Mutant Vampire Zombies from the 'Hood
Written by George Saunders and Thunder Levin
Directed by Thunder Levin
David...C. Thomas Howell
Latiifa...Rachel Montez Collins
A pair of Los Angeles detectives staking out a warehouse move in for the bust when two rival street gangs converge for a tense exchange of hostage-for-drugs. Things go sour when the cocaine turns out to be powder sugar, and as the bullets begin flying an astronomical anomaly in the form of a solar flare presents itself, causing everyone to fall unconscious for a good, solid cat nap.
When they wake up the next morning, the world has inexplicably changed. For starters, vehicles no longer function. Not to mention the streets are all but deserted. But the real kicker? Over night, the majority of L.A.'s population (and presumably the population of the world) has been transformed into members of the shambling undead, hungry for flesh...and horny for ass.
That's right, these zombies don't just want to eat you. They desperately want to get their rocks off, as well.
The prerequisite ragtag group of survivors, including members of G-Dog's African-American gang, members of Dragon's Asian-American gang, Caucasian officer David, and old Hispanic man Jorge, have to get past their differences and work together to make their way across the city to a safehouse where their prospects of making it out of the city alive promise to increase ten-fold.
It calls to minds the immortal words of Rodney King: "Can't we all just get along...and kill some fucking zombies?"
This is obviously a low-budget production, so the special effects are passable but aren't about to win any awards. The script gets a little weak in some areas (especially in the instances when the filmmakers seem to think that the terms 'vampire' and 'zombie' are interchangeable), but the acting is relatively strong. The pseudo-science explanations given for the zombie plague surely don't make any sense, but they offered the illusion of logic, and really, that's all that I ask for. The musical score is fitting, and the action keeps things moving at a pretty good clip. Many of the zombie scenes feature a color palette so muted and washed out that they almost appear black and white, which calls to mind Night of the Living Dead...sort of.
Now, you don't go into a film called Mutant Vampire Zombies from the 'Hood expecting classic Romero. You go into it expecting something more along the lines of the painful Zombiez or the equally painful Vampiyaz. And really, that's the major problem here. The title is more than enough to turn off all but the most rabid of fans, and it suggests a hokeyness that isn't actually present in the film. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and it doesn't make a mockery of itself. It actually walks that dangerous line quite well. It's content with what it is, staying within the parameters of the genre without being merely a rehash of a thousand other low-budget zombie flicks we've already seen.
Ninety minutes ago, if you were to tell me that I was going to say this, I would have called you crazy and/or possibly brain damaged. But...here goes:
My name is Jonny, and I enjoyed Mutant Vampire Zombies from the 'Hood.
Don't judge me!