Netflix Mining – Mutant Vampire Zombies from the Hood

Posted in movies by - January 19, 2012

IMDB lists the director’s name as ‘Thunder Levin’. That may be the most awesome director credit I’ve ever read. I mean, how can you be less than awesome with a name like Thunder Levin?

‘Mutant Vampire Zombies from the Hood’ surprised me, in mostly good ways. I picked it because I liked the title, and I wanted to see what a Mutant Vampire Zombie looked like. (Slight spoiler: turns out they look like zombies. When they start to mutate, they look like bubbly zombies. Vampire is more verb than noun here.) I also noticed that the cast was anchored by the redoubtable C. Thomas Howell.

For my money, C. Thomas is rapidly becoming the affordable Nic Cage. You get all the puzzling acting choices, unsettling tics and daffy voices, without the big salary and wig budget. I see big things in his future. Things, anyway. I see things in his future. The blue-light special Cage lane is all his, at least until Nic Cage becomes the affordable Nic Cage.

The movie is light on plot. Like, gossamer.

A hostage for drugs trade is going down between an unconvincing Asian gang and an equally implausible Black gang. The venue they’ve chosen is a nuclear medicine warehouse with lead-lined walls. You know, as gangsters will do. A pair of policemen are lurking just out of sight, preparing to arrest everyone. Things go amiss, but they’re far more amiss when the survivors exit the warehouse.

A peculiar solar flare has struck the earth. This flare caused everyone in its path to become a classic Romero slow zombie, by altering their DNA. They crave blood instead of brains, and they can only be killed by a headshot. Also, they want to have sex all the time, which is unusual for dead things. So far, solid science.

For the rest of the movie, the cops and the gangsters have to pool resources to survive the zombie apocalypse. Armed only with courage and handguns that never run out of bullets, they set out on a mission that is still opaque to me.

The zombie makeup is clearly a labor of love. There are a thousand touches to tickle the fancy of any gore aficionado – lots of organs, lingering closeups of hideous wounds, even multiple shoutouts to Romero. Thunder Levin knows his genre, and he doesn’t insult our intelligence by pretending he’s not picking its pockets.

The effects are generally strong, although they suffer from ‘Transformers Syndrome’. This is the effect produced when the fight scenes are cut in such a jumpy way that it’s difficult to keep track of the action. Of course, this movie was made for less than the catering budget of ‘Transformers’, so I let some of that slide.

The performances are kinda cheesy, but not significantly more than you’d expect from a cheapo monster flick. The film also doesn’t overstay its welcome, clocking in at just over an hour.

Would I tell you to see it in a theater? Heavens, no. But if you’re looking for something amusing and gross to kill an hour with, you could do worse. I enjoyed it more than I expected to. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for this Thunder Levin character.

This post was written by MisterDee


  • Thunder Levin

    Actually it was 83 minutes. That’s a lot more than an hour. Hey, my new film “American Battleship” is a whole 88 minutes!!!

    • MisterDee

      Maybe it just felt fast – count me in for American Battleship :)

    • MisterDee

      Also, I am in awe of the pipeline you list on your website. I want to see all of it. There really needs to be a pay channel for all this output.

      In summation, you rule.

  • Thunder Levin

    Thank you!

    The title of the new film has been changed to American Warships. It premieres Saturday, 5/19 at 9pm ET on Syfy. DVD/Blu-ray release of a slightly different version is 5/22. Hope you enjoy!

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