Sunday, September 7, 2008


If you've ever found yourself watching bondage porn and thought, This would be better if there were zombies being killed , then the 2008 film JOHNNY SUNSHINE might be just the thing for you. On the other hand, if coherent storytelling is more your speed you'll probably be better off checking elsewhere.

In a "bizzare" future rampant with "necropheliacs" (apparently bad spelling is an aftereffect of the zombie apocalypse) porn star Johnny Sunshine supplements her income as a zombie-killer for hire. And while her violent part-time activities heightens her hardcore profile, to the pleasure of producer Max Maximum, she soon finds herself as part of conspiracy hellbent on starring her in the snuff film to end all snuff films.

The most surprising thing about JOHNNY SUNSHINE is, despite being released by Brain Dead Entertainment, isn't an astonishingly bad pile of goat droppings. Unlike most of the tripe that gets foisted onto the public under this label, it actually has a fair amount of low-fi style. Director Matt Yeager gives SUNSHINE a distinct look, almost like a graphic novel come to life, proving that a paltry budget can still allow a little flair.

But the trade-off (and I've come to find there's always a trade-off when it comes to stylish micro-budgeted films) is SUNSHINE's inert plot. The story never feels as if it's progressing, hampered by an incessant and unnecessary voice-over that directly states what should be conveyed naturally through dialogue. Fetish fans may appreciate the leather-bound trappings, but most viewers will be left bored, wondering why an interesting concept like the zombie porn industry is left unexplored.

Performances are what you'd expect, though actress Shey Bland lives up to her name as the titular character. While I always appreciate a take-charge heroine, Johnny Sunshine's tough exterior is simply eye candy, a substanceless veneer that exists solely for male enjoyment.

As much as I didn't care for JOHNNY SUNSHINE, I really hope this marks a change in Brain Dead's acquisition habits (we've seen more than enough run-from-the-zombies backyard flicks to last a lifetime). It's not a good film, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

No comments: