BONG OF THE DEAD (2011)
Written and directed by Thomas Newman
Meteorites hurl through the atmosphere and hit planet Earth, releasing a deadly virus that kills and re-animates it’s victims into flesh eating zombies. Soon the entire county is overrun by the undead so the Government cleanse the city of all the zombies and dump them into the ‘danger zone’, a secluded area built to contain them. 6 months later, two stoner friends Tommy and Edwin discover that dehydrated and pulped zombie brains creates a green goo which has super potent, fast-acting fertilising qualities when used on their home-grown cannabis plants in their apartment. Unfortunately they use up their tiny supply and in order to continue to grow this super skunk, they must ventue out into the Danger Zone and procure more zombie brains! Their roadtrip doesn’t go as smoothly as they planned but fellow survivor Leah comes to their rescue and Tommy is only too happy to let her join their crusade for the ultimate high.
Bong of the Dead is a stoner zombie splatterfest comedy that appeals to teenagers and slackers everywhere and to those who enjoy the light hearted side of film. Whilst Bong of the Dead won’t win any awards, it’s a brainless indulgence that kept this viewer entertained for it’s 90+ minute duration. When you think of how director Thomas Newman made this for $5000 and shot, edited, scored, written and directed the film himself, you got to hand it to him. Whilst the script isn’t fantastic, the story is simple and plausable enough to work, engaging the viewer as the best buddies hit the road in the quest for zombie brain green goo.
Tommy the red-haired buffoon is played by Jy Harris, who previously starred in Psych and The Twilight Zone, whilst hippified, spaced-out bearded Edwin is played by Mark Wynn who has starred in such hits as Smallville, Supernatural and Fringe. It’s garage owner, kickass female Leah, who’s played by Simone Bailly, who has the greatest acting credentials out of the three, with long stints in The L Word, Da Vinci’s City Hall and Stargate SG-1. The three characters work well together, with Tommy pining over the confident Leah whilst Edwin attempts to keep him out of trouble despite them both being as high as a kite. The film keeps it light hearted with adequate humour as the two stoners bumble along but the film is at it’s best when mowing down zombies with their hybrid car, not to mention their modified hedge trimmer! Guts splash everywhere and the characters get splattered with zombie entrails. This sort of bloody carnage is exactly what the viewer wants to see. The infected, decaying zombies look good, especially those who care to chew on their loved ones and themselves. A bit of self cannibalism is something you don’t exactly see in the zombie genre and it was a welcome addition to the film.
There’s some pretty decent ideas in this film that could have been explored in more detail, though considering the low budget, director Thomas Newman has made a competent little film.