Greetings, readers, Bill here again. It dawned on me that it’s been ages since I’ve reviewed a film that wasn’t from either the 1980s or the 1970s. I decided I needed to mix things up a bit, and it came down to either 2004′s SATAN’S LITTLE HELPER (which I’ll be reviewing soon anyways, as a coworker of mine’s friends with the kid who starred in the film and has been asking me to review it) and 1995′s DEATH METAL ZOMBIES. I can’t remember the last time I reviewed something from the 1990s, plus my girlfriend’s using the Netflix account tonight, so DEATH METAL ZOMBIES it is. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Brad Masters is a fan of heavy metal – the heavier, the better. So when he wins an exclusive first-listen recording of the newest album from his favorite band, Living Corpse, you bet your ass he’s not going to wait to listen to it – his girlfriend Angel will have to wait to listen to it on the second spin. Playing the album turns Brad and his friends Tony and Kelly into Death Metal Zombies, undead killing machines enslaved to the will of Shengar, lead singer of the band Living Corpse.
Now Angel has to find a way to reverse the Death Metal Zombie curse as the infection spreads…
If you don’t like cheesy, no-budget, SOV horror made by a group of friends with a camcorder and a dream, you won’t like DEATH METAL ZOMBIES. But if you can look past the video quality and that the cast isn’t composed of classically-trained thespians, DEATH METAL ZOMBIES has a lot to offer.
For starters, I’ve never seen a film with headbanging zombies created by playing a heavy metal album forwards (or backwards, for that matter), roaming the streets with switchblades and butcher knives at the command of their favorite vocalist. You hear that? For everyone bitching about the lack of originality in horror these days, BAM, DEATH METAL ZOMBIES. Check it out, because it’s something you haven’t seen done to death.
The zombie make-up is done simply and effectively – some white face paint and heavy eyeshadow forms the majority of it, which is fine as these are fresh ghouls, most of them dying without major traumatic injuries. And for those used to Romero-style zombies, the smirking, tool-using zombies here (going so far at one point as to find a can of gasoline and start splashing it around the house Angel is in in order to burn it down) with their moaning cries of needing to kill for Shengar might be a bit hard to swallow, but I personally had a lot of fun with them and with this film.
The biggest draw, here, is the soundtrack. Metal tracks, specifically early 90s underground metal (of the sort that arose as a response to the Glam scene and nascent Grunge movement), play throughout, and my understanding is that filmmaker Todd Cook contacted Relapse Records to request the use of one song, and they sent him 40 discs of music to use as he pleased.
Final Analysis: A fun movie of the sort that have become more common without getting any better as technology has grown more widely and cheaply available, I think I can safely recommend DEATH METAL ZOMBIES to anyone with a taste of trashy SOV B-grade horror and heavy metal music. The film was remade in 2012, also by Cook, as ZOMBIFIED with a larger budget; I haven’t watched that one yet so I can’t comment.
Overall, I give DEATH METAL ZOMBIES (1995)…
THREE BARRELS OF TOXIC WASTE.