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Toxic Zombies - DVD - Substance/Telavista Print E-mail
User Rating: / 11
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Friday, 05 October 2012
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Toxic Zombies aka: Bloodeaters DVD Artwork from Substance/Telavista on Severed Cinema

AKA: Bloodeaters, Forest of Fear, Blood Butchers, Crying Fields - Sie wurden zu Bestien der Apokalypse, Il ritorno degli zombie, Mutiert - Vergessen in der Hölle, Ta zombi tou dasous

Directed by:
Charles McCrann
Written by:
Charles McCrann
Produced by:
Charles McCrann, Scott Roberts
Cinematography by:
David Sperling
Editing by:
Charles McCrann, David Sperling
Music by:
Ted Shapiro
Special Effects by:
Craig Harris
Cast:
Charles McCrann, John Amplas, Judith Brown, Beverly Shapiro, Dennis Helfend, Kevin Hanlon
Year:
1980
Country:
USA
Language:
English
Color:
Color
Runtime:
1h 28min

Distributor: Substance/Telavista

I suppose the main selling point for this film is the fact John (Romero’s little baby faced "Martin") Amplas is in the cast.  Well, he doesn’t really get much time in this "Living Dead at The Manchester Morgue" wannabe, but it is fun to watch his shocked expression throughout.  In fact, I can’t recall a scene in the above mentioned "Martin," "Knightriders," or "Day of the Dead" when he sported any other expression.  Great beard in "DOTD" though -- took away that baby look slightly…. only slightly.  When I contacted John about an autographed pic about a year ago, I asked for one from this film, "Toxic Zombies," just to show off really, and he admitted he had none, but plenty of "Martin" and "Day of the Dead" pictures.  Personally, I thought he may have a couple for if he ever gets sick of signing for his most famous films.  Guess not.

Watching this movie again really answers any questions in my head about John’s lack of pics.  Though, it’s a fun little zombie/infected flick, it really is a low down dirty bottom of the zombie wagon whatever thing.  You know how a lot of people rip into "Zombie Creeping Flesh" aka "Hell of the Living Dead?"  Me, I love that film and always have done.  Those critical ‘experts’ should sit and watch this, then follow it with "Raiders of the Living Dead" (Jesus! Remember that?) then consider their words carefully.

We begin with two guys driving along forest roads.  They then stop the car and grab their rifles, stepping out with check shirts looking like two rednecks shooting zombies from "Dawn of the Dead" (“Cause I’m a man, I’m a man”).  Next thing we cut to a nude hippy girl bathing in the forest oblivious to the two blokes who are prowling closer (the music is just plain revolting in this scene) and they shoot her down with one shot, a nifty blast through the neck.  They’re two FBI agents hunting a weed plantation in that region and they’ve found it.  Two hippy dudes jump them, stabbing and cheese-wiring them to death.  They also have check shirts and the added advantage of moustaches.

These two are part of a slacker gang of farmers growing weed deep in the forest and they join the rest of the gang to argue what the next move is.  “We got two million dollars worth of dope in the ground!”  They are all divided, some want to harvest what they can and “split” whilst the others want to stay.  Either way they’ve got two dead agents and a dead girl to deal with.

Meanwhile John Amplas and a colleague are discussing the missing officers.  They decide to have some ‘powder’ loaded into a plane and to crop spray the region in the hopes of killing the plants.  It’s all hush-hush.  They telegram their man in the area, Tom (played by director and writer Charles McCrann) and tell him to stay away due to floods.  That puzzles him.  In the interest of the cheesy film they hire a comedy drunk guy called Jake to spray the region.  The hippies are caught in it and start to fall about throwing up blood.

Two missed the sprays and try to calm their friends who are in a fit of gory over acting.  Somehow Jake is also covered in the stuff so wanders home coughing violently.  The next morning he wakes up with dark eyes and pale skin.  After staring into the mirror he attacks his wife.

Let’s face it, spraying crops in a flesh-eater movie is bad and soon enough the hippies are looking like Jake  all pale and stumbling after their two non-infected friends who are both quickly caught and killed.

Tom takes his girlfriend and his brother out fishing, totally ignoring the warnings he received.  We also meet a typical apple pie family out for a holiday in the hills with straw hats and dungarees (I’m not kidding here).  The dad has the father of the century quote when he says about his son Jimmy, “Even though he’s retarded he has to learn to get along in the world.”  That line is priceless.  Basically Jimmy acts like a cut price Lenny from "Of Mice and Men."  Soon enough the dad is sliced up by the infected hippies, mum gets away after stabbing one in the eye but soon has her throat torn out to a truly deranged synth score.

