A South African game lodge and reserve is being terrorized by a human/cow created by a mad scientist. It is up to Charlize (Tanya Van Graan) and police officer Vince Chopper (Greg Viljoen) to stop this psychotic hybrid before he turns everyone into ground beef. Who will survive? Who will die? Will you care?
Though billed as a "horror/comedy," MAD COW is short on either. What it is LONG on, however, is laziness. You can tell there was very little effort put into making an entertaining product. The filmmakers seemed content to just slap some shit together and call it a movie in an attempt to gain bragging rights amongst their friends and family. What makes this irritating is that MAD COW's story has the potential to deliver a zany B-movie chock full of cheesy goodness and glorious gore.
The trouble begins when we look at the box art. The box art depicts a cow's head with an angry expression on top of a man's body and he/it is holding a legit chainsaw. Looks pretty good actually, like a human/cow hybrid would – and as the description STATES it is. But the actual product? A shitty-looking cow's head worn by someone in what appears to be footie pajamas made to look like a cow's body. And the chainsaw looks like a kid's toy. This is NOT a human/cow hybrid: THIS is a cow that walks upright and uses a chainsaw. It may sound like nitpicking but it's indicative of the amount of effort and thought – or, rather, lack thereof – that went into making MAD COW.
But no matter, perhaps the flick will be saved by some decent gore? Nope. What passes for gore here is little more than ketchup squeezed from a bottle. Right there is proof that we've passed beyond low-budget territory into the territory of pure laziness. We don't even get half-assed attempts here - because, once again, that would require effort. When a Jess Franco cannibal flick has more effort put into it, you KNOW a movie is cow shit.
But maybe the comedy will be a saving grace? While there ARE some funny moments in MAD COW (largely thanks to Greg Viljoen, the only actor here who has a clue), it's mostly dull. Playing with audience expectations, the bulk of MAD COW's humor style, can be funny if done well. In MAD COW, most of it isn't and just comes off as a joke.
BUT. All is not lost as we DO get a bit of nudity – and a funny scene involving pubic hair to go along with it. But the movie goes back to sucking right after that.
MAD COW is a typical dollar store production with the added detriment of brain-dead laziness. And it's mostly boring, as my checking the remaining runtime numerous times will attest to. Sure, you'll laugh a couple of times but it's not worth sitting through this cow pie for those few moments. Not even booze could improve this flick. In short, MAD COW is udder rubbish.
The DVD extras include a Making-Of featurette (pointless), a trailer, a mock commercial on factory farming, and some Tromatic extras. – Evan Romero
Evan Romero is a regular contributor to the pages of ER and spends much of his time reading morally questionable books and watching movies no sane person would touch. He is the vocalist/bassist for the punk band Porno Holocaust (you can find them on Facebook and listen to some demos if you’re inclined). You can read more of his reviews at ReelAtrocities.com or at PopHorror.com. He last wrote about CLASS OF NUKE 'EM HIGH 2 for Troma Tuesday.
MAD COW is available from Amazon.