Featuring: Adam “The Walking Dead” Minarovich , William “Louie the Moon” Palko , Matthew “Buy, Sell, Kill: a Flea Market Story” Pierce
Director: Adam “Ankle Biters” Minarovich
Writer: Adam “Ankle Biters” Minarovich
Hopefully by rerunning this review, I can do some good in the world and dissuade any potentially curious parties from making a scrotum-tearing decision they could very well regret for their entire lives…or at least the hour or two after it’s over. Those are precious hours that could be better spent sleeping, drinking, sleep-drinking or drink-sleeping. Meh, let’s just get this over with.
When Rob over at The KO Picture Show was taking volunteers for a “Vs.” roundtable, I had no choice but to throw my hand up (having eaten it the night before *rimshot*) and toss my hat into the ring. At first, all that came to me were the always reliable Godzilla flicks, since 90% of them have “Vs.” in the title. I put a little thought into the process though, and since Rob had already planted his flag into King Kong Vs. Godzilla big ape-lizard ass, I thought it would be more interesting to seek my opponent elsewhere. I was going to go for the Mexican Dracula Vs. Frankenstein, or any of the numerous Santo flicks, but then found myself struck by inspiration. During my daily voodoo ritual in which I attempt to put the whammy on Adam Minarovich, I remembered Mr. Minor-Ass-Itch had befouled the world with a home movie abortion of his own that fit the criteria perfectly: Wiseguys Vs. Zombies. In that it had the word “versus” in the title, anyway.
I’d been looking for another chance to lay a steel toe into the back of the head of the guy who makes Ed Wood look like Albert Hitchcock for reasons that, well, this review should explain. As if that weren’t bad enough, last week I complained in my review of Karate, the Hand of Death that directors should never be allowed to star in their own movies, followed by a similar comment earlier this week in my Freaky Farley review that writers should be subjected to similar cinematic law. Well, guess what kids, today’s star happens to be both the writer and the director! Minaroviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiich! Somebody get me a fresh needle and a hit of mountain lion testosterone (stolen from Ted Nugent’s medicine cabinet of course), cuz I’m fixin’ to get ornery!
Last time Minor-Ass-Itch attacked us, it was with a litter box amalgamation of Blade and Terror of Tiny Town. This time he duct tapes copies of Pulp Fiction and Return of the Living Dead together and tries to lodge them into our rectums with no consideration as to whether or not any of us actually wants movies planted amidst our un-expelled fertilizer. The stinkweeds that result go down as such: a government experiment (given the uninspired named of “Project: Lazarus”) to reanimate dead soldiers is deemed a failure and all remnants of this waste of taxpayer money is destroyed. Most of it anyway, with the exception of (wait for it, cuz here comes the part we could all see coming as soon as the words “government experiment” clacked out of my keyboard) a single barrel of the chemical that them high-fallootin’ army types managed to lose. The missing stash was snagged by a low-level gambling addict soldier at the base who stole it to use for barter with his loan shark, hoping the silly little man (who sounds like he’s fresh out of the trailer park) will take it and sell it in exchange for the $6000 the G.I. Joke owes. The shark even ends their conversation with “Have a good day, sir.”.No doubt ad-libbed because he probably finished his shift at KFC before coming out to shoot the movie and was still in customer service mode. Naturally, Sharky forces G.I. Joke to sample the shit first before he’ll accept the exchange, so immediately after Sharky leaves, Joke of course starts to get the vapors (is he turning Japanese?) before his head turns into a blood fountain
It hasn’t even been five minutes and already I’ve sat through poorly shot scenes of the camera trying its best to focus on a Hummer with a homemade military “Pimp My Ride” job, and way too much camera time spent staring at Sharky’s gun instead of the characters. We just started and the movie’s wasted no time going down faster than Bill O’Reilly in the men’s room at the Republican National Convention. I can feel that mountain lion testosterone starting to kick in…
In Miami, a dime store Tony Montana (who can’t even keep his shitty fake accent in check) is upset that he’s yet to receive his latest shipment of street candy from his supplier. He calls a friend in New York to address the matter for him, hence how we meet Freddy Six Times (William Palko) and Gus (Minaroviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiich!) who are both sent out to collect Mony Tontana’s goods. Which will be the sole use of the label “good” in any way, shape, or form for the remainder of this review/curb stomp. Though I’m not positive, I’m at least 87% sure that the four different rooms used to shoot the scenes involving each of these four characters interacting were all shot in the same house. From here on out, Gus will be referred to as “Assy” (because of the whole “Minor-Ass-Itch” joke I’m running into the ground) and Freddy will carry the moniker of “Douchey”. I would’ve called Gus “Douchey” instead due to who’s playing him, and because of the half-wit shit-for-brains Travis Bickle impersonation he pulls in front of a bathroom mirror as part of his Stuart Smalley daily affirmation exercises, but we’ll stick with “Assy”. If Robert of Niro ever gets out of his Craftmatic®
adjustable bed, puts on his arch-support Dr. Scholl’s grandpa loafers, and kicks Minor-Ass-Itch’s teeth down his throat, Assy would be a lucky man.
