Zombie Nosh (Flesheater) (1994)
90 min. Color
With Bill Hinzman, John Mowod, and Leslie Ann Wick
Directed by Bill Hinzman
Rating: 1/2 of *****
A group of college kids go on a hay ride to an isolated wooded area for a Halloween Day get together. Nearby, but unbeknownst to them, a farmer has found a murderers grave (complete with a strange inscription). To his suprise, the murderer (Hinzman) inside is still alive (gasp). After killing the farmer the flesheater goes on a rampage, creating more and more zombies until the countryside is infested with hordes of inept walking dead.
Oh my fucking GOD does this film suck. Though Hinzman was both an assistant cameraman for Romero and the cemetary zombie in Night of the Living Dead, he can't live up to the challenge, apparently, of making an even mediocre zombie film on his own. This film is utter garbage. It has no redeeming qualities. But before you judge me to harshly for my harshness, lets delve a little deeper into the workings of this atrocity.
First off, the direction and editing. This was a chore handled mostly by Hinzman himself. To put it bluntly, the direction and editing are horrible. The camera angles, motions, and lack thereof of both in most scenes, don't allow for there to be any build up of suspense, much less horror. In fact, the one snippet of film from this entire travesty that is ALMOST artistically rendered lasts about half of a second. I'll leave you to determine what that snippet is. While the acting sure doesn't help as far as the editing goes, a better hand with the cutter could have helped this film be a little less cumbersome and a lot more bearable for all. But the blame does not fall on Hinzman entirely.
The acting is truely the biggest flaw of this film. While I sure as hell wasn't expecting oscar worthy portrayals of middle class kids caught in a tragedy that they can't even begin to understand, I was expecting something above the level of a standard George Bush presidential address. Much like our dear friend in the White House, these actors can't recite lines worth shit. The fact that most of the lines aren't worth shit to begin with doesn't help, but we'll get to that in another moment. The acting is either dull, or, well, that about covers it. Overacting never really applies here since none of the cast ever displays enough of the emotion (or even range of voice) required to do so. The best actor of the film is, without a doubt, Hinzman, who also portrays the only semi-realistic zombie of the entire film.
Onwards to writing. The writing credit for this falls directly to Hinzman and Bill Randolph II. The shear range of emotions inherent in the script itself is utterly mind-boggling in its minuteness. The range of dialogue is basically from "Oh my God" to "Jesus we have to get out of here!" to "Oh my God" again. There's also a wonderful interlude where two survivors hiding in a farmhouse cupboard confess their love for one together. This scene is one of those "Please just fucking shoot me in the ankle or something allready" type scenes. Luckily, some of the bit parts are thinking the same thing. Just as our two, ehem, heroes are exiting the farmhouse they are gunned down by Vince (the same Vince who shot Ben in Night of the Living Dead). Vince seems to be a little hard of hearing these days, however, as the boy in the equation is screaming at the top of his lungs "Don't Shoot!" from about twenty feet away when Vince does him in. Oh well. I don't blame him. I would have shot the two mother fuckers to.
Special effects. What to say. The animation you see at the top of the screen there beside the title for this review is the one technical achievement of this entire film. The rest of the effects are pretty dreary and boring stuff. Hinzman's makeup is the only other, well, decent aspect of the film (he looks exactly as he did in 1968). Most of the attack scenes are of the Italian style, in which the zombie first removes the female victems shirt and whatnot before shoving his hand into her chest or something like that. What we get here are simply poorly staged acts of violence with loads of gratuitous nudity. I find this deplorable in most films (there are a few exceptions... well... one... Nightmare City (1981), and I'm not even sure why I make that an exception) and even more so in this one.
The musical score is a laugh as well. The opening theme actually reminded me of The Fog, which I watched shortly after this piece of trash simply because I needed some decent horror to fulfill my day.
If you're looking for a recommendation, I don't have one, aside from to stay away from this one. If you watch it, shame on you. If you watch it and like it, then you should be comitted.