Original Release Date: August 31, 2009 (U.K.)
Run Time: 85 minutes
Exactly one year ago (of the date this review was initially posted), I reviewed a film from 1964 called “The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies.” In that review, I said the following: “Sometimes you just see a title and know that, for reasons good or bad, you simply HAVE to watch a film.”
Here I am, one full Earth-cycle later, and I find myself in the exact same situation – a movie on Netflix Instant just begged me to watch it based on its title alone. The fact that I had never heard of “Zombie Women of Satan” before should have tipped me off as to what kind of viewing experience I was in for, but what can I say: I’m a sucker for a new adventure and a trip into the unknown. So, I clicked, I watched, and now I’m here to report.
“Zombie Women of Satan” tells the story of an unexpected zombie outbreak (is there any other kind, really?) contained to the Xander family farm. This isn’t your average farm, though, and the Xanders are far from a “normal” family unit: eldest son Tycho runs a wildly popular internet TV show when he’s not drugging and preening a cult-like harem of 30-plus scantily-clad girls; sisters Red and Blue mindlessly carry out Tycho’s commands and help keep order around the electric-fence-enclosed estate; and papa Henry stays in the laboratory to conduct zombie-esque experiments on the group of aforementioned girls while Mother Zander sits chained in the next room and screams “Fuck me!” at random intervals. When the burlesque troop “Flesharama” comes to the farm to appear on Tycho’s show, they get more than they bargained for when the lingerie ladies fall prey to widespread infection and start their hunt.
Shot in England in 2009 with an estimated budget of around $65,000, “ZWoS” easily qualifies as a lower-budget, independent-style film. While the movie was fairly solid in the look and feel of its presentation, the plot is piecemeal at best, and requires extremely generous suspension of disbelief on the part of the viewer for the story’s dots to be at all connected. And I mean this aside from the fact that a harem of half-naked, flesh-hungry hussies is hunting our reluctant heroes. Call me crazy, but when blood-crazed chicks are bouncing around on-screen trying to take a bite out of a perverted knife-throwing clown and a strong-man midget, if my biggest problem is with the logistics of the story line, I’m left seriously questioning the product as a whole.
Let’s shimmy our way into Scores-ville:
G: General Entertainment – There are moments of “ZWoS” that work well, and other moments that just fall absolutely flat. Chalk this up to the superfluous nature of the script coupled with the fact that the vast majority of intended comedic moments are not just British humour, but toilet humor at that. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m a fan of the low-brow comedy just as much as the next guy, and I’m not ashamed to admit, when Zeus the aforementioned dwarf punches a zombie girl in the vagina, I laughed. Hard. But fart and boob jokes alone does not a solid flick make, and the rest of the film’s aspects, particularly plot and believability, bring the overall movie-watching experience down. 5/10
O: Original Content – Not a whole lot to mention here. Zombies in lingerie have been done before, a zombie story with crude humor has been done before, and a rag-tag team of nitwits fighting zombies and somehow surviving (well, some of them, anyhow) has been done before. I can award a few points for the setting and some intriguing aspects of the eldest Xander’s zombie-creating experiments, even if the idea isn’t fleshed out (no pun intended) nearly as well as it should have been. 3/10
R: Realism – While I could buy in to the fact that the off-kilter folks from the burlesque show were designed to act odd from start to finish, the rest of the characters really gave me pause. No reason was ever given how the harem of girls found their way to the Xanders to begin with, or why they all choose to stay – don’t they notice that a new girl goes missing (to be experimented on) every few days? And as a family, albeit an especially dysfunctional one, the Xanders themselves simply don’t make any sense. Not a lot going for the film here, but then again – what did you expect from a movie titled “Zombie Women of Satan?” 3/10
E: Effects and Editing – The physical effects were serviceable, even if the creative team did decide that copious amounts of blood splattered on a girl’s face equaled a passable zombie for them. When things clicked in the movie – mostly when there was random mayhem interspersed with the Flesharama folks doing something unintentionally ridiculous – it’s actually a quite enjoyable experience, but the film’s run time s beefed up with many scenes that are most definitely unneeded. While I enjoyed the visual presentation and sound editing of the film, I felt like a poor tone and low expectations were set right away from the opening credits. In them, Pervo the Clown (yes, that’s actually the name of the character played by none other than the film’s co-director and co-writer, Warren Speed) is “chased” by two zombie girls and listlessly fights off their half-hearted attacks, all while cheesing it up for the camera; it felt a little self-serving on the part of Speed, as I wouldn’t even consider Pervo the main character of the film. 4/10
TOTAL SCORE: 3.75/10
This can be a fun zombie movie to watch, if you know what you’re getting ahead of time – low-brow British humour mixed with fairly copious amounts of boobs and blood – and are in to that kind of thing. Oh, and for the record: the zombies are more the “infected” type than the “traditional” type, which is fine, but I’m sorry to report that Satan is nowhere to be found in the film. Unless you count what may be his maliciously deviant hand guiding you towards putting the film on your TV…
And now, my friends, you know the Score!