The fucker sweats like Bill Clinton watching a “Mama” Cass Elliot performance too.
Assy and Douchey’s journey starts with an interrogation scene, where Assy spends 5 minutes telling the guy (who I remember (painfully enough) from Ankle Biters) how much he’s going to hurt him, then spends 5 more minutes standing with his back blocking the camera as he pretends to pummel the guy. This is followed by another “beating” scene, as Assy throttles another redneck incest case in what looks like my grandma’s bedroom, only with a handful of Chopper movie posters strung up in an effort to balance out the flowery bedspread and dresser. Maybe Eric Bana can sue somebody over this for, like, retroactive defamation? Somebody get one of those TV lawyers with nicknames like “The Hammer” or “Thunder Dick” on the phone!
After packing a handful of dead hillbillies into their trunk and commandeering Mony Tontana’s “drugs” (the army zombie fruit punch), Assy, his extra sweat gland and Douchey stop over to start trouble in South Carolina. They clash with the local Sheriff at a Greasy Spoon, their ride gets impounded and before you can say “Wait, is this a Redneck Zombies sequel?!”, the dead rise from Assy’s trunk and we finally get some of the titular zombies…45 minutes into this exercise in cruel and unusual punishment. This is turning into the spiritual successor to Zombie ’90 and I am officially in my own personal b-movie Hell. There’s no other explanation for what I’m going through! And there’s still an hour left to it! ARGH!
When Assy and Douche start up with all this bullshit about the living dead, both their fake-Cuban and fake-Italian bosses decide the two duo are on drugs themselves and both send some more men into South Carolina to find ’em. Meanwhile, Assy continues to run around making stupid sound effects and trying his damnedest to be a toned down Robin Williams. The blast sound effects of his shotgun sound like an actual shotgun half of the time and somebody breaking a rack of billiard balls the other half, while one of the zombies sounds like Chewbacca passing a kidney stone. Not in that berserker freak out way, but in that, “This is what it sounds like when wookies cry” way. And you can’t even call him a pussy for it, because Chewbacca or not, passing a stone will make skinned knee little girls out of the most biggest balled of the he-est of he-men.
Oh, and to prove that Ankle Biters wasn’t the end of his Blade ripping offing, Minor-Ass-Itch makes it a point to include a scene where Assy has to kill his older, father-figure type partner after Douchey is bitten by a zombie. Remind you of something? Yeah, he did the same fucking scene in Ankle Biters, only his partner was a midget. To further show off his Blade theft, Assy starts killing the zombies by injecting them with more of the military grade Hi-C Zombie Cooler, thus overloading them into oblivion. To put his own hillbilly spin on it though, he makes sure that each ghoul’s death is succeeded with a voiding of their bowels. I guess that was one of the requirements to warrant the movie’s DVD distribution through Troma.
In an effort to win back the audience that he never had in the first place, Minor-Ass-Itch attempts enticing us with some zombie chainsaw violence. Unlike Zombie ’90, which at least got the chainsaw gore kinda right, Assy manages to fuck this up too! We’re slapped in the eyeballs with close up shots of himself getting fake blood tossed onto his face while all of the actual chainsaw shit happens off camera! Either the guy’s an egomaniac for stuffing close-ups of his big dumb face into EVERY scene, or he realizes the special effects are just that damn shitty and showing them on screen would be cinematic suicide. Well, a more painful cinematic suicide anyway. Like opting for a bullet to the brain instead of slicing open his stomach in a den of starving hyenas.
As a quick aside for all of the wrestling fans out there, if you close your eyes while watching this movie (something I did many times), you’d swear that Minor-Ass-Itch sounds exactly like Jim Cornette when he’s talking. From the accent to the way he yells and talks down to people, it conjures up images in the mind of Big Jimmy C running around in his glasses goofy jacket, face swollen and manic as he’s whacking the undead upside the head with his trusty old tennis racket. Does he even carry the tennis racket around these days?
Every scene lasts twice as long as it should, and that’s taking into consideration whether anything from this fucking movie deserved to be shot in the first place. The dialogue seems like it’s made up entirely on the spot by a cast of people who have never done improv acting in their life. When Minor-Ass-Itch put himself down for a writing credit, I’m guessing it was because he wrote the general plot down on a square of toiler paper while pitching his morning loaf, because I don’t think any of these lines were so much “written”. The cast was apparently given the gist of what they were supposed to convey in each scene right before shooting and allowed to mumble their way to the finish line. Speaking of shooting, is it too much to ask for a Brandon Lee moment or two here? Couldn’t Minor-Ass-Itch just get shot in the face, die and leave the collection of dingleberries that he calls a filmography as it is? You don’t need a big budget and high class actors to make a fun zombie flick, butWiseguys Vs. Zombies is definitely ten times more irritating than it is entertaining. What the fuck is Mr. Director’s fascination with frequently shooting ceiling fans? Were the profits from Ankle Biters so good to him that he can finally afford ceiling fans in his house and he wants to show them off to everybody to prove that he’s “made it”?! Even the references to Assy’s scratchy nut sack and a radio song about licking testicles (the closest things to partially funny running gags we can come up with) lose their humor half-life almost instantly from overuse. And what’s with the fucking yappy dog whining off-camera for half of the outdoors scenes?! Were they all shot in somebody’s backyard and nobody had the balls to tell the neighbors to put their fucking mutt inside for 20 minutes?! Osiris damn it do I have a raging hard-on to napalm South Carolina right now!
