Bong of the Dead (2011)
Director: Thomas Newman
4 / 5 zedheads
Topless lesbian zombies. Plenty of weed. Gore galore and buckets of blood. Bong of the Dead oozes with all the bodily fluids of a zombie cult classic in the making. Yet, it's more than a blood-and-guts and weed exploitation picture in the spirit of Dazed and Confused meets Brain Dead (aka. Dead Alive). Bong of the Dead is also a triumph of the independent genre film making. It leaves other zombie movies behind in a cloud of bong smoke.
|Bloody work. Cast of Bong of the Dead after a hard day of zombie killing|
|Today's the day the zombies have their picnic|
|Heads up! One of Bong of the Dead's amazing zombies|
|Hotties vs. Nazis|
|That's one way to get a closer shave.|
Unfortunately, not everything works in favour of Bong of the Dead. Sadly, the film is severely hampered by some very awkward and unnatural-sounding ADR (automated dialogue replacement), otherwise known as "dubbing." Bong of the Dead is an English-language film, but it had to have 100% of its audio re-recorded in post production. I'm not exactly sure why, but Thomas Newman does credit sound design producer Andres Santana as the man "who will forever be known as the man who saved Bong," and I know that the film suffered several digital distastes such as hard drive crashes. Either Bong was filmed without on-set sound, or the sound was lost and made unusable at some point in the production; either way, the actors had to re-record all their lines. At the end of the day, it just doesn't sound right.
|You want I should eat this baby now or later?|
If you can get past the awkward ADR, Bong of the Dead is a really fun and splatterific zombie comedy. I'm somewhat gloating when I say that Bong of the Dead and Dead Genesis, two best independent zombie films I've seen lately, come from my homeland of Canada. Make no mistake, they are very different films. Shot on the east coast, Dead Genesis is serious, thoughtful, introspective, and pointed with social commentary. Bong of the Dead goes in the opposite direction. Shot on the west coast in Langley, BC, Bong of the Dead is silly, full of gross out humour, and not particularly lofty or interested in making any social statements. At the same time, both films are equally good and fully entertaining in their own ways.
I have no hesitation recommending Bong of the Dead. I'm not even a fan of drug movies, yet I really enjoyed Thomas Newman's independent zombie epic. Even if you forget everything Newman went through to make Bong and ignore the fact he wrote, directed, edited, composited, and even scored this film by himself, Bong of the Dead remains an undeniable achievement in independent zombie cinema ... even if it's still rough around the edges. Bong of the Dead is fun and funky with a tantalizing hook for a sequel. I really hope Bong of the Dead is successful for Newman and we get to see him return with a Bong of the Dead 2.