Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I Was a Teenage Zombie (1987)

This movie was recommended to me by a fellow zombie enthusiast via MySpace. He remembers watching it long ago as a kid and being grossed out.

The story: A group of high school guys are trying to score some "mariji-hoobie" for the big Spring Dance, but it seems the town is dry. Pimp lookalike drug dealer Mussolini (Moose for short) is the only guy who has any weed. The guys buy, but it seems like the weed has gone bad! I thought they would all turn to zombies after this, but noooooo...not yet. They try to muscle Moose to give them their money back, but end up accidentally killing him. Well, it's more like a banana peel killed him, but they feel pretty sore about the whole incident and decide to dump him in the river. The river, you see, has been contaminated by the local nuclear power plant with radioactive materials. No one will ever find big meanie Moose in that gunk!

Except, well, the radioactivity reanimates Moose and he becomes a very green looking zombie (really more Hulk-looking than a zombie). He is super strong and super fast. Since his last memory was telling the high school guys he'd kill 'em, he sets about doing that very thing. He rips out one guy's tongue, has sex with one of the guy's girlfriends and kills her by pinning her legs over her head, and rips off one guy's face. The face ripping was pretty well done for such a low budget movie, but overall there wasn't that much gore. Anyways, the boys know they must stop Moose. The brainy boy suggests killing his memories, which means destroying the brain. They attempt this, but Moose breaks the neck of their most popular and beloved friend, Dan. Without Dan, the rest of the gang doesn't know how to stop Moose, who continues to kill people who wronged him.

Well, brainiac decides that Dan as a zombie is the only way to defeat Moose. The boys dump Dan's body in the river and he comes back as a zombie. Dan is his regular self, except for his blue, green, and gray rotting skin. His love interest, Cindy Faithful, still wants to be with him, even if he is a zombie. Dan has many conflicting emotions - anger, happiness, despair. In the end though, when Moose attacks the Spring Dance, Dan goes up zombie-style against him. Moose ends up killing Cindy, but Dan cuts off Moose's head and slices it in two for revenge. He then carries Cindy back to the river so she can be reanimated and they live happily ever zombies.

Well, this was obviously a student or independent movie. I had many technical gripes about this film. First of all, the audio is horrible - I had to turn the volume up hecka loud to be able to hear the dialogue, but at the same time, the background music would completely overwhelm the scene. Speaking of the music, there was just too much of it and it was placed awkwardly in scenes. There was music in almost every scene, which was very unnecessary. Also, the camera angles were all wrong. For example, in a conversation between two people, the camera angles made it seem like they were talking in the wrong direction, which made it seem like they were talking to no one. There were also inconsistencies in the actual plot. The Spring Dance, for example, was supposed to be the night of the whole Moose debacle, but it didn't happen until several weeks (months?) later.

Still, this movie had a certain charm which I can't really explain. It reminded me of a '50s creature feature/date movie that you can't take seriously. I didn't like it that much because of the many mistakes, but it kinda grows on you, like radioactive river water. It is a horrible movie, don't get me wrong - cheesy, inconsistent, with bad acting and even worse filming and audio - but there's just something about it. Check it out yourself, but don't blame me if you absolutely hate it and don't see its charm.

Check it out on Amazon!

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