Director – Max Groah (Carpool, Never Say Dead)
Starring – Tiffany Kiely (Born Again, The Sleeper), Eric Boso (American Undead, The Necklace with the Picture of The Devil on It), and Daniel Alan Kiely (Last Halloween, Horrors of War)
Release Date – 2017
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “The end is high”
When I was in high school and college and I couldn’t get enough no-budget zombie movies. I fucking loved them and was always on the hunt for ones I had never seen before. Sadly, 2010 saw the television adaptation of the comic The Walking Dead and the popularity of the show spawned thousands of rip off films that focused more on the human drama during the apocalypse rather than the zombies.
I’ve stepped away from my beloved sub-genre due to the huge influx of boring ass zombie movies the last few years but there is one or two that comes along that really draws my attention. Sometime ago Scream Team Releasing released the 2017 zombie comedy Bong of the Living Dead on blu. Not to be confused with another zombie comedy Bong of the Dead (which I enjoy). I went ahead and picked up a copy in hopes of checking it out when I could make the time for it.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a group of stoners who spend their days at their days and their evenings getting high. They often fantasize about the zombie apocalypse and what they would do if they are ever in the presence of the living dead. Their dreams come true when the undead invade their neighborhood. Things start out fun with lots of prepping and smoking but as the weed starts to vanish they quickly realize that the glamor of the movies is anything but fun. Now they must fight the growing horde outside to get to a safer place but that is easier said than done.**Spoiler Alert**
I tend to enjoy most stoner comedies and some of my favorite horror films are horror comedies. Serious or extreme horror films usually bore the fuck out of me. They try too hard to be “extreme” and skip on story and character development. When I first saw the release of the Bong of the Living Dead my imagination took over and I couldn’t wait to see how funny it was. It was entertaining but the humor fell flat and the story just wasn’t doing it for me.
The acting in this one is one of the highlights of the film. The cast works so well together and they really get into their roles. It’s not often you find a film where the entire cast works so well together. Sadly, their performances are overshadowed by their dull characters. The characters are painfully generic and what you would expect from a stoner comedy from the late 90s. Sadly, they don’t really bring anything to the film. You could literally change their personalities and the film would still work for what it is. They could be a frat, sorority, minor league baseball team, and so on and the film would still work. The characters, unlike other stoner horror flicks, have very little to do with the story.
The story for this one has it’s moments but struggles to find itself. When I tossed this one in I was expecting to check out a funny stoner horror flick with some zombies. Sadly, the humor is few and far in between and the same can be said about the zombies. The movie focuses WAY too much on the fact that the characters smoke pot that it forgets to toss in some humor to lighten the mood and the zombie scenes are oddly missing for a zombie flick. Don’t get me wrong, we do have some joke tossed in here and there but they are very inconsistent and the scenes with zombies don’t really pick up until the last 20 minutes of the film or so. I did like the nods to other zombie films. They were subtle and they worked.
Finally, this one has several kills and some decent practical effects. The kills are forgettable and standard for a zombie flick but the effects were entertaining. With that being said, the zombies are inconsistent. Some looked great while others were not so. Overall, Bong of the Living Dead had the potential to be something unforgettable but in the end it was the film’s devotion to pot that prevented it from achieving just that. The film reminded me a lot of the mid 2000 zombie flicks you could pick up from Brain Damage Films. It’s a fun watch but the lack of plot and painfully boring characters makes it one I don’t see myself revisiting anytime soon.