Friday, October 24, 2008

31 DAYS OF FRIGHT: Never Buy Pot from a Guy Named Mussolini

The sports world has been abuzz lately with news of Tom Brady's multiple knee surgeries, infections and talk of a persistent "septic joint". Having seen what happens to the kids who partake of a "septic joint" in the 80s horror-comedy I WAS A TEENAGE ZOMBIE, I sure hope somebody is keeping a close eye on The Golden Boy.

Made on an extremely low budget by Troma sound operator John Elias Michalakis, TEENAGE ZOMBIE addresses the burning question of what happens when a bunch of swingin teens buy some pot from an unscrupulous drug dealer named Mussolini.

The toxic weed sends them back for some satisfaction, but when Mussolini won't return their dough the angry dopers beat him to death and toss his body into the river. A recently radioactived river. And, as we all know from years of horror film viewing, dead villain + radioactivity = super zombie.

When Dan the doper is killed during a fight with the zombie pot dealer, his buddies get the bright idea to reanimate him in an effort to thwart Mussolini. Add in a love story, a great title track from NY garage legends The Fleshtones and some Pythonesque gore effects and you'd think I WAS A TEENAGE ZOMBIE would be a sure-fire cult horror comedy in the vein of say THE TOXIC AVENGER (which Michalakis worked on) or CLASS OF NUKE 'EM HIGH.

Troma-worthy title aside, TEENAGE ZOMBIE feels it was made in an attempt to get a directorial gig with Troma and even name drops studio head Lloyd Kaufman during one of its gags. Amateurish performances and cheesy gore effects do little to elevate this overambitious home movie to the ranks of flicks like BLOODSUCKING FREAKS, NIGHT OF THE CREEPS and APRIL FOOLS DAY, all of which successfully juggled the yuks with the yucks.

Do yourself a favor and track down the out of print soundtrack featuring the aforementioned Fleshtones plus Alex Chilton, Smithereens, Ben Vaughn Combo and other 80s college rock stalwarts. It's way better than the movie, which allegedly sent director Michalakis into life as a monk!

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