Usually I would not do something this bold in life, but there was something about these two guys at Cinema Wasteland this past Saturday that had me intrigued. While walking through the vendor booths at Cinema Wasteland’s Bi-Annual horror convention in Strongsville, Ohio I came across the table of Ray Basham and team. I can’t remember which one of them was talking to me, but all I remember is this guy getting in my face and telling me “this sh$% is not right.” Of course he was referring to the DVD film Hillbilly-Bob Zombie, which he was peddling at the show to unsuspecting customers, brave enough to partake in his zombie journey.
I asked the two men if anyone has ever wrote a review of this film and instantly I was presented with the gift of a brand new Hillbilly-Bob Zombie DVD. Was it my suave appearance, smooth talking jive or the fact that I wore a Why So Blu company shirt? I’m not sure, but I graciously took a copy of the film with a promise to get a quick review up on the site. They were both very grateful and I was happy I could help them out. Despite my ill feelings towards the DVD format I always keep my promise. After all, it’s the Halloween season, and what better way to spend the month of October than watching one horror flick restlessly after another. But this isn’t just any horror flick it’s Hillbilly-Bob Zombie.
I am so used to watching movies having to critique not only the story, but also the production value as well. Going into the viewing of this local Ohio production I promised myself for once I would not question any of the production qualities, or lack thereof. It was hard to do so initially, but once I got used to the stereo audio (darn…I just broke a promise) and the fact that no matter how hard I tried I could not get my wife to watch it (although I did see her peak at the screen more than a few times) I viewed it for what it was, a mishap tale of unlucky hillbilly zombies. What a formula for a movie script! But wait, it only gets better. And OK…I have to go back on my word. Even though it lacked surround sound audio and proper microphone pickup at times, I was pretty impressed by the quality of the video. It’s definitely not Blu-ray, but it’s better than some studio DVDs I have come across in my past.
So you are probably wondering what Hillbilly-Bob Zombie is all about? So was I. That’s why I subjected myself to this horror spoof. The film tells the tale of a father and son whom one day while driving home spot a barrel floating in a stream. The father, always thinking on his feet, has a use for this barrel and asks his son to fetch it for him. Fortunately the hillbillies pay no attention to the hazardous radioactive waste symbol as they pour the yellow chemicals out into the stream or whatever body of water they were in. I use the term fortunately because if they had paid attention and knew what the symbol on the barrel meant then we probably would not have a zombie movie to discuss. Nah. Who am I kidding? They would have taken the barrel regardless. You see this barrel possessed vessel-like (more so keg-like) qualities in which the father could harness up and hold a batch of his latest moonshine to make some quick cash amongst his hillbilly friends. Little did they know what danger was lurking in their fortune the following day.
I think you can see where I am going here. There just happens to be something in that moonshine and polluted water (now whatever could that be) which is causing a hillbilly zombie outbreak amongst the population. Eventually chaos consumes the cast as we are treated to an onslaught of feeding frenzies on the big screen. Well I guess that really depends on how big of screen you are watching it on. Anyway, the movie goes the route of your typical zombie invasion where the infected prey upon the flesh of the uninfected inhabitants. It’s just like that zombie T-shirt slogan, “Eat fresh.”
I know you are wondering what is so different about this zombie spoof movie. What is so offensive that the guy initially told me “this sh$% is not right?” Well I could go on and on and count the number of ways I think someone watching this could be easily offended or turned-off by the brash hillbilly humor, but c’mon, you are smarter than that. You know where I am going here. For me it probably was the fact that they kept applying hillbilly references towards one of my favorite large retail stores. Yep. You guessed it! Wal-Mart! And maybe it was that one bedroom scene between the daughter, son and father that did me in. I’m not sure where exactly I was in the movie when I realized what the upfront connotations were behind that man’s words to me at the convention table, but he was right. Hillbilly-Bob Zombie easily offends and it’s definitely an acquired taste in my opinion. If you are a fan of hillbilly zombie spoofs ( a new genre of film I just invented now) then by all means tackle this one while it’s still in it’s first pressing. I don’t see how you could go wrong. If you are a stickler for production values, then you already know my answer. But if you want to be a sincere and kind citizen of the lovely state of Ohio and support local filmmakers this holiday season then head on over to www.raybasham.com and inquire how you can obtain your very own copy. Just don’t forget. You have been warned. I’m not legally responsible for your after viewing condition or zombie-like state. This concludes our Cinema Wasteland coverage.