Monday, October 6, 2008


Waaaaay back in the early weeks of this project (i.e. I'm too lazy to scroll back and figure out exactly when) I skewered a rotten piece of shot-on-video tripe called ZOMBIES GONE WILD. Look it up, if you haven't read it, it's one of the most virulent reviews I've ever written, and was it ever deserved; almost at the end of this blog it's still one of the worst movies I've ever seen, zombie or otherwise.

I mention this only because the Cohen Brothers (yes, you read that correctly) have returned with another shot-on-tape zombie flick called MOTOCROSS ZOMBIES FROM HELL, and while this 2007 production is better than WILD it's far from watchable. Director "G.R.", whoever he may be, learned a thing or two about the technical aspects of film-making since making WILD; maybe in 2010 he'll be able to tell a decent story.

MOTOCROSS is about, duh, a motocross racer, his mechanic/best pal, and their feisty gal pal (there's actually a love triangle introduced at the beginning, as the girl switches affections from one to the other, a "conflict" that smooths over remarkably well) who head out to the desert for an important weekend race. Unbeknownst to them, an unbeatable team is gearing up for the race as well, a team invincible because they're zombies (from hell--remember the title?). It's going to be a long weekend as our heroes must race not for a title or trophy, but their very souls. (Sorry about the overwrought description, it's very late and I'm typing like a madman.)

MOTOCROSS almost plays like a two-wheeled version of DUEL, as the zombie racers remain hidden behind helmets throughout their chase, though it certainly lacks the tension or craftsmanship of Spielberg's film. The desert pursuit eventually gives way to yet another NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD-inspired trapped-in-a-house finale, ruining the one thing that set this turkey apart.

The film's shot competently enough, although it's got the production values of a local car-dealership commercial that give it an unusually fake-looking veneer. The acting's not too bad, but the screenplay is saddled with "realistic" dialogue that stops the movie cold. (Dialogue in a film does not need to sound exactly like genuine conversation to be realistic; it's a plot device, so when one character conveys information to another, we don't need them to repeat to anyone else.) Further bogging down the picture are overly-strained conversations and far too much attention devoted to motocross minutiae (though racing enthusiasts might not mind), and the horror elements are too cheesy to be scary.

Like a lot of SOV flicks, MOTOCROSS ZOMBIES FROM HELL remains ignorant on the maintenance of suspense or plot-momentum, though it spares us a showcase for the filmmakers' egos. Perhaps beneficial to would-be directors as an example of what not to do, it's a lame-brained bore that's as dry and boring as the landscape it's set in.

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