John Amplas tries to ring Tom but gets no answer, then tries Jake.  Both agents are quite concerned so they decide to drive over.  Meanwhile the apple pie kids are alone and chance upon Tom and his gang.  They drive the kids to the campsite and discover it trashed with one or two fly covered body parts laid around.  The hippie’s attack and batter Tom’s brother to death, Tom fights off the infected slackers, then the car breaks down so they all run.  From then on the film becomes a case of cat and mouse.

"Toxic Zombies" is very bloody and the effects are used well, though some are not very convincing.  The zombie faces are very under designed looking more like a joke shop novelty idea.  The blood splashes around with each bite and stab though.  The question is this; are they zombies?  Well, not really, they look like them but can be killed rather easily and they sometimes cry out in pain.  Probably flesh eating humans who are very ill.

Money must have been saved for the effects because the acting is generally poor. The only professional seems to be Dennis Helfend who plays a nameless paranoid loner living in a shack.  His dog was infected and “turned mean” so he’s pretty angry about everything.  Me and my Horror Soulmate were puzzled when he told Tom to, “sit down an’ eat yo’ self!”  Indeed.  Hiding in the loner’s shack, we are entertained by the standard "NOTLD" hands through the windows bits and Tom’s girlfriend who says, “How long will it be til morning?”  At this point my Horror Soulmate said, “Moaning bitch, she never shuts up!”  The ‘actress’ has a monotone voice which really grates into your bones.

"Toxic Zombies" is a movie which starts off fun for its badness, but then suddenly becomes an irritating rash on your eyeballs (and your ears.  For instance 1 hour, 11 minutes in and the zombie music is just ridiculous.  1 hour, 21 minutes and it sounds like the Mario Bros).  Only the gore saves it, and that isn’t saying much.  It seems to be a vanity project by the director who is also the lead man.  Did he hire his friends and cheap stars?  This works if you’re Peter Jackson or Don Dohler because if you are then you have a large heart which overcomes the visible cheapness and clumsiness.  This film is not in the category of "Nightbeast" or "Bad Taste."

There are so many small DVD companies finding their feet in the market by releasing hard to find forgotten little gems to a cult audience.  They don’t expect to sell many but try their best to restore the material and maybe add a few little extras just to stand out from the rest I guess.  This label, Substance, blatantly lie to sell their product.  Substance/Telavista states on the cover that the film is digitally remastered with enhanced audio.  Really?  We had to turn our TV volume up to 48 when our usual volume is between 25-30 for DVDs and around 35 for a video tape.  At that volume you could really only hear mono hissing about the actual film.  As for the picture quality it is a restored Betamax tape which has sat in a garage for over two decades whilst gathering mould on the spools. Don’t get me wrong I personally love retro look DVDs because it adds to the feel of an older film.  However I don’t like a small company telling lies to sell their cheap and nasty VHS transfer print for a lot of money.  Unfortunately Substance is the only label to release this film so far so a collector will have to purchase this release.  (I’ve also bought "I Dismember Mama" on the same label and am wondering whether I should watch it).

As for the extras, there’s one extra which isn’t even advertised on the sleeve, fifteen or so stills of screaming faces and gore lifted directly from the transfer.  Oh what fun they are to go through.

Toxic Zombies aka: Bloodeaters DVD Screenshot from Substance/Telavista on Severed Cinema

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
Toxic Zombies aka: Bloodeaters DVD Screenshot from Substance/Telavista on Severed Cinema

Toxic Zombies aka: Bloodeaters DVD Screenshot from Substance/Telavista on Severed Cinema

Toxic Zombies aka: Bloodeaters DVD Screenshot from Substance/Telavista on Severed Cinema

Toxic Zombies aka: Bloodeaters DVD Screenshot from Substance/Telavista on Severed Cinema

Toxic Zombies aka: Bloodeaters DVD Screenshot from Substance/Telavista on Severed Cinema

Toxic Zombies aka: Bloodeaters DVD Screenshot from Substance/Telavista on Severed Cinema

Toxic Zombies aka: Bloodeaters DVD Screenshot from Substance/Telavista on Severed Cinema

Toxic Zombies aka: Bloodeaters DVD Screenshot from Substance/Telavista on Severed Cinema

Toxic Zombies aka: Bloodeaters DVD Screenshot from Substance/Telavista on Severed Cinema

Toxic Zombies aka: Bloodeaters DVD Screenshot from Substance/Telavista on Severed Cinema

Toxic Zombies aka: Bloodeaters DVD Screenshot from Substance/Telavista on Severed Cinema

 RATING:
 VIDEO: 1 
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 AUDIO: 1 
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 DVD: 1 
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 MOVIE: 1 
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 DVD SPECS:
 Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
 Region: NTSC R0
 Audio: Dolby Digital mono


 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
 - Stills Gallery

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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