When one talks about a sequel, or better yet decides to write a review about a sequel, you better damn well have done your homework and seen the first film. If the first film has a name such as Monsturd, then you are completely and utterly obligated to not only watch it, but also get drunk in doing so. It is almost like a free pass to let your brain go and revel in pure garbage. For years I have seen the cover of Monsturd taunting me, calling my name. It wasn’t until now when the DVD of its sequel arrived on my doorstep, RetarDead, that I actually got the balls to seek it out and plop it in.
Yeah I know, poop jokes.
Monsturd. Poop jokes. Lots and lots of poop jokes. A film with the premise of a biologically engineered Poop Monster made from the crossbreeding of experimental chemicals and an escaped scat freak serial killer should by all means contain its fair share of poop jokes. It is, however, the films downfall because in between the poop jokes is a film that at times forgets that it is a complete satire of monster films. Monsturd tanks mostly because it plays it too straight and is too serious for it’s own good. Monsturd. Too serious. Soak that one in.
The film really doesn’t run at full steam until halfway through but by then most people will have abandoned the film. Totally from the school of Herschell Gordon Lewis filmmaking, Monsturd is nothing to look at and most of the actors couldn’t deliver a line to save their lives. There were 3 great parts in this film that had me dying with laughter, but they were't enough for me to recommend searching the film out. By now you should know I love crappy movies (*high hat strike), but I just couldn't get into this one at all. And now for another completely obligatory poop joke reference, Monsturd is just a turd. Flush it.
So now we can watch RetarDead, which is essentially the same film as Monsturd but with zombies in it instead of a poop monster. Dr. Stern, a mad scientist, genetically tampers with a group of mentally handicapped people and accidentally creates a group of bloodthirsty zombies. There is a side plot about a man exposing himself that goes absolutely nowhere and isn’t funny at all. Many of the same actors from Monsturd are back reprising their roles, even the bit parts. Why all these people are back is a question I would like to ask because they add nothing to the film at all other than pad the running time.
The overall production seems to have taken a step up budget wise and is technically a better made film. The editing is much tighter and they were able to enlist in a couple of cameos that genre fans should enjoy. HGL has a good opening voice over and Jello Biafra has an eye blinker part as the mayor of Butte County. The only other thing to really commend about the film is the large amounts of gore that gets sprayed everywhere. The only catch is that it is the same tired zombie gore that has been pounded into dust as of late.
Any horror fan that has been keeping up with the genre recently knows how oversaturated the Zombie subgenre has been getting thanks to films like Shaun of the Dead and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Even worse is the Zombie Comedy film. Shaun exploded the subgenre to massive proportions and unfortunately now we have a tremendous glut of sub-par, inane copycats that seem to be crapped out ad nauseum. RetarDead, instead of trying something that was sort of original like Monsturd (holy shit I can't believe I just wrote that), goes for the easy out and completely tries to make a Zombie comedy film. This was a horrible miscalculation on their part. Other than the fact that the actors can’t deliver the jokes whatsoever, the humor is completely overdone and the audience knows the punch line before it is even delivered over and over and over and over and over... Even with this being a film marketed towards the Troma crowd, Troma's latest film Poltrygeist, another zombie film that I felt was not as good as it could have been, blows RetarDead out of the water completely.
Then there comes the sound mix. All things are well handled until we reach a scene in which the lead Sheriff Duncan, Paul Weiner, goes down to the evil Dr. Stern’s lab with the pervert called the “Weenie Waggler” to try and figure out an antidote to the zombie virus. As soon as the scene starts in the lab the audio level takes a DRASTIC dip to a point at which you have to crank it in order to hear anything that is going on at all. This lasts the ENTIRE SCENE. No shit. How hard would it have been to get those 3 guys together again and just quickly ADR that scene so that the audience could hear what was being said at all. I usually wouldn’t be so short and frank about the technical side of a low budget production, especially one that actually was a step up from the previous film they made, but when something as obvious as this plagues a movie for at least 10 minutes or more, than it begs the audience to question why they should care if the makers didn’t.
If there were anything worthwhile to take away from this film at all it would have to be the faux trailers they made, ala Grindhouse, which precede the film. They are well done technically and are actually pretty humorous. (Frankenstein and the Bloody Beast of Ghastly Terror and Dracula Vs. Jack the Ripper) The style is nailed perfectly for the shitty films they are trying to advertise.
RetarDead, along with Monsturd, should be regarded as bottom barrel slop. Regardless of the glee with which both of the films were obviously made, they really don’t deliver the goods at all. Tired humor and scenes that run on to nowhere will kill a film, especially a homegrown one, flat. If your budget is meager to nonexistent, make sure that you are creatively trying to keep your audience wowed and watching by your writing and/or editing. When that doesn’t happen and you depend on non-actors to carry a film whose premise is as tired as those Geiko commercials, you are dead in the water. Until these guys get it right, which I will pull for because there are moments at which they do, skip these films. They really aren’t worth your time at all even with copious amounts of alcohol.
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