Every day Robert Saucedo shines a spotlight on a movie either so bad it’s good or just downright terrible. Today: I just shot a zombie, yo!
Unlike most people, I actually look forward to watching horror movies from the ‘hood.
After viewing and immensely enjoying such films as Leprechaun in the ‘Hood and Tales from the ‘Hood, I learned never to judge a film by the color of its main characters’ skin.
Why shouldn’t inner city youth have the chance to be brutally hacked apart by an axe murderer (or ask murderer, as the case may be)? We have a black president now. We’re living in changed times!
Mutant Vampire Zombies from the ‘Hood came close to shattering my acceptance of “street thugs vs. monsters” movies, though.
Written and directed by Thunder Levin, Mutant Vampire Zombies from the ‘Hood is an occasionally entertaining film about, as you may have guessed, mutant vampire zombies … in the ‘hood.
C. Thomas Howell (a canary in the coal mine of bad movies) stars as David, a cop about to bust a drug trade. His collar is halted, though, when a mysterious gas enters Earth’s atmosphere and has the effect of transforming half of the population into flesh-eating ghouls.
Realizing that there’s safety in numbers, David teams up with the gang of black and Asian drug pushers that he was about to arrest and, together, they attempt to make their way to safety.
Tyshawn Bryant, Rachel Montez Collins, Robert Wu and Maxie J. Santillan Jr. are just a few of the red shirts, I mean mutant vampire zombie apocalypse survivors, that band together to traverse the dangers of the Los Angeles. And it’s not just a mugging or random stabbing that they have to fear either! The town is overrun by some of the biggest, blackest zombie vampires you’ve ever seen. And, being an urban take on the vampire/zombie mythos, these creatures don’t just crave brains — they want sex.
If you’ve ever wanted to see a zombie attack a woman and attempt to rape her before chowing down on her guts, Mutant Vampire Zombies from the ‘Hood is the movie for you.
Everybody else will find the film a bit cheesy at times, vastly undercooked at others.
I’m not sure if it was just the screener copy I was sent but the film I watched was heavily diluted under what looked like a filter. It was to the point where the film was so hazy, it looked like I was watching it through heavy gauze.
This, of course, didn’t hamper the movie’s deft wit or nuanced humor. Of course.
Whether it’s quoting Snakes on a Plane (“Enough is enough! I’ve had it with these motherf**kin’ zombies in my motherf**kin’ ‘hood!”) or the characters’ constant bickering on whether or not to call the monsters zombies or vampires, Shaun of the Dead this is not.
Ponyboy Curtis made some pretty bad decisions in his life to wind up the star of Mutant Vampire Zombies from the ‘Hood. Grimacing throughout the film as if he was passing a gallstone, Howell isn’t just the lone white man in the movie — he’s the weakest link. Pretty sad for a former Outsider.
While Howell may have genuine Hollywood experience under his belt, he is quickly shown up by his co-stars’ enthusiasm and gung-ho attitude as they sideways pistol shoot their way through a zombie horde. And at least the presence of an Asian gang meant I got to see a couple of kung-fu fights against the undead. Roundkick to the brain!
Mutant Vampire Zombies from the ‘Hood is shallow, blatant in its ridiculousness and — not surprisingly — should prove fun for a large audience of movie viewers who enjoy wearing silkscreened shirts of Loony Toons characters dressed as Scarface.
Did I enjoy it? Only partially. It’s not a very inventive zombie film (or really even a vampire film to be honest — just because the zombies are biting the necks of their victims doesn’t make them Nosferatu). It is, however, not a bad way to spend an hour and a half vegging out in front of the TV. Unless you can reach your remote. In that case, go ahead and change the channel. You won’t be missing much.
To be fair, Robert Saucedo also made a lot of bad decisions in his life to wind up watching Mutant Vampire Zombies from the ‘Hood. Follow Robert on Twitter @robsaucedo2500.
Robert Saucedo is an avid movie watcher with seriously poor sleeping habits. The Mikey from Life cereal of film fans, Robert will watch just about anything — good, bad or ugly. He has written about film for newspapers, radio and online for the last 10 years. This has taken a toll on his sanity — of that you can be sure. Follow him on Twitter at @robsaucedo2500.
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