For aspiring filmmakers looking for a film which blueprints how to make a film so bad it’s good, or how not to make a film, they need look no further than 1987’s Zombie Nightmare. Starring Jon Mikel Thor—yes, that Thor—and Adam West, this film makes Plan 9 from Outer Space look like The Godfather. Even the IMDb users think so: Zombie Nightmare infests the number #48 spot on IMDB’s Bottom 100 list, a list Plan 9 is nowhere near. Featuring 80’s metal—Motorhead!—, stupid decisions, violence, exposition up the ass, and characters so flat you could swipe them through a card reader, Zombie Nightmare has everything Z-grade film lovers could ask for.
Tony is a cheerful little boy who witnesses his father get killed for trying to stop a rape. Fast forward X-amount of years later. Tony (played now by Jon Mikel Thor) is a long haired, .99 cent Arnold Schwarzenegger who plays baseball. One night while getting groceries for his mother, he is struck down by a car driven by a bunch of idiotic teenagers (Tia Carrare is amongst them, here simply to remind you that you could be watching Wayne’s World instead) and is killed. Instead of being taken to the hospital, Tony’s body is delivered back to his mother where she gets some voodoo lady named Molly Mokembe (Mansuka Rigaud) to bring him back to life and get revenge by killing the teens one by one—which he does of course. Along the way, Captain Tom Churchman gets involved in the case—and he might be more connected to it that he appears.
The makers of this damn thing had to have been snorting line after line of that fine 80s cocaine during shooting. That is the only way to explain the decisions the characters make and the turns the plot takes; there are many instances in this film where the viewer will be scratching their head and raising an eyebrow and overworking their brains cells trying to figure out how A leads to B.
Court is now in session.
Exhibit A: Captain Churchman informs his subordinate that the case of the murdered teens is solved. How so? Because the cops picked up a guy for robbery, and he has a history of assault; therefore, he’s the killer. That’s it. Grade-A police work right there!
Exhibit B: the hit-and-run mentioned earlier has to be one of the sloppiest in cinema history (not in a good way) and has to be seen to be believed. An analysis of this scene will leave the viewer seriously questioning everything they know about physics and natural law. The initial impact shows Thor being pushed backwards which means that he should land on his back and be run over by the car. The next scene shows Tony flying over the car like a failed Peter Pan and landing face-down in the street behind the car, motionless. The next scene show the teens driving away; Tony is now on the side of the car rolling about on the sidewalk before coming to a stop, dead. Then, Tony is back in the street face-up, his bat and bag positioned neatly at his sides. Take that, Newton!
Exhibit C: twice, weapons are pulled on people in business establishments. Both times they are simply removed from the establishment. Didn’t anyone think to call the cops? Must not have been able to afford the phone call on the budget.
Exhibit D: Zombie Thor. Not only does it look nothing like him, but he's sporting a totally different hairstyle partway through as if he paid a visit to the Zombie Salon.
Exhibit E: The 80s. This film is constantly reminding you that it is an 80s movie. If it’s not the bad hairstyles, it’s the bad clothing styles; or the dorky, manly-man douchebags; or the cheesy 80s metal (most of it recorded by Thor himself) playing over damn near every scene. Hell, my house started to smell like the 80s within the first five minutes!
Well, I think I’ve gone far enough. If we keep going we’ll end up going
through the alphabet twice.
But despite the lapses in logic, what confuses me most about this movie is the lack of cult following it has. All the ingredients are there, and it is certainly a fuck of a lot more entertaining than other cult movies like The Room. So, what gives, people? Why are there not midnight screenings of this flick popping up all over America? Why are there not conventions dedicated to this thing? Seriously, B-movie fans need to get the ball rolling on this!
Watch it, preferably while intoxicated. Doctor’s orders.
|"You're actually gonna PAY me to star in this crap!?"|