Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Calling Chris Seaver's 2001 shot-on-video production MULVA: ZOMBIE ASS KICKER! a horror-comedy would be a gross misinterpretation of the term since it operates in its own demented mindframe, a movie so gleefully and relentlessly stupid it borders on the surreal. How stupid is the level of humor, you ask? Well, it makes AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE look like a Shakespearean comedy of errors. (That's a compliment. I think.)

Missy Donatuti stars as the titular Mulva, a fugly, chocolate-addicted uber-geek who's anxious to go trick-or-treating, despite being haunted by a past Halloween trauma (the flashback to Mulva's "trauma" is one of the film's delirious highlights, recalling something out of a KIDS IN THE HALL-induced fever dream). Along with her "morbidly obese" galpal Cassie, played by Callie the Hut (sic), the intentionally-grating Mulva hits the streets of Tromaville (although Lloyd Kaufman makes a quick, and asinine, cameo as the mayor, this has no direct relation to Troma Films) for a big ol' candy haul, unaware that zombies are running rampant through town; perhaps they missed Naked Cowboy's Greek chorus-like warning before they headed out. Not to worry, though, since they've got Bonejack--a crossbreed between Bill Cosby and Don King--to help (played by Seaver in surprisingly non-offensive blackface, though anyone sensitive to his make-up will have bailed long before he makes his appearance, if they bother at all).

Clocking in at just under an hour, MULVA packs more homages and pop-culture references than two full-length flicks (everything from Benny Hill to THE GOONIES, Lucio Fulci to MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 gets a nod), and the abundant, exaggerated gore is enough to spin the Black Knight's head. And while the humor is decidedly of the non-sophisticated variety, it's still a far cry better than the DATE/EPIC/SHITTY MOVIE parodies that've polluted multiplexes of late. What makes me curious is how much of the intentional stupidity is a result of the limitations imposed by DIY filmmaking--"with our microscopic budget, there's no way it can be good, so let's make it really, really dumb!"-- and how much is artistic intent (yes, I used the word artistic, and I'm standing by that). Equally mind-boggling is the number of strong performances Seaver managed to wrangle, especially from Troma stalwarts Debbie Rochon and Trent Haaga, who not only steal their scene but take it to a dark alleyway and do unspeakable things to it.

Make no mistake, this is some fucking stupid, stupid shit, but with the right frame of mind (and perhaps the proper chemical enhancement) MULVA: ZOMBIE ASS KICKER! is easy to enjoy.

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