might remember the sensationalist headlines from last year, when
it seemed that a zombie apocalypse was underway as crazed lunatics
under the influence of designer drugs known as bath salts were
going on cannibalistic rampage across America, chewing off their
victims faces while shrugging off gunshot wounds. Of course, the
facts of the stories proved to be rather less clear-cut, but the
headlines, for a while, were astonishing. So well done to Dustin
Mills and Clint Weiler for spotting the filmic potential in the
reports and quickly coming up with Bath Salt Zombies.
Mills, of course, is something of a master of making something
out of nothing, as fans of Puppet
Monster Massacre or Zombie
A-Hole can attest. Just as well, as the budget for
this film was a whopping $5000. Bearing that in mind, it's hard
not to admire this movie, a satirical, self-consciously cheesy
tits 'n' gore fest that wastes no time (the film is 70 minutes
long, but over five minutes of that are taken up with the slowest
closing credit scroll you'll ever see).
The film opens with an animated pastiche of drug awareness films
that is suitably amusing, before getting into the story proper.
As the clampdown on bath salts has closed off traditional markets,
new York is now the home for dealers and users, and a new, ultra-potent
strain has just hit the streets courtesy of a renegade chemist
(played by Mills). Unfortunately, this instantly addictive brand
has some rather nasty side effects, turning the user into a deranged
cannibal killer. Street punk Ritchie is the guinea pig for the
new drug, and before long, he's a deranged, mutated flesh-eating
maniac. Worse still, he's been sharing his supply with his friends.
As the slaughter spreads, only a renegade DEA agent can stop the
spread of the zombies...
With a soundtrack that includes The Dwarves, American Speedway,
The Meatmen, The Murder Junkies and other bands associated with
MVD, Bath Salt Zombies thunders along cheerfully,
throwing in gratuitous nudity, cheesy splatter movie effects (including
the world's most unconvincing spot of fellatio/castration), some
decidedly questionable CGI and acting that ranges from the scenery-chewing
to the stilted. All of which makes it surprisingly good fun. There's
no pretension of art here, this is just cheerfully trashy zero
budget horror. But as anyone who has seen a lot of this stuff
can tell you, making that sort of thing entertaining is not easy,
so Mills and Weiler deserve credit for making something that is
not just watchable but actually good fun.
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