Monday, October 6, 2008


I'll be perfectly honest with you, I can't tell if ENTER . . . ZOMBIE KING (also known as ZOMBIE BEACH PARTY) is a good movie or not, but I do know that it's a helluva fun little flick. Unlike most micro-budget productions, which try to make the best out of limited resources, ZOMBIE KING uses its financial restrictions to create its own cut-rate style, an aura of retro-kitsch cool that in of itself is worth the price of admission.

Packing an awful lot into 76 minutes, ENTER . . . ZOMBIE KING is somewhat difficult to summarize, but imagine the classic lucha libre films of the '60s mashed into the living dead universe of George Romero (who, incidentally, was originally slated to play the titular king) and you're on the right track. Mexican wrestling superstar and part-time crime-fighter Ulysses (Jules Delorme) sets out to investigate an outbreak of zombies in a sleepy beach community--which inexplicably is experiencing heavy snowfall--suspecting his old cohort Tiki (El Fuego) is behind it, as the latter's been on the wrasslin' circuit with a zombie-grappling act. (And this is only the A-story, folks.) But as Ulysses and his fellow do-gooders Mercedes and the Blue Saint (Jennifer Thom and Raymond Carle) delve deeper, they find the mastermind is much more than a fellow wrestler.

ZOMBIE KING has its share of flaws, such as plot that likes to meander at its own pace and predilection for redundant dialogue, but director Bill Marks compensates with a rollicking second act that features plenty of zombie-wrestling, the quest for justice and revenge, and a bevy of pin-up worthy females, all backed with a groovy surf-rock soundtrack. As I said earlier, the low budget forces concessions upon the filmmakers--such as the climactic battle fought in a local playground--but this adds to the movie's lunacy, giving it a singular feel that will enamor bad-movie fans everywhere. (This is one of those rare examples that capture the spirit of Ed Wood beautifully without getting mired in intentional idiocy.)

ENTER . . . ZOMBIE KING will probably turn away as many viewers as it turns on, but I had a damned good time and I won't hesitate to recommend it. The perfect centerpiece to your retro-themed Halloween party. (Oh, and I can't wait for the sequel, THE CURSE OF THE IRON MASK.)

No comments: