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Zombie! vs. Mardi Gras
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by Eugene Novikov

"It's stupid, all right, but it's a painful kind of stupid."
1 stars

As a film critic, I've seen some really bad movies. Truly horrendous stuff has come my way. Some of it still lingers in my memory. But I've experienced nothing -- I mean nothing -- that could possibly prepare me for the horror that is "Zombie! vs. Mardi Gras." This is the kind of film that is so awful some people may run out to their local video store and rent it right away. That's ok. Go ahead. Just make sure you have a bunch of friends over and bowls of popcorn and deliciously salty pretzels available to enjoy while you have a hearty laugh at this film's complete and utter inanity.

I don't think this movie is about anything, really, but hiding beneath all the ludicrousness seems to be a semblance of a plot outline. Maybe. Well there's this dude, see, and when this dude was just a little dude, he was trampled by a bunch of big, drunken dudes in the middle of a Mardi Gras celebration, leaving our little dude crippled. So when the dude grows up, he decides to unleash Zombie! (indeed written with an exclamation mark on the video box and all press materials) on unsuspecting Mardi Gras revelers.

Ah, where to begin. I suppose I should mention the horrendous image quality on the Zombie! tape. The screener I received seemed to be professionally packaged, but it looked like a copy of a copy. Needless to say that The Blair Witch Project, which, like Zombie!, was filmed with a regular camcorder, looks a hell of a lot better than this. It's nearly unwatchable stuff to begin with and the depressingly bad video doesn't help.

The movie itself is unimaginably idiotic. It's basically a 70-minute breast-fest -- even the inevitable gore consists of breasts being ripped off. There's barely any dialogue and what's there was probably improvised, considering that the actors are about an inch away from bursting into manic and uncontrollable laughter when they have to say something. There isn't any direction to speak of. Out of my sentimental faith in Hollywood, I reject the idea that sane auteur would have allowed any movie of theirs to deteriorate into something as uncompromisingly horrible as this. My only hope is that this movie made itself.

Does Zombie! vs. Mardis Gras have any camp value? To some people, I suppose, it might. It isn't every day, after all, that we get to see a movie this unabashedly bad. Yet I'm not so sure that it will appeal to most people on the basis of "It's so bad, it's good." It's stupid, all right, but it's a painful kind of stupid rather than a funny kind. There are no intentional laughs here and few unintentional ones unless you are publically mocking the movie which, come to think of it, sounds like more fun than it should be.

But I must take into consideration the possibility that Zombie! works. I have little doubt in my mind that the filmmakers had every intention of giving their film the distinction of the worst film ever made. There they probably succeed. Thus I give Zombie! vs. Mardi Gras its grade with a certain amount of affection.

(Review reprinted from

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originally posted: 03/04/07 23:15:55
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