Zombie! vs. Mardi Gras
Rating -

Horror (US); 1999; Not Rated; 72 Minutes

Cast Includes:
Dale Ashmun, Dudley Batchelor, Garth Currie, Jason Deas, Karl DeMolay, Loreli Fuller, Roy "Rusty" Jackson, Veronica Russell and John Sinclair

Produced, directed and screenwritten by Mike Lyddon, Karl DeMolay & Will Frank

Review Uploaded
11/19/99

Written by DAVID KEYES

"Zombie! vs. Mardi Gras" is a nasty, dreadful, inept, and utterly worthless excuse for a movie that is only of use to experiment filmmakers looking for encouragement that they cannot possibly lower themselves to such a level of stupidity. And when I say this is the worst film ever made, I'm not excluding all those other cinematic travesties, either--this is something worse than "Bulworth," worse than "I Spit On Your Grave," worse than "Caligula," worse than "Very Bad Things," worse than "Bad Channels," and, yes, even worse than "Dazed And Confused." Interestingly enough, this release comes only a short year after "Let's Talk About Sex," a film which, at the time, I considered to be the most putrid major motion picture production in existence. Critics seldom admit that they are wrong, but in a case like this, I can no longer justify that proclamation. "Let's Talk About Sex" was tame compared to this pile of shallow trash.

What's most infuriating about this ill-fated project actually has nothing to do with the on-screen display of perversion. Oh sure, the film is to blame for much of visual ineptitude, but on a technical level, "Zombie! vs. Mardi Gras" appropriately deserves its title as the most pitiful endeavor in moviemaking. Shot in black and white with what looks like home video footage (it's actually filmed silent, with recorded dialogue trying to match up with the characters' mouths), the movie utters an incoherent story of a man whose torturous past in the Mardi Gras forces him to make an agonizing decision. He unleashes Zombie!--spelled just like that, with an exclamation point, even in the movie title--who creeps around for over 60 minutes on the streets of this Mardi Gras, and wreaks havoc wherever he goes. At least that's what the premise supposedly says; the movie itself is so badly edited and choreographed that this creature is unfittingly given the characteristics of both Edward Scissorhands and a vampire, all while maintaining that typical "zombie" limp (oh, and if you manage to sit through the credits, you'll get to see just how ugly the guy is up close).

Each time the undead creature kills a person, they become the living dead as well, walking through the streets carrying jewelry on their hands (pearl necklaces, bracelets, etc.). The movie is actually more concerned with breast shots than anything else, though. After every killing, there's two or three women in the street who lift up their shirts, I guess, because they're drunk and are having a good time. The movie may very well be trying to imitate the not-so-original style of the "Friday The 13th" movies, in which boobs flashed every twenty seconds, and people were killed after having sex. At least with those movies we were able to understand what was going on.

This insipid plot line is accompanied by at least 20 other subplots, and they each seem to come from out of nowhere, only to end long before they have even started (sometimes even a few seconds after they are introduced). And with every twist, none of the subplots seem to have anything to do with the actual story. One of the most painful is the use of two characters speaking French, which is shot so dark that you can't even clearly see the peoples' faces. To make matters worse, the subtitles at the bottom of the screen are grammatically incorrect ("Where am you going?"??!?). Pile that on top of the pointless situation--a guy is angry because his girlfriend is going out, although the movie never actually asks "where?".

Where does this story go? Nowhere, really, other than to yet another subplot involving men who pass the zombie in the streets, and try to stop his wrath. Example: a man dressed in what appears to be a Ninja suit captures the attention of the walking dead guy by yelling his name. As he approaches the zombie, he jumps, prepared to kick him in the face. What does this zombie do to subvert that action? When the foot is close enough, he bites off the toes. The manner in which this shot is filmed is so contrived and obvious that not even the man in the Ninja suit can keep a straight face.

Why was this movie made? To push, I presume, the boundaries of moral reprehension and, most importantly, our buttons. Undoubtedly this was a project filmed not to attract any decent reviews, but to attract an audience by the surefire badmouthing critics would give it. And believe me, people who read this review will have to see the film for themselves just to see how vile and incompetent these ludicrous images and displays can get. Oh, and then there's a scene in which a blonde woman flashes the Zombie!, and he rips off one of her breasts, devouring it while she stands there screaming (all in broad daylight, too). After she dies, a gathering crowd notices the wound, and the puddle of blood beside it. One of the onlookers announces "this is the most blood I have ever seen in my life." Someone should send this guy to see "Fight Club."


1999, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org. Please e-mail the author here if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.
 
 
           
     
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