lovelock: They didn’t even kill Price…


Then the credits roll and a song clearly written for the movie called “Dead Heat” starts playing, and Lovelock and Starkwell very randomly and unexpectedly start dancing.


Dawn of the Mummy.

When it comes right down to it, a mummy is essentially a zombie.  Granted, most of the time, they have supernatural powers, and become something much bigger and badder than just a straight-up walking corpse.  But take away all the fanfare, and really what you have is a basic walking dead person.  So it surprises me that there aren’t any zombie” movies where the zombies are just a bunch of mummies.  But wait! LOOK NO FURTHER, because the early eighties gave us exactly that with this ridiculous over-the-top mummy film gone awry.  I can’t wait to show it to the dudes.


[Egypt, 3000 BC… pharaohs ride through the desert and steal children.]

Lovelock: EASILY the wussiest pharaohs I have ever seen.

Starkwell: Seriously… someone just throw a rock at them.


Then there’s this weird ceremony where they show a dude being gutted, and some crazy priestess chanting shit about how he will rise one day with his army and kill everyone.  What will make them rise, you ask?  Someone must break the seal of the tomb.  Of course, then we go to present day where some zany American thief and his goons are blowing up the tomb entrance.  They have to wait a day before they go in, because apparently the poison inside will wear off by then.


[Thieves ignore a crazy old lady who tells them of the curse.]

Lovelock: Stupid Americans!  Wait… is that the same old lady from 5000 years ago?  That’s one old-ass woman.

Starkwell: This American dude is like reverse Indiana Jones.  Did he just shoot the old lady?


Then a couple of dudes try to jump the gun on the American and go into the recently opened tomb before he goes in.  Their faces start melting.  Lovelock and Starkwell both look at each other and realize they are in for one nutty ride.


[OPENING CREDITS! Cut immediately to New York City, bad eighties music and a dude taking pictures of a woman in slutty aerobics gear in Central Park.]

Starkwell: Wait… what?

Lovelock: This is like the beginning of “Beverly Hills Cop” except in New York.  And even worse.


And that’s it for New York.  As soon as the credits end, we see stock footage of a plane flying and a voice on a phone telling someone he is sending models to Cairo for a photo shoot and that the photos need to be top notch, or they will lose the account.


Lovelock: This is all going to be about a photographer trying to get good shots?

Starkwell: Good to know that something REALLY IMPORTANT is on the line.

Lovelock: "NO!  Mummies! Don’t kill the models!  They need to make this a successful photo shoot!  Or they’ll lose the account!"

Starkwell: Textbook ‘do or die’ situation.


[The models find a bunch of dead people's heads in the desert.]

Starkwell: Wait… they see that and aren’t going to just go home?

Lovelock: No way Jose! They need to get the shots!


[The models’ tour guide is leaving and will be back in three days… four days tops, he says.]

Starkwell: Why would anyone just allow themselves to be left in a desert for an indeterminate amount of days?  This movie is so fucking stupid.

[In the morning, the models take some photos in the sand and listen to… the radio?]

Starkwell: Right… I’m sure that you’d get excellent reception on an American rock and roll station on a shitty little radio.  IN THE DESERT.

Lovelock: I guess those Jeeps have HUGE invisible antennas.


Then the thieves blow open doors in the tomb looking for treasure.  They even open the mummy’s coffin, and touch him and shit.  I think Lovelock let out a huge “GROSS”.  Then the thieves accidentally shot guns at the models, and rather than being scared AT ALL, the models and photographer go to yell at the thieves and then start venturing into the tomb… for fun!


Starkwell: Wait, so they see the tomb, and the mummy, and the photographer’s first thought is how great this will all be as a backdrop to his shitty model photo shoots?

Lovelock: Seriously the zombies need to start coming and killing these idiots.  Or the Thief guy could too...  Why doesn’t he just shoot them?

Starkwell: Also, the stupid models are randomly driving around a desert, with no guide or map, and they just happen to come across the tomb?  And also, they won’t get lost?  FUCK THIS FUCKING MOVIE.

