7 May 2005 | lemon_magic
"She's briskly jogging from him!" (+2 stars for Adam West and MotorHead)
MST covered this one and did a good job with it.(The quote is from the first zombie attack.) And as I recall, Adam West even introduced their cover of it for its first broadcast during a "Turkey Day" Thanksgiving marathon. (Good for you, Adam! You look good!)
Hey, Frank Dietz, it was fun to see your comment about the movie; glad you have a good sense of perspective about it, and I hope you are doing well. ZN was completely cheesy, but it wasn't your fault...you were just in over your head!
Adam West has taken a lot of crap over the decades for his somewhat hammy style and fruity baritone, but he's still the real deal as an actor. Put him in a 3rd rate film like this one, and he instantly blows everyone else in the film away without trying. This movie was lucky to have him.
The film also gets an extra star for starting out with "Ace Of Spades" as the opening song on the soundtrack and a nice little thumbprint graphic for the opening title. It was a great choice and started the movie with a nice burst of energy.
But after that, things go downhill pretty fast. There are lots of missteps here: pacing, plot holes, characterization and consistency of tone. For instance, the movie stops dead in its tracks at one points and spends 2-3 minutes watching a mediocre tennis match between the tall, lanky mall punk and his blond girlfriend. It spends an inordinate amount of time driving to the local 'Twist and Creme' ice cream store. When the hero/zombie-to-be gets run over by the mall punks at the beginning of the movie, his mother doesn't call a doctor, call an ambulance, or start CPR, she calls her local voodoo practitioner "Molly Mokembe" so she can go about getting revenge for her son's death.
(This brings all kinds of questions to mind, BTW. The movie seems to find it unremarkable that there is a high priestess of voodoo just down the street in an average Canadian urban neighborhood. Geez, not ONE of the black people I grew up with turned out to be voodoo masters, not even the ones whose life my father saved! I never knew Canada was so wild at heart!)
Oh, and if YOU were attacked by a zombie, and you knocked him down with a shotgun and then you got in your car to flee, wouldn't you a)shoot the zombie in the head and knees a couple of just to slow him down a bit more and b) CLOSE THE CAR DOOR while you cranked the ignition??? I'm just asking...
But the biggest weakness, IMO, is in the part and performance of the mall punk's 'psycho' member. Ooooo, he has an ATTITUDE! OOooo, he throws pasta at his mom! Ooooo, he harasses a waitress with juvenile remarks about the size of his 'member'! Ooooo, he...well, he goes for a drive! (See 'Twist and Creme' reference above.)
He's about 105 lbs, soaking wet, with pencil thin arms and elaborately blow-dried-and-feathered shoulder length hair, but we are supposed to accept that he's some kind of menacing James Dean stand-in. And he is, in fact, almost infinitely annoying. But he (the character that is) wouldn't last 10 minutes at my old junior high school (it was on the 'wrong side of the tracks' in a town of 60,000 people.)
The rest of the cast is OK. The other four mall punks are natural and at ease in front of the camera. Frank Dietz manages to hold his own in his scenes with Adam West. A couple of the murders are fairly gruesome. And the blond cutie looks sexy as she 'briskly jogs' away from the zombie in her towel. Some of the other songs on the soundtrack are pretty good, especially the one by Girlschool. Even Jon Mikl Thor is, well, not as bad as he could be, although it's pretty obvious that the project began to overwhelm him and he was forced to get another actor to play the zombie for some scenes. Don't quit your day job, JMT.
An amusing mess. Watch with one dose of alcohol clutched firmly in your mitt and several more readily at hand and you'll have no problem with 'Nightmare'.