by Brian McKay
Have you ever wondered what a zombie movie would look like if it were made by a bunch of perpetually stoned white-trash community college dropouts with a budget of fifty dollars? Well, look no further, because “Shatter Dead” is here! This way way underground cult film may not be the single worst movie ever made, but it is certainly a contender for the bottom 10. I’ve seen better acting, writing, directing, and production values in amateur housewife porn. And yet . . . and yet I’m still watching. Why am I watching? Because when it's not arduous, it’s just so goddamn funny. Too bad none of the laughs were intended.The movie starts out with two women having what appears to be strap-on sex, doggie style. Neither one of the women is terribly attractive, but hey, when you’ve only got 50 bucks to make a movie, you take whatever lesbo action you can get. But as they are finishing up, the woman doing the driving looks up angelically and sprouts wings as a light shines down on her. Oooookay, whatever. Apparently, according to the box cover, the angel of death has impregnated a human woman, and as a result nobody can die. Glad they put that on the back, cuz it sure as hell isn't explained anywhere in the movie itself!
"Why Weed and Film School Don’t Mix"
Now it’s 18 months later, and the dead walk. Well, they don’t walk much, actually. And they don’t really care to eat human flesh, or much of anything else. The undead are reduced to panhandling and sleeping in doorways. (Wow, so San Francisco has been overrun with zombies all this time?). They’ve become second class citizens, with the living walking around toting automatic weapons – apparently to protect their spare change from those greedy panhandling zombies. Of course, unless they are covered with gory facial scabs that look like they were made with dried rubber cement that’s been touched up with karo syrup, it’s often hard to tell the living from the dead, since they all walk around with the same bored, stoned, dazed expression on their face.
The hero of this saga is Susan (Stark Raven – apparently she wasn’t quite good enough of an actress to get into porn, but at least she’s got her name picked out in case she ever gets that big callback from Anabolic Productions). Susan wanders around trying to get back to her boyfriend (no explanation of why she was away to begin with), carrying a bunch of guns that she rarely shoots anyone with (with a fifty dollar budget, things like blanks and blood squibs must be used sparingly). She says little, emotes even less, and delivers lines like “Don’t fuck with me, dead bitch” or “I’ve got enough ballistics to make you as airy as a flyswatter” with all the enthusiasm of a lobotomy patient on Thorazine. You think Michelle “Scowlface” Rodriguez is bored and pouty-looking? She’s got nothing on this bitch – except for looks, of course. Yes, ol’ Stark isn’t much in the looks department, but she does have a decent set of perkies that she shows quite often – usually when she’s pulling up her T-shirt to reach for the shoulder holster she wears UNDERNEATH it. Oh, and she wears it in the shower, too. Somebody get the Sam Brown Company on the phone – we’ve just found their new poster girl!
Anyway, Susan wanders aimlessly around this post-apocalyptic environment, where the zombies aren’t particularly threatening. Oh sure, they may rise up for a little halfhearted car-shaking before their leader, the Preacher Man (Robert Wells) tells them “That’s enough – we don’t want to scare her”. Oh yeah, a bunch of stoned zombies rocking the car about an inch to either side is real scary! My god, what if one of them spits on the windshield? The Horror!
Next, Susan goes to a flophouse full of zombies and becomes roommates with Mary (Flora Fauna – you see the trend forming here, folks? I’m not making this up! People with porn star names that aren't even good enough to get into porn!!!). Mary is a dead girl who strips down and hops into the shower with Susan – but sorry, folks, no lesbian scene. Not until they start making porn actress union scale, anyway. Next thing you know, a bunch of retards who look like the cast of the Howard Stern show from the bizarro universe kick in the door and start shooting all the lackadaisical undead, who were just sitting around playing cards and minding their own business.
A few nonsensical muttered exchanges and delayed-squib headshots later, Susan ends up back home, where her boyfriend has killed himself and promptly come back to life. She wants to get it on with him anyway, but he can’t get hard now, cuz he’s dead. Ever the innovator, she takes out her gun, lashes it to his stomach, and has him fuck her with it. Again, I’m not making this up. I’m not stoned enough to make this up, but obviously the auteur of this little pearl, Scooter McCrae, was smoking a fat sack in a garage full of open cans of paint thinner when he conceived this brilliant notion. There’s also a lovely dream-sequence of Susan giving a bit of fellatio to her nine-millimeter – good practice until she finally gets her F.A.G. card (Fluffer Associate’s Guild).
Drive-In Triple Feature Picks for Shatter Dead:
Shades of Hades – This is a combination hardcore porno/horror movie/pretentious wannabe art-house horseshit. As awful as it was, the production values were STILL better than this film, and at least it had some real fucking in it. But then, you’ll probably have about as hard a time finding a copy of it as I did finding Shatter Dead.
Dellamorte Dellamore a.k.a. Cemetery Man – This zombie movie is also hilarious, but this time it’s intentional. It’s also hard to find, and currently only on VHS, but well worth your efforts to track it down. Rupert Everett is the “Cemetery Man”, a graveyard caretaker who is inconvenienced by the fact that the dead are starting to crawl out of the ground and night and knock on his door. I guarantee you’ll be hooked after the opening scene.So, lets sum it up. We have homely lesbian angels, non-threatening zombies, Glock-enhanced copulation, and a perpetually smoked-out and pre-menstrual heroine with a tit-holster. Sound like a winner to you? It did to B-movie drive-in god Joe Bob Briggs, who gave this fly-specked pile of fecundity three out of four stars – and I can see exactly why. It is pretty goddamn funny. The only thing worse than people making a dreadful movie is those people being so deathly serious about it. Gets one extra star for occasional "so bad it's good" moments.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=6143&reviewer=258
originally posted: 09/19/02 07:38:24