When it comes to reviews of media, be it book or film, I dislike those who seek to fill their pages by covering in excruciating detail the events of the plot. A review should be a summary, nothing more. Simply extrapolate from the synopsis—that is why such a thing happens to exist in the first place.
Actually, just delete the review altogether. Nobody cares what other people think of other things. We are not a collective, we are individuals; and as individuals, the opinions and actions of others should not be a concern. You didn’t like Watergipridget’s short story collection? Well, I did, so who cares what you think? That being said, when people are as talented as I am, then all should come to hear what I have to say on all matters concerning everything that ever was, is, or will. I am not subject to the same rules I demand of—and one day will impose on—others.
I have been in a malaise these past few days. My sleeping pattern has been off kilter. As a result I have been laying in bed writhing about as I try all manner of things to get to sleep. On a recent night I found myself so uncomfortable from a lack of sleep and an excess of heat in the room that I went downstairs to the living room to see if a change of space would help. It didn’t. I then thought about using the twilight hours to read or try to do something productive or creative. I even thought of making another banana bread but lacked bananas, a vital ingredient. I thought of writing but my brain was foggy from the sleep deprivation. Words from pages were not going in and I could not form enough words in my lethargic mind to make any appear on page. I lack creativity on a full day’s sleep—sleep-deprived delirium isn’t going to help me. So I did what the uncreative and the illiterate do up and down the land: I put on the television and began flicking through the channels to find something to either entertain me or bore me into slumber. When I was younger, if I was unable to sleep, I would try to find some baseball coverage on Channel 5 or some similar channel. That normally did the trick. There was no baseball on this time though.
What there was though, on the Horror Channel, was a film that was about to begin. It was, as you may have guessed if you read the title of this, Zombie Women of Satan. It’s hard to not find a title like that intriguing. Of course, history has not been kind on movies that attempt to gain an audience by the salaciousness of their title. Snakes on a Plane, Lesbian Vampire Killers, Two Hours of Joe Screaming at His Reflection as the Existential Dread of Being Sets In: all have used the title trick to wean their way into the public consciousness but none have come out the other side with praise or acclaim. Would Zombie Women of Satan be the first to crack the mystery code, would it be the one to finally succeed?
First of all, the title has nothing to do with the setting, people, or film. Snakes on a Plane tells the tale of a group of passengers who have to deal with an outbreak of snakes on a plane. Lesbian Vampire Killers is a story of lesbian vampires, who are both killers in their own right and are ultimately defeated at the hand of their killers. It’s got a dual meaning, which makes it intelligent. Dualism is a sign of eruditeness and scholarly thought, so I am told. Zombie Women of Satan does feature women, yes, but they are not servants of Satan. Are they zombies? That would depend on whichever definition of ‘zombie’ you choose to follow. As far as I am concerned zombies are only zombies when a dead body has been reanimated by some means. The ‘zombies’ in this film are not those kind, so I refuse to bestow upon them the title of zombie. Thus, a more fitting title to describe what these women are, is Drugged Women of Some Guy Living in a Compound, which, I admit, doesn’t scan nearly as well. For such an inaccurate title I’d get Trading Standards involved but I don’t have their number. They’re also not the right people to call but I have a bone to pick with them on a number of other issues so they can be the recipients of this complaint too.
As for the events of the movie itself, Drugged Women of Some Guy Living in a Compound follows an obscure circus act who travel to a remote farm for an interview. On arrival they discover that the owners of the farm have been conducting experiments on women, turning them into zombies. The group must survive, stop the experiments, and escape the farm. It’s a thin plot, but it’s a plot all the same.
There’s not much in the way of character development or indeed characterisation to those in the story either. To devote time establishing a character would limit the time with which you could show a naked woman running through a wooded heath. Pervo the Clown is a clown, whose gimmick is that he is a pervert. His perverseness is shown by having an orgy in one scene and masturbating over a picture of his friend in another. He doesn’t do much in the way of clowning, though he does wear a fake clown nose. It’s a good thing he does otherwise his name would be sheer nonsense. Skye is a no-nonsense goth singer searching for her sister, for whom she searches while being no-nonsense and a goth.
After that, the other characters seem to exist more as a way of removing workload from these two characters — and to add more deaths to the script. There’s a silent strongman, whose relevance to the plot is to smash the heads of some zombies before succumbing to their bites. There’s a mouthy Geordie who differs from the other mouthy Geordie in that he is mouthy while wearing a hat. Some woman in a polkadot dress is there for some reason. I don’t recall her doing anything but she’s there. The villains are the standard mad scientist and siblings with incestuous undertones fare that are the standard in just about everything. There’s also a dwarf who has a subplot of desperately needing a poo but is never able to find the time in the middle of a zombie rampage. Lacking in height, the joke is of course that when he finally gets a moment of respite the turd pile is bigger than he is. The setup and punchline are there, what’s missing is the humour.
The acting is near non-existent, the script is garbage, the cinematography is out-of-focus and oddly framed. Yet it’s the low-effort that makes it all the worse. Low budget films can be good if they have the heart. The best actors aren’t needed, the script doesn’t always have to be tight, the camerawork can be forgiven. This just all seems to have been done in one take. Perhaps time was short, or maybe the low budget meant corners had to be cut, or perchance the people involved realised as soon as they got there the idea was stupid and the joke had long run its course so they lost interest in doing it but felt compelled because of the investment they had already made. Who knows? What I do know is the final product is appalling. Nobody is expecting a film that gets shown on the Horror Channel at 3 in the morning to be an award winner: something just above the level of ‘unmitigated disaster’ would be nice though.
I could have just surmised that the film isn’t very good and left out the rest of the stuff about my sleeping habits. But I’m an innovator. It’s why my name will go down in memory and the person who writes the film reviews for the local newspaper is not even worth the time it would take to look up their name. Of course they get paid for it and I don’t which hinders me somewhat. But I’ll just claim the moral high ground. It makes for some nice views as I go down to sign on at the job centre.