Friday, October 17, 2008


Horror-comedies are the proverbial dime a dozen, and a particularly ubiquitous stripe is the slacker-doofus comedy, which more often than not aims to be as cult-friendly as SHAUN OF THE DEAD or CLERKS, yet never bothers to bring anything new to the table (or is too thoroughly obnoxious to be watchable). The filmmakers behind this 2007 shot-on-video production, Billy Garberina and Richard Griffin, have the same goal in sight, but their feeble execution leaves much to be desired.

Attempting to be a micro-budget version of GHOSTBUSTERS, NECROVILLE stars Garberina and co-writer Adam Jarmon Brown as two likable knuckleheads who can't seem to hold a job. When Garberina's bitch-on-wheels girlfriend (Brandy Bluejacket, who's almost hot enough to get away with being so deplorable) rides him about his employment prospects, as well as her own financial needs, he and his hetero life-mate sign up at Zom-B-Gone, an extermination company of sorts that specializes in the removal of zombies, vampires, and werewolves.

NECROVILLE is good for a couple of chuckles, but the humor is never as clever, perverse, or sharp as it should be. It tries to be "edgy," but usually ends up being juvenile and crass. The leads are likable enough, though Bluejacket's performance is the wrong kind of over-the-top and hard to sit through. Garberina isn't quite as good here as he was in THE STINK OF FLESH (speaking of which, look for that film's star Kurly Tlapoyawa and director Scott Phillips in small roles), but he's got the lovable goofball bit down pat.

Though its inspiration clearly owes a debt to GHOSTBUSTERS, as would any film involving blue-collar fighters of the supernatural, but NECROVILLE follows Ivan Reitman's picture a little too closely, mirroring not only its plot (a vampire uprising unfolds very similar to the way Gozer comes to power) and incidental scenes (a comparable wet-dream gag that doesn't work). It's one thing when a film fails to achieve what it sets out to do, but when it does so while aping another movie it feels like a double waste.

Ultimately I suggest bypassing this one in favor of the aforementioned THE STINK OF FLESH, one of the best zombie flicks in the last few years and an underappreciated little gem.

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