Zombie A-Hole is the sophomore effort from writer/director Dustin Mills. You might know Dustin from his 2009 debut The Puppet Monster Massacre. Despite it’s (rather ridiculous) title, Zombie A-Hole isn’t a zombie film in the way most people think of zombie films. There’s no Romero style walking dead here. What we do have is a demonically possessed “zombie” who hunts and kills identical twin girls and a revenge seeking cowboy type who’s hellbent on stopping him.
After the murder of one sister and the disfigurement of another, Frank Fulci (played by first timer Josh Eal) sets out to exact revenge on the titular zombie a-hole who is to blame. His quest takes him across two states, led by some sort of demon hunting tool in the form of a foot tall corpse in a box (think zombie monkey), and aided by a hitchhiker who, as it turns out, has a connection to our demon zombie. The film is a mash-up of influences, from the Evil Dead inspired demonic zombie to the body count and boobs quotient that is more aligned with the slasher flicks of the eighties. There’s even a nod (blatant ripoff, but completely forgivable) to revenge classic Thriller: A Cruel Picture. To top it off