With a name like Bong of the Living Dead, I didn’t anticipate there would be much more than stoner slapstick to the horror-comedy score, but yet, quite thankfully, this indie film delivered so much more.
Whilst the feature gets off to a pretty slow start, a midpoint twist really puts it in a league of its own in terms of ingenuity. I’m not sure if the acting is ironically terrible to add to the whole B-Movie vibe but sadly that played a significant part in my inability to connect with the actors. I especially didn’t buy into any of the character relationships, perhaps due to the fact the characters weren’t rounded. If anything, they’re just stereotypical stoners. The portrayal of such apathetic characters did nothing to improve the cliché image that stoners are constantly put up against but I’m pretty certain that during a zombie apocalypse the lack of weed would probably be a major concern for many. So, with that in mind, maybe writer/director Max Groah, alongside co-writer Tim Mayo, hit the nail on the head with their screenplay.
Bong of the Living Dead follows the time-old-tale of fantasies never quite turning out the way we expect. But rather than watching a Hollywood starlet not quite making it into the hall of fame, the plot tracks a group of friends who have had a life-long zombie apocalypse fantasy about having to deal with the undead in real life and that the apocalypse isn’t all its cracked up to be as it’s politicised by the government, TV presenters remain as annoying as ever and they didn’t quite anticipate life without their favourite cereal.
Sadly, one-liners and poorly set-up lines failed to invoked much laughter from me, the film may have got a few laughs from people that aren’t part of a cannabis culture themselves but as a 420 fan, I can’t say that Bong of the Living Dead was my cup of tea. The cartoonish approach of the actors won no favours, especially when they attempted to create big emotional moments towards the end of the film. It just didn’t work, if anything it was a little awkward.
When you put the film up against other Black Comedy zombie apocalypse films, it doesn’t quite compare. Then again, will anything ever be better than Shaun of the Dead? Probably not, but my standards are inexplicably high. Yet, despite all this, and as far as B-Movies go, the production is spot on and the soundtrack throws in a few gems.
Fancy giving Bong of the Living Dead a try yourself? Pre-order by clicking here, for 9 October release, of a Special Collectors Edition with Scream Team Releasing.