Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Goremet: Zombie Chef from Hell (1986)

... aka: Gore-met, Zombie Chef from Hell

Directed by:
Don Swan

Blood Feast was the obvious inspiration for this awful, inept Super 8 cannibal gore comedy. In 1386, the evil Goza (Theo Depuay, who also did the makeup) is convicted of treason by "The Holy Order of the Righteous Brotherhood." As punishment, he's given a potion that will decompose his body to the state of the living dead. In order to keep that from happening, he'll be required to consume flesh each and every day for the rest of eternity. 600 years later, Goza is still alive and at it ("I am the curse upon this pitiful, stinking world!") as the owner of Goza's Deli and Beach Club, a restaurant and bar where many people enter and even fewer exit. Goza frequently kills random patrons and then eats them, and he's assisted by his hulking, obedient, blood-drinking head chef Blozor (Michael O'Neill). One would think a guy having to eat human flesh every day would just stock up the freezer with it, but nope. Goza also likes to serve human flesh to his unsuspecting patrons just for kicks. Rumor has it their "slimy slider" is pretty good, but just how's the quality control? Seeing as how the stew is filled with hair and another guy gets a ring in his burger, I'd say nonexistent. A prissy health inspector shows up to close the joint down, only to get silenced by a machete to the mouth. But don't worry, you can get a cold cut sandwich made from his foot.

After Stella (Cindy Castanio) disappears inside, her boyfriend Jerry (Alan Marx) enlists the aid of barfly Tracy (Tina Webster), who works in a meat packing plant and tells every guy who attempts to talk to her "Fuck off, asshole." The two sneak inside the kitchen later that night to investigate, but she's hypnotized and stabs Jerry to death. Goza then sends her out to pick up more meat and she comes back with three hookers who whip off their tops and dance around for about five minutes before getting sliced up with an electric saw. Members of the original Righteous Brotherhood are still around and planning on stopping him, which begs the question: If they don't like what he's doing, why'd they curse him in the first place? And why haven't they done anything about it for six centuries? One of the members, Azog (C.W. Casey), hangs around outside the bar holding a staff with his one free hand (his other was eaten by Goza 600 years ago) trying to warn patrons not to enter the restaurant because it's evil. Another member, Lonezor (assistant director Jeff Baughn), tries to offer Goza a reprieve but ends up getting his heart ripped out instead. Meanwhile, Stella's roommate Missy (Kelley Kunicki) discovers she's actually a "High Priestess" and turns up for the extremely unexciting nail gun / super glue finale.

Oh, how I wanted to enjoy you, Goremet: Zombie Chef from Hell. You're the type of crappy, horribly acted zero budget 80s regional production I usually find pretty amusing. Unfortunately, all of the surefire entertaining elements are executed in such a blasé, self-aware camp fashion that nearly all of the potential fun is stripped away quicker than a deli slicer can cut through a plastic foot. This doesn't take itself too seriously and seems fully aware of how dumb it is, but that still doesn't help matters. The one-liners and gags are lame, there are tons of scenes that seem to go on for an eternity, the continuity is awful and nearly all of the murders take place off-screen. One may also expect some gore based on the title, but aside shots of rubber limbs covered in tomato juice aren't going to be pleasing bloodhounds. Even some "colorful" supporting characters; like a bewigged cop who gets his head punched off, a dwarf short order cook applicant (nyuk, nyuk) and a lifeguard who fronts a jazz band and performs a random musical number ("Down on the Boardwalk"), come off as somewhat flat. Horrible, murky cinematography and lighting don't help matters.

Likely because of its memorable title (and a gory video box from distributor Camp Video), this was one of the more widely-viewed of the homemade horrors of the 1980s made specifically for VHS consumption. It was filmed primarily at Smokey Joe's Cafe in New Hampshire.

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