Thanks to an incredibly busy Halloween schedule, MGF couldn’t make it out to Horror Remix’s Zombies 2: 2 Hours of Undead Madness on Friday the 30th of October. It was a very sad occasion for me, being that attending the Horror Remix events have become a kind of tradition for us here at MGF. So I decided to get a hold of Horror Remix mastermind Edward Antilla to see if I could somehow acquire a copy of it on DVD to enjoy in the comfort of my own home. Thankfully, he sent me a copy. As is usual, we’ve been so bogged down here with everything that I just now got around to watching it and reviewing it.
Zombies 2: 2 Hours of Undead Madness is comprised of two of the wonderfully cheesy zombie flicks from the ‘80s that stand out just a bit more than all the other countless hundreds of zombie-related films. You take the original film, put it in a blender, cut out all the nonsense filler that made the movie 90 minutes long and viola – you have a watchable 45 to 50 minute movie with only the good stuff left. This time around, we had The Video Dead from 1987 and it ended with 1988’s Flesheater. Definitely of note is the fact that famous zombie from Night of the Living Dead, Bill Hinzman, directed and starred in this little gem. I thought that was pretty cool. In between these two main courses were a couple of quick snacks by the name of Sugar Hill and Burial Ground. Now on to the individual parts’ reviews.
The Video Dead had your typical wretched acting. Not as bad as some of the 80’s horror movies out there, but definitely close. The movie is about “an unlabelled crate from an unknown source that is delivered to a house in the woods. The homeowner unwisely accepts the delivery, only to discover it contains a TV set that starts spewing giggling zombies all over the place. When a new family moves into the now-abandoned house, the son discovers the haunted television and is soon told what he needs to do to send the zombies back where they belong. Knowing and doing, however, are two very different things, and the zombies are not likely to go quietly.” The film was cut from 90 minutes to 51. I have to say that this was a very unorthodox zombie flick. The typical way of killing a zombie by some type of head shot wasn’t used. You could trap them all together and they would eat themselves or you had to trick them into thinking they were dead by shooting them or something. I don’t know how any more than one zombie got killed in this film, as they were using one bow and arrow to hunt and kill like five zombies at a time. The killing scenes were pretty cool, though, with the best one being a zombie having an iron stuck in his head. The other thing that was interesting about this movie was the way that people knew that there were zombies coming. Supposedly, you could tell if a zombie was around by the ringing of copper bells. I don’t know where that came from, but it was different.
Next up came the two mini remixes. The first one, Sugar Hill, was what I would consider a 70’s blaxploitation zombie movie. What I’m sure started out as an 80 to 90 minute movie was trimmed down to 9. Now that’s good editing! This flick is about a woman named Sugar Hill’s “boyfriend getting brutally murdered, after refusing to be shaken down by the local gangsters running their protection racket. She decides not to get mad, but BAD! Calling upon the help of aged voodoo queen Mama Maitresse, Sugar entreats her to call upon Baron Zamedi, the Lord of the Dead, for help in gaining a gruesome revenge. In exchange for her soul, the Dark Master raises up a zombie army to do her bidding. The bad guys who thought they were getting away clean are about to find out that they're DEAD wrong.” Of course, you didn’t see the entire back story with Madame Maitresse and the Dark Master in the 9 minute edit, but you definitely got the point. The zombies with these weird big silver balls over their eyes were pretty creepy looking.
The next short was 1981’s French film Burial Ground and our Horror Remix editor decided to make a 9 minute movie just focusing on one of the characters in the film named Michael, who is played by Peter Bark. Peter is supposed to be about 15 years old, but looks to be about a 30 year old dwarf. The original film was about a “Professor Ayres who discovers a secret in an ancient stone and when he opens a crypt, he revives zombies that kill him. He had invited three couples to visit him in his manor to reveal his discovery. However, they never get around to meeting the professor. Out of the blue, the zombies attack them and they seek shelter in the mansion. The creatures put the manor under siege while the couples protect themselves trying to survive the horde of zombies.” There’s some pretty nasty and gory scenes in this one. Michael is a pretty wacked out kid who has some serious mother issues, to say the least.
Lastly, came 1988's Flesheater: Revenge of the Living Dead. This was pretty much your typical zombie flick. Of course, since it was made in the ‘80s you have to have a group of idiotic high school or college kids going out together to drink and make a little whoopee. Mix that with some hungry undead and you’ve got the formula for some level of success. As the story goes, “a group of teenagers, taking a nocturnal hayride come across the grave of a man. Little do they know that this deceased man is a zombie. One by one, the actual living are falling victim and becoming zombies. Eventually there are zombies everywhere, and someone needs to stop them, but who?” This movie is probably known and possibly held in a type of cult status by some people because it was directed by one of the most memorable zombies from the original Night of the Living Dead. You can tell he was heavily influenced by and tried to stick to the zombie “habits” of George A. Romero’s classic. This flick, even at it’s edited down 46 minutes from 88, got to be a bit tedious. There was still just the right amount of cheese and bad acting to make this worth your time. Plus, if you’re into head shots there’s plenty of those in this.
Of course sprinkled throughout the film, Thunderclap and Cheesecake provided their usual hilarious commentary on the different movies. I just never get tired of the tasteless and sarcastic wit of those two sock puppets. It just wouldn’t be the same without their presence as the hosts of what has become for Movie Geek Feed a quarterly must-attend event.
In closing, I have to say that it just didn’t feel the same watching this at home alone. I missed the atmosphere and audience electricity that happens in the little old Capitol theater room at the Studio Movie Grill in Addison, TX. It made me realize that I will never miss another one as long as I can help it. Thanks to Edward and everyone else who helps put these things together. (Article by Eric Shirey)