• RELEASE DATE: Available on Blu-ray January 19th
• WRITTEN BY: Stephen Volk, Dan Greenburg, William Friedkin
• DIRECTED BY: William Friedkin
• STARRING: Jenny Seagrove, Dwier Brown, Carey Lowell
Ah, 90s horror, you’ve gone and done it to me again! What might “it” be, you ask? Why, make ol’ XIII sound just like a broken record as I utter the phrase “I know I saw this film in the 90s, but I don’t remember a single F’n minute of it!” Let’s see what a rewatch will shake loose from the ol’ memory tree.
THE GUARDIAN is the story of a young couple who hire a live-in babysitter to tend to their infant son. Can you imagine if that was it? Like they just marketed it as a horror film, but all that happens is diaper changes and colic? Anyway, that of course isn’t all that happens, because there is something really wrong with that babysitter; namely, she has a pack of coyotes at her command, she can summon trees to kill at her bidding, and she just chucks formula away (I mean, that shizz is expensive yo! You have to be evil to just throw money away like that!).
Playing a bit like an adult fairy tale (just to hammer those connotations home, the flick opens with a kid reading Hansel and Gretel), THE GUARDIAN is a pretty entertaining watch. It features some decent suspense and a fair amount of gore, along with some truly (unintentionally) hilarious bits—namely that rubber killer tree and some really over the top, sweaty rapists whose ranks include a dude doing his best Raven Shaddock and another guy that looks like Cam Pipes from 3 Inches of Blood. Good times, good times!
Another element that works both for and against this film is the era in which it was made. While the fashions and hairstyles (especially the wife’s tucked back asymmetrical bob she’s a-rockin’) are ultra-super dated and scream late 80s, you simply won’t get this level of un-CG effects work anymore. While I mentioned the tree’s rubber appearance, I’d take that any day over weightless computer generated nonsense. This is not to mention the practical wounds, gallons of blood, dismemberments, and real coyotes stalkin’ around.
But all of that aside, I have to address the elephant in the room that all fright fans will surely be askin’: since this is die-rected by William Friedkin (the maestro behind THE EXORCIST, if ya don’t know), does it measure up to his past efforts in the horror biz? Well, its super fun, and a ton of work was put into it to make it something unique (fully detailed in the copious interviews included on the Blu-ray), but I doubt anyone would call it an all-time monsterpiece like Big E.
• RELEASE DATE: Head here for updates on where you can see the film!
• WRITTEN BY: Michelle Ammons, Natalie Curfman, Patrick Dailey, Madeline DeCourcey, Jera Sky, Brandon Weaver
• DIRECTED BY: Jera Sky, Brandon Weaver
• STARRING: Jera Sky, Brandon Weaver, Natalie Curfman, Madeline DeCourcey, Patrick Dailey, Michelle Ammons
The horror-comedy genre is hotter than the Devil’s arse right now with award winning larf-fests like WOLFCOP and WHAT WE DO IN SHADOWS bringing the giggles n’ gore in equal measure. For the most part these releases have been firmly in the independent feature zone (just one quick turn of Interstate I-90), and the film I’m taking a look at next, ZOMBIE COP, is no exception. So, let’s strap on our laugh revolver (that makes zero sense… if ya got somethin’ better just insert that here) and go on patrol to find if this thing brings the laughs and lacerations!
ZOMBIE COP tells the tale of a SWAT unit comprised of one living dude and one not-so-living gal that are called in to investigate a domestic disturbance involving a lesbian couple… and the threat of a cut-off boob. The SWAT team just so happens to be the subject of a film crew, so we get to experience the action via fly-on-the-wall documentary film making and testimonials (which, incidentally, I found to be the most hilarious material in the flick) from all involved.
The strength of ZOMBIE COP comes from the excellence of its small ensemble cast. All involved are both likable and—more importantly in a flick like this—funny! The SWAT team (who have excellent chemistry together) manage to make the situation completely worse with their nonsense; the film crew, always at odds with the titular Zombie Cop, offer ludicrous color commentary; and the couple themselves go way in depth on the oddities of Canadian boobs. As you can surmise, everything from the concept to the execution of this flick is simply ridiculous in the best possible way.
If there are any negatives to be found it’s that the film has a super brief runtime (just under an hour… I wanted more, dammit!), and if you are a gore-hound comin’ into this to see arterial spray and munched guts, you are going to be disappointed as this is a (mostly) one-room comedy with only the fact that it contains a zombie tying it to horror (minus one brief scene that contains a splash of the good ol’ red sauce).
If a quick watch with plenty o’ laughs is what you hunger for, I urge you to slap your putrid peepers on ZOMBIE COP!
What? Morning all ready? F that noise, creeps! I’m closin’ the lid on this one… but before I do, oh, HELL YESSSSS!!! to this:
Until next time; stay spooky!