Xtro: Every time I read one of these old reviews, I feel they’re going to be used as evidence in a murder trial against me in the (near) future. They’re so angry and violent and disjointed. If I tried to print them out, I’m pretty sure they’d come out looking like a kidnapping note made of letters cut from magazines. I wonder if I’ve become less of a psycho in the years since, or just a more refined lunatic. Does it really matter?
By the many arms of Vishnu, Wiseguys Vs. Zombies is without a doubt one of the shittiest movies I’ve ever been tied to a chair and forced to sit though. This is the Casino Royale torture scene of zombie flicks. I tried begging my tormenters to just shove rusty barbed wire under my toenails and stuff sandpaper under my eyelids, only to realize I’d strapped myself to the chair in the first place and there was nobody else there to turn the TV off, no matter how much I screamed and pleaded. My only hope was that, if I shed enough tears from my impotent rage, I’d lose consciousness from dehydration.
The cinematography is abysmal. It looks like the movie was shot on Minarovich’s off-brand cell phone camera by Shannen Doherty’s even more ocularly lopsided brother who keeps accidentally hitting the fucking zoom function! The editing drills holes in your brain too, as most scenes are just haphazardly Frankensteined mash cuts of amateur hour ad-libbing (the dialog of which sounds like it was recorded via microphones clenched in the actors’ buttcracks), and then it’s all overladen with generic rock music performed by the cheapest band of middle-aged never-weres the local dive bar could drum up on a Tuesday night. It’s a concentration camp of bad movie making – all of it’s terrible and everyone suffers.
The only one who looks like he’s having any fun in Ass-Itch himself, but that’s probably because he’s the guy in charge and got to say/do whatever inane garbage he wanted to. His improvised performance makes even the worst scenes of The Blair Witch Project look like an alumni reunion of The Upright Citizens Brigade. The aplomb with which Assy jumps around shouting and frolicking like a little kid on Pixy Stix is almost admirable. But when you realize he’s also the one heading the production, the entire feature feel like it was just a few more bad decisions away from becoming a Manson Family murder scene.
I don’t even know if that was a valid point. I’m on the verge of drooling into a cup the longer I have to think about this swirling cauldron of pig vomit. My brain cells are all writing out their suicide notes as I type this. I need to wrap this up before they get into their tiny nooses and kick their tiny chairs out from under their tiny selves. Fuck your crabs-infested balls, Ass-Itch.
Moral of the Story: It doesn’t matter where you live or what your race is, everybody on the East Coast has a stupid hillbilly-ass Southern accent.
A movie whose budget was so low, they couldn’t even afford punctuation for their back story cards.
That name puts the “moron” in “oxymoron”.
Look at those clouds! Even Thor, the god of thunder, didn’t want this movie made!
They burned their only copy of the script for this shot. Well, at least that explains all of the lines sounding off-hand!
“I’m tellin’ ya Curly, I can shoot this zit off your ear you won’t even feel a thing! Your ears might not work for a few days, but other than that you’ll be fine!”
By which they mean, “Some backwater bumblefuck in South Carolina”.
You can Lady Macbeth it all you want, Minarovich. You’ll never wash the stain of this shit from your hands.
When their tripod broke, what was Mr. Director’s MacGyverian answer? “Just lean it against that dog turd on the sidewalk. It’ll look ‘edgy’!”
Sunday, Monday, Happy Days! Tuesday, Wednesday…. what? I know it’s not the Fonz. I fell asleep watching Nick at Nite (in 1997) and now I’ve just got that damn theme song stuck in my head.
I can’t tell if this is supposed to be one of those Evil Dead – The Hills Have Eyes – Jaws movie poster gags, or if they’re just using the Chopper poster to cover up the giant hole somebody punched in the wall when they saw their girlfriend Debbie reveal she was a man on a rerun of Jerry Springer… from 10 years ago.
That’s funny, because the last time I was there I was chased out by a bunch of guys wearing bedsheets and carrying torches.
The Big Boss Man!
Clorox – just because you’re a zombie doesn’t mean you can’t get your whites their whitest!… I’m sure there’s another Klan joke in there somewhere too.
Someone probably should’ve told Roy that the term “shit eating grin” isn’t meant to be taken literally.
“Listen to Zombie Bob and the Blart during ‘The Morning Monkey House’, here on WROG 102.9 FM! Turn it up and tear the knob off! Then, shove the knob up your ass and jump into a burning building! Faaaaaaaaart Soooooouuuuuunds!”
Anubis will return next time in
“Kill Kill Bang Bang”
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