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Smoke to This: 'Bong of the Dead' (Advance Review)

I want to kick this review off with a quick message to all the filmmakers out there: please, for the love of horror, include a press kit (or at the very least some form of contact info) when you send projects our way

In the years I’ve spent covering cinema, it’s become a pet peeve of mine to receive (in some cases, already promotionally deprived) films with virtually no information whatsoever included in the packaging (even if there’s a pre-existing webte, media outlets, and the men and women who work for them benefit tremendously from convenient contact avenues). For me personally, it's a real ass-chapper to receiving an awesome flick, and lack the means to properly promote it further than a mple advance review. If you want word of mouth to build, interviews, excluve still pics, bios and videos (all of which can be compiled into a nifty little press kit at damn near no cost) are a great way to stir the pot. If you don’t provide additional (and often helpful) 411, you’re severely limiting the potential promotion we can provide you.

Rant released, I’ll now move on to the latest advance screener to land on my doorstep…

The comical zombie tale, Bong of the Dead, follows two excesve marijuana smokers who inadvertently discover that zombie brains make for remarkable fertilizer. Sound like a kooky concept? Good, it’s supposed to!

There isn’t too much to evaluate in terms of the story itself. After Edwin and Tommy blaze through their stash, they’re eager to track down some more zombies so that they may excavate their undead craniums in order to manufacture loads of the good green grass at an accelerated rate. The two head for an established “danger zone”, where the government is hoarding the walking dead, because, obviously, there’s going to be no lack of zombie brains in the middle of a zombie colony. Car troubles bring their trek to premature concluon, but after running into the attractive Leah (who’s living all by her lonesome in a fairly nice rural home), the bud loses a hint of priority.

The film boasts some nice visuals, including plenty of fine gore, vibrant colors and inspired cinematography. But the true crux of the entertainment lies within the feature’s characters and their outlandish personalities. Given the goofy nature of the film it’s safe to assume that both Edwin and Tommy are complete morons; the cogs in their machines fried long, long ago by thick chronic vapors. Leah on the other hand is an empowered young lady with a knack for mechanical practices, firearms and hard liquor. Certainly more serious than our leading males, Leah makes for fine personality contrast, though deep down, she’s nearly as shallow as Edwin and Tommy.

Mark Wynn shines in his portrayal of Edwin, and if Bong of the Dead proves to open few doors for him as a legitimate actor, he can likely pin down a recurring gig as a Ben Stiller body double. Jy Harris isn’t quite as endearing as the tag-along dekick Tommy, but he’s good for some one-liners and fun phycal comedy. mone Bailly produces a fine over-the-top routine that never gets old, in part due to her lovely girl-next-door looks, and gnificant edge in profesonal onscreen experience.

Given the narrow scope of the story, Bong of the Dead actually moves at a reasonably brisk pace. The action slows gnificantly in the second act, but the first and final acts are both comprised of memorable laughs and enough action to keep viewers fixed to the screen. Watching Edwin and Tommy in truth, is a bit like watching an extended clip of Wayne’s World, while Wayne and Garth take in a healthy dose of Beavis and Butthead, who just so happen to be offering their quirky commentary on a Cheech and Chong marathon.

In retrospect, the only glaring flaw of the film is placing a stronger emphas on the herb than the horror. However, a supremely gore-heavy climax should act as a fine reminder that the story is as much about the undead as it is the high life. I’m inclined to believe smokers may gravitate toward the picture more so than typical horror fans, but genre followers should certainly get a kick out of this spirited indie offering all the same, especially those who fancy the zombie sub-genre.

Vit to learn how you can check out this campy clasc-in-the-making!

Grade: C+
Matt_Molgaard Thursday 8/25/2011 at 02:22 AM | 81523