[Starkwell leaves madder than usual.]


Then we have to watch an entire photo shoot.  The photo shoot ends prematurely because one of the girls hand starts melting.  Then the thieves find some gold, and finally seem to awaken some evil.  But then the next day the models come back, and we get to watch most of another entire photo shoot.  And then they leave.


[FINALLY, Mummy sits up.]

Lovelock: YES!

[Cuts immediately to the models’ campfire and Douchey Male Model is singing a song he just wrote about the Nile.]

Lovelock: Oh come on!

[Kumbaya session is interrupted because one model finds their horses dead, and then a zombie show up.]

Lovelock: YES!

[Zombie falls to the ground immediately and dies.]

Lovelock: Why.  Why do this to me?


After finding dead horses and a melty faced zombie, after one of the girls had her hand melted, and after the thief guy warned them about the dangers of the tomb (while oddly talking like someone who can’t speak English all of a sudden), photographer decides that they still need to stick around to finish the photo shoot.  Then, for NO REASON, one of the models and the Thief Guy start making out and bone.


[The Mummy strangles the Crazy Old Lady from the beginning.]

Lovelock: Well, there’s ONE thing he’s done right so far.

[The Mummy’s army of the dead starts rising out of the sand.]

Lovelock: Alright… here we go.  It’s finally happening…

[Cut to the morning, the models argue with the photographer about wanting to leave.]

Lovelock: This back and forth!  What is this movie trying to do to me!

[One model wanders off and gets lost in the tomb, the Mummy watches her but does nothing.]

Lovelock: Alright.  What the fuck, Mummy... make it happen!

[The scared model is comforted… by the photographer… and then they make out?  And later bone?]


The guide comes back, and rather than EVERYONE wanting to leave for Cairo, the only thing Douchey Male Model is concerned about is where he can score some more pot, and one of the Bimbo Females wants to go shopping for jewelry.  I think the writers were smoking too much pot.  Or not enough.  Not sure.  Maybe they were busy shopping for jewelry.


Lovelock: HOLY AMAZEBALLS.  More like “Yawn of the Mummy”.  Am I right?  Aw... I'm alone.


The Mummy showed up in town and drove a cleaver through one of the thieves’ heads.  Lovelock said it was well worth the wait.


[Two models go swimming naked in a huge lake… in the desert.]

Lovelock: Obviously.  Where are all of those lights coming from?  Probably the pool lights, from the pool they filmed this in.


They can’t find Melinda, because she just died after her swimming funtime (well, they don’t know that, but we do).  Two of the other models are worried, but the photographer is like “Who cares?  If she’s not back before we are ready to go, we’re leaving without her.”  He literally wants to leave her in the desert to die.  One of the girls suggests “Maybe she went to town.”  But… she would have had to get there without a car or a horse.  And yet, no one seems to think that’s odd.  Oh well.  Let’s just continue with the photo shoot, thought EVERYONE.  


Lovelock: Please.  Please ARMY OF THE DEAD.  Start acting like one, pronto.  This has like the lowest body count I’ve ever seen.


American Thief finds his dead friend and totally goes nuts.  He goes looking for the gold and is BATCRAP CRAZY.  Then he is strangled.  Hooray!  The models all hang around camp waiting for Melinda to show.  In fact, they’re so concerned that they’re eating figs and drinking beers.  Douchey Male Model goes into town to attend a wedding and get stoned.  Wow.  


Lovelock: With friends like these who needs friends.


With fifteen minutes left we finally get a little more zombie action, and at long last the photographer is strangled, torn apart and eaten.  Then mostly everyone dies.  The Mummies make it to town and start eating everyone.  This is delayed gratification at its finest.  There’s even a sweet eyeball gag at one point.  Some of the surviving characters blow up the main Mummy with dynamite, and somehow assume that it’s over?  It makes no sense.  Anyways, then the Mummy comes out of the fire as they walk away and the credits roll.  Awesome.  If only there had been a sequel.