2012 – Not Rated – Bizjack Flemco
Finally, a zombie movie that offers something different for a change! A zombie movie that dares to go against the boring blandness of the undisputed king of unoriginality in today’s pop culture that is the zombie genre. A film that literally takes the rules and throws them out the window and how do they accomplish this? By not having zombies in the film! Well, technically there are some zombies in the film, but we’ll get to that. Directors Richard Taylor and Zack Beins serve up a fresh, funny love letter to Troma films, complete with lots of unbridled gore and nudity.
So if there are no zombies in the film, then why call it “The Amazing Zombie Killer”? Aside from being the name of the catchy pop-punk song during an animated intro, it also just so happens that’s the name of Atom and his pals bowling team and you bet your buns they’re the best in the league! Atom and his gang are going head to head with The Slashers, run by the mohawked, sun shaded and ruthless Dario to qualify for a tournament in Hawaii. But after some treachery from The Slashers and shady bowling alley business from the owner Jeb, The Amazing Zombie Killers are barred, thus disqualifying them from participating in the tournament! Bogus! Jeb’s niece, Allie, expresses her apologies to Atom and for a brief moment, there is a glance that may be foreshadowing, shall I say, romance?
Perhaps a quick romp with his horn-dog girlfriend Emily (the babe-licious Lindy Starr) will change his mood. Unfortunately, she’s already “taken care of business” with a bowling pin, leaving Atom to his own vices (masturbation… I’m talking about masturbation). She’s a cold calculating, bitter minx who constantly berates Atom for never paying attention to her and other, “ME! ME! ME! GIMMIE! GIMMIE! GIMMIES!” She’s the kind of girl you look at and wonder, “Who would put up with that?” and then it quickly becomes obvious why. However, Atom is far too occupied with thoughts of his grandfather and living up to his legacy. You see, Atom’s grandfather (played by none other than Lloyd Kaufman) was the best bowler back in his day and was on a team with other top notch bowlers, such as Jeb and Dario’s uncle, Ernie. Speaking of Dario and Ernie, these two are up to no good. Ernie is the sleazy owner of a used car lot (come to think of it, have you ever heard of an honest used car lot owner?) that sponsors The Slashers. This trip to Hawaii sure could be good for business, but something sinister lies beneath their motives…
Meanwhile, when he’s not up all hours of the night watching cheesy horror flicks (something I’m sure we all can relate to), Atom tries to make amends with Emily by promising her a date night with the classic choice of dinner and a movie, which goes over about as well as you think it would when Atom’s friends show up and they all watch “Dr. Chaotica’s House of Toxic Zombies,” which I have to say that I hope one day becomes a real film. This is where the gore starts, showcasing a pregnant zombie giving birth in a disgusting manner (think of a catcher’s mitt full of green Jell-O and lasagna). This causes Emily to reasonably vomit all over herself, forcing Atom to take her home where the two have a fight. Even after proving he cares about her by licking the vomit off her bosom, she leaves him for good. She slams the door shut which knocks his grandpa’s bowling trophy off a shelf, smacking him on the forehead leaving a large, oozing bump and rendering him unconscious.
This is when the movie turns up the raunchiness, unloads buckets of gore and piles on the gross out gags, revealing its true nature. While Emily is “burying the bone” in the graveyard with Dario, Atom is in a daze and hallucinating that everyone is a zombie (oh, so that’s where zombies come in)! I blame all those horror movies. He does what any lunatic having psychotic hallucinations that the dead are walking the Earth would do; go on a killing spree, just as a pair of unsuspecting Jehovah’s Witnesses come to his door (director cameos!). Atom disembowels one and smashes the head of the other with his bowling ball, resulting in rain of chunky blood and bone. Carnage continues as Atom butchers a gardener for his weed whacker and tears an outdoor yoga class to shreds, runs over a construction who explodes like Emil from Robocop and even guns down a few pallbearers… and the corpse in the coffin they are carrying, which just so happens to fall on Atom! Now he believes he is bit and turning into one of the undead creatures.
Amidst the chaos, The Amazing Zombie Killers have been invited back to the bowling alley, thanks to Allie convincing her uncle to give them another chance, to rematch The Slashers for another chance to go to Hawaii. However, Atom never received this message because he was out slaughtering people… plus, Dario deleted Allie’s phone message she left on his answering machine (do people still have those?)! The diabolical scum! With the bumbling cops hot on his trail and the rematch only moments away, Atom will need to snap out of his daze in order to help his friends win that trip to Hawaii and while he’s at it, maybe learn the dark secret behind his grandfather’s death.
Here’s a movie that says, “Let’s have fun!” It reminds me of something like a WB sitcom or bizarro Hanna Barbera cartoon amalgamate, blending copious amounts of gore and gag humor in true Troma-like inspired fashion. As silly, boppy music noodled along to the antics of these outlandish characters, often their gestures cued with over the top sound effects, I was always expecting a laugh track. Stating the obvious, it’s a movie that’s self aware and uses all of the regular b-movie charms; hammy acting, gore and nudity, to their fullest extent, playing them off for laughs or to make your stomach turn and it works.
Rather than make a zombie movie to cash in on the sub-genre’s popularity (which seems to be the thing to do these days), Richard Taylor and Zack Beins made a genuine film, did something very diverse with it and it comes off as a genuine homage to what it’s trying to do. That’s mostly due because the filmmakers are legitimate fans of these types of films and it shows. I was laughing the entire time watching the film with a genuine smile, because what they set out to accomplish was shining through. Unfortunately, this type of movie isn’t for everyone, but if you dig the repugnant high jinks of Troma-esque films, then Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer is for you! And I would also like to be the first person to quote, “It’s a strike!” Get it? Bowling pun.
The Lost Highway is the kind of guy that steals bowling shoes.