Home Video Hovel: L.A. Zombie
This DVD was not given to me with high expectations. In fact, the bar was set so low, that I have decided to watch the first ten minutes in real time, and hold my opinion until the end. Hopefully this way we can experience with fresh eyes this film with the delightfully coy subtitle, “First he eats your brains … then your A**!”
Do you think that’s “Ass” or “Arm”?
• FADE IN: Our lead, Francois Sagat whose bio lists him as a, “French model and porn actor,” emerges from a frothing sea. He’s well built, not unlike a young JCVD. Interestingly his make-up is not of the standard zombie variety. His is the stylized blue/green corpselike body painting you might find displayed in a Carnival or Mardi Gras parade. No dangling limbs, no gaping wounds, just an artistically painted well-sculpted man in decay.
• CLOSE UP: Oh … there’s his, um, “dangle.” Our lead zombie is thigh-slappingly nude as he walks out of the surf.
• REVERSE SHOT: He just keeps walking. No explanation of who he is, or if he’s the titular zombie. If he is the zombie, he’s neither the slow type, nor a rampaging psycho. He’s Sagat, the ambling muscle bound zombie.
• CUT TO: Young Dude driving up a canyon road. He sees a shadowy naked figure on the horizon. Young Dude squints, confused, he slows down for the guy. It’s Sagat but as we approach he’s suddenly clothed. Are we seeing him from the Young Dude’s perspective? Is this mind control? Sagat’s still painted like an artistic corpse, but now he’s wearing a hoodie, dress shirt and track pants, all mildly tussled and torn in an artistically chic “zombie” look.
• BLURRY CAMERA EFFECT: Without a word, Sagat opens the car door and gets in. Wait. He’s naked again and he sneers at the Young Dude threateningly. No words exchanged. Young Dude leisurely drives off. What?
• FADE TO BLACK: CRASH! SCREAM! We fade up on a bloody windshield. Young Dude is on the ground with a gory chest wound! His heart struggles to beat in the open air! THIS is the kind of practical and disturbing undead zombie make-up effect I know and love!
• ODD CAMERA ANGLE: Sagat rises from the car wreckage, wincing as if injured. He shakes it off. He walks to the body, tragic music swells. He straddles him as if to check for vitals. Sagat’s wearing the clothes again!
• CLOSE UP: He examines the dude’s head. He crouches down, then stands up. The music fades. Then Sagat drops his pants! He whips out a 10-inch dick and fucks the Young Dude’s chest cavity!
• WIDE SHOT: Sagat’s naked again, but now he has projecting Predator-like fangs with bloody drool. The Young Dude’s heart begins beating again in rhythm to the penile thrusts in his chest! IT’S A MIRICLE! The music comes back sweet and magical. The Young Dude has sex face! Now he’s smiling! Now Young Dude is being coated in spurting oily black semen from Sagat’s oddly elfin tipped dick! Unbelievable.
• MOMENTS LATER: Young Dude, now fully recovered, sits on a tire from the wreck. On his face is a wry smile. Sagat now puts on Young Dude’s shirt, while still wearing a pair of the imaginary track pants. Young Dude shivers (Shock? Cold?), but he seems happy. Sagat ambles off into the darkness …
This odd scenario of curiously assorted deaths (most involving violent crime), and post-mortem re-animating penile injections, continues randomly for another 50 odd minutes.
Now let’s look past all the gay sex. Let’s also imagine that the two-minute musical montage of pissing and bathing in the LA river basin is just some sort of artily obtuse analogy. I’ve sat through plenty of movies that were needlessly scattered with lady parts, and appreciated them on a deeper level. Just because I don’t care for deep dicking doesn’t make a movie not worth watching.
This movie is a confusing array of unexplained gaps in characterization and logic, odd make-up choices, bad acting, curious music cues, bizarre costuming changes, film student style camera work, and no plot or anything resembling any previous depiction of zombies on film. This creature doesn’t even eat brains as promised. Mostly he just gets his wick licked by the recently decesed. This creature is something else: The Re-Sperminator? Frankenweenie perhaps?
Even the extra features are lame and include only chapter selections and trailers. One trailer is for another of L.A. Zombie’s writer/director Bruce LaBruce’s films, OTTO, with similar themes of zombies and homosexuality (that actually looks interesting), then there’s a trailer for L.A. Zombie that feels like a bad music video, and lastly four other trailers that center around low budget films about various homosexual themes. That’s it.
This film (and its DVD incarnation) is lacking. It is not clever, enlightening, or engaging, and I can only recommend it as a mildly curious gag gift. At 62 minutes, with minimal features, yet a $24.99 suggested retail price, I have to imagine you’re paying for the unique pleasure of seeing a well-endowed man fuck gaping wounds. If that’s what does it for you, I’m glad Battleship Pretension helped me find this film for you. Enjoy.