Directed by Todd Sheets
Cast: Abe Dyer, Curtis Spencer, Blake Washer, Jolene Durrill, Jen Davis
Disc Extras: Commentaries featuring Director Todd Sheets / Extensive Behind-The-Scenes Documentaries / Early Gory Short Films by Todd Sheets / Camp Motion Pictures Trailer Vault
Before I say a single word of criticism about the Zombie Bloodbath Trilogy, I have a little confession to make. I was a background zombie extra in part three. Imagine finding a call for zombie extras in your local newspaper, and being an impressionable high school sophomore horror fanatic like myself, I just had to show up. Todd Sheets was shooting certain scenes of his movie at a local paintball cave. All I had to do was be okay with having wet flour spread on my face and corn syrupy blood dripped on me. Hell yes! I wasn’t paid, though knowing part three was made for a measly two grand, I’m sure nobody got paid. Okay, now that I have this confession out of the way, I promise there’s no bias as far as my review goes.
It’s best to watch the trilogy in reverse if you want the best viewing results. So I’ll start with Zombie Bloodbath 3 (Zombie Armageddon). Redundant title, right? Each movie really has nothing to do with each other, except for zombies, so the story won’t confuse you if you watch the films out of sequence. Imagine the military launching a “space dumpster” into outer space and having it hit a wormhole. After that wormhole transfer, the dumpster full of zombies crashes into the basement of a high school, where members of the high school paper investigate. Add two popular action heroes visiting the school, and an overbearing, pervert teacher, who’s in charge of a group of misfit teenagers during detention, and you’ve got yourself a ripe premise for fun. Also add really terrible dialogue and enough F-bombs to rival any Def Comedy Jam comedy special, and it’s a hilarious good time bad movie style. Don’t forget that heavy metal soundtrack that’s poorly recorded. Without getting too picky just yet, it takes real perspective on shot-on-video horror to understand why this movie really isn’t that bad.
Zombie Bloodbath 2 (Rage of the Undead) has some serious dark atmosphere going for it. College kids interrupt a killing on a farm, the dead come back to life, many who are happening to be wearing flannels and heavy metal t-shirts, and the outbreak spreads. With part two, you get a better world-wide perspective of the undead taking over the world. This film presents itself with a lot less humor than part three and goes right for dark and grimy. If it weren’t for part three having a better flow from scene-to-scene, I’d say this one was the best of the trilogy, all things considered. I’ll get to that, don’t worry.
Zombie Bloodbath is flat out headache inducing. I won’t jerk you around and say crap isn’t crap. The beginning sequence of a chemical spill is so funny because it’s so bad, but the rest is repetitive zombie action (fake guts put over people’s stomach as zombies pick at them for way too long), and when the main characters are holed up in a house, it gets tedious to the point even shot-on-video fans will run screaming for the hills. That’s just being honest. This one sucks, except for the first five minutes. Enough said.
Take all three movies and any shot-on-video fan should be crapping themselves in excitement. When I first purchased part three and received my shitty VHS copy, I watched it several times to try and find myself (zombified, of course) in the background of certain scenes, but when I actually took in the experience, I thought the movie was utter shit. Granted, this was before I’d seen a single shot-on-video horror film, period. Now that I’ve seen many of these flicks, I can say Todd Sheets really holds up against the genre catalogue of shot-on-video fright fare. That’s not to say Sheets isn’t inept as a filmmaker and storyteller and that his actors are only buddies who’d do his movie for free. His films are low-budget as fuck, and the audio for his movies are cruddy. Imagine homegrown porno territory, maybe worse. So let’s be clear. If you don’t like shot-on-video, which means family video looking movies, then absolutely stay way. The Zombie Bloodbath Trilogy won’t change your mind on the quality of this genre movement. If you’re all for crawling deep into the sewer for your next horror fix, this might not be a waste of your time.
Camp Motion Pictures offers up a nice set of bonus features where you get to know Todd Sheets and his “method” of moviemaking. Add some early short films which you’ll probably want to avoid and commentaries from those who helped Sheets bring his vision to fruition, and this triple feature proves itself to be a solid release. So if you’re curious, and love shot-on-video, then this triple feature is worth your time. If not, then do yourself a favor and watch something with a budget.