70 min., dir. by Dustin Mills, with Josh Eal, Ethan Holey, Jackie McKown
Point blank, the title of this is awesome. There’s no mystery to the movie — you know what you are getting right from the start. The concept is there in your face, and it’s relatively timely, what with all the Florida face-munching that is still a topic of bar chatter long after it was reported.
You also get the hint that the film does not take itself too seriously — that can be cool, or it could unfortunately mean “pure suck.” (There was the injection of humor into the zombie genre with films like Fido, Shaun of the Dead, and Zombieland. That sadly led people to equate “humor” with “doesn’t have to be good,” and there was a flood of truly shitty films that put the word “zombie” in the title, wrote a paragraph-long script, sprayed the staggering and moaning cast with Karo corn syrup and food dye, and shot the cellu-loaf on their iPhones.)
Scope the back of the DVD box and there’s a soundtrack that features a slew of noteworthy punk bands: the Dwarves, ANTiSEEN, The Meatmen, The Murder Junkies, The Gaggers, Combat Crisis, and American Speedway are all over this disc.
On the surface, it looks like this movie will not suck.
And praise Jeebus, that’s the case.
It starts out with a funny, animated intro done in an old newsreel style. After the announcer explains just what “bath salts” are, Satan appears and gets little Timmy all zombie-ed out on salts and hungry for flesh.
The plot goes a bit like this: after a federal crackdown on bath salts cuts off both manufacturers and product, New York City is the place to score ’cause there’s a crazy-strong batch of salts in the city. But there’s a slight problem: it turns users into skin-snacking fiends.
The films special effects are, for the most part, lower-end, but not totally chintzy or lame. The actors do a damn good job pulling their lines without sounding forced or hokey. Some scenes do have that drag-a-bit pace that comes with many backyard movies. And technically, it’s really not a zombie movie, but rather a drug-induced cannibal movie. But y’know, if you’re getting that tight-assed retentive about it, you’re probably a dick anyways and won’t like anything.
Overall? Even with the obvious apartment-as-sets moments, seemingly mandatory boob shots, and lower-rent appearance, the whole movie comes off as having a much higher budget and the whole package works really well. Bath Salt Zombies is an honest, fun, punk rock, “hey!-let’s-make-a-decent-little-horror-flick” horror flick.
So fuck Warm Bodies. Get this.