Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ozone Attack of the Redneck Mutants (1986)

Directed by:
Matt Devlen

A farmer comes down with a nasty cough, starts puking up thick yellow and green gunk and then becomes a pink mutant monster. Could it have something to do with a chemical spill at the friendly neighborhood nuclear power plant? Or maybe it has something to do with the depletion of the ozone layer? Hey, it's been really hot this particular year. Or maybe it's a combination of the two? Regardless, something's been creeping into the water supply and crops and managing to transform the populace of a small farming community into hideous, murderous, mutant creatures. Writer and college environmental science major Arlene Wells (Blue Thompson) has just arrived in the small town of Poolside to investigate the chemical spill and do some environmental research. Tagging along is the extremely annoying and whiny Kevin (Scott Davis), who managed to stow away in the trunk of Arlene's car. His wealthy father works for an oil company and may have something to do with the mutant outbreak. After doing an analysis of a local pond, Arlene is so disturbed by what she discovers, she tries to make an emergency call to the EPA but is interrupted by a mutant attack. Meanwhile, obnoxious redneck Wade McCoy (Brad McCormick), who spends his days trying to get into his girlfriend Sally Mae's (Rhonda Rooney) pants and shooting watermelons and pumpkins with a rifle, answers their CB call and comes to the rescue. They all end up back at his elderly ma's (Janice Williams) house just in time for a picnic. Eventually one of them is turned into a mutant, kills another and then chases the two survivors to a General Store talent contest, where more people are butchered.

During one scene, a farmer strangles his wife, slashes her up with his claws, pulls out her eyeball and eats her face, as hilariously exaggerated amounts of blood fling all over the kitchen. Another women is scalped after a terrible rendition of "16 Tons." There are two mutant attacks on cars, a silly mutated fox attack, a head blown off with a shotgun, a tongue eaten out, a gutting and other bloody gore scenes. The mutant make-up isn't bad and there's the occasional very funny bit, but this movie suffers a lot from post production dubbing and time padding. I'm pretty positive that the dialogue was all dubbed in later. Most of the supporting cast are given comically annoying country fried accents (only some of which are funny) and the Kevin character is given one of the most irritating voice-overs (and dialogue) in memory. Ditto with the Wade character.

This ultra low budget Super 8 production runs an hour and a half, but if you cut out all the boring scenes of people cleaning kitchens, driving, walking around in fields, ironing clothes, cutting up vegetables, getting dressed/putting on make-up, the run time would probably be only half that. Still, it's got that cheap Troma-like vibe going on that's going to appeal to some people out there and some parts (particularly the ones with the farm couple and the old lady) are amusing. A hard movie to track down these days.


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