Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pot Zombies

Lloyd Kaufman's Make Your Own Damn Movie is an interesting, humorous, somewhat informational book that has outgrown its pages a bit since its 2003 release. In 2005 it had grown into a boxed package that included a DVD companion set. In 2008 and 2009 respectively, we got books on directing our own damn movies and producing our own movies. 2008 also saw the first of a proposed series of films to come from young filmmakers actually putting Lloyd's teachings to work. It may be telling that we haven't seen another one since. As it turns out, maybe not ALL of us need to make our own damn movie after all.

With a movie named something like Pot Zombies, I was expecting something along the lines of Bite Me!, but with less budget, less everything else, and probably a good bit less enjoyment. After my mercilessly short 60 minute experience was through, it was apparent that my expectations had still been...

...way too high.

The movie is basically five or so different ideas of what could be pitches for a movie called Pot Zombies. None of them are ever explored or fleshed out past that stage, and no attempt is made to develop the characters used in them.

Between these short vignettes we're treated to a bizarre, blown-out, bare-chested joint surrounded by... roaches maybe... it's hard to tell with everything looking so overexposed.

You may not notice immediately with that screenshot against a dark background, but there are 2 unequal black bars on either side. That's just one of at least 3 different aspect ratios that the movie treats us too...

The first sketch is widescreen for some reason.

And... the rest is fullscreen.

I read one interview with the filmmaker, Justin Powers, who basically said that he wanted to see if he could make a movie, so he made Pot Zombies as a way to learn how to shoot, edit, etc as he went along. That makes the end result make more sense, and does embody Lloyd Kaufman's suggestions to just get started rather than sitting on your ass and wondering if you could... but then again, I had a few friends in high school who did the same with their miniscule tax returns one year (money only got as far as the camera purchase) and a cast including themselves, a crackhead who would go on to star in... cutting someone's throat in his front yard, and someone I'm pretty sure was mentally handicapped... and they ended up with something a great deal funnier, with much better digital effects, and most importantly, something that wasn't boring. I'd really rather not just shit on Powers for getting out and actually making something, but when crafting your low-budget disasterpiece, you absolutely cannot let it get boring.

I've heard a few mentions of a potential sequel in the works. I really hope that doesn't happen, but I think the premise might be workable as long as one little tweak gets consideration.


In an effort to end on a positive note, I will say that I quite enjoyed the low-framerate flash animated blood transitions. Pot Zombies needed more of these.

Now if only George Lucas would learn to tone down his silly screen wipes to something as subtle as that we'd all be better off.

Pot Zombies Trailer:

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like pot zombies should have been put in a plot like most dead things.

    Lazarus Lupin
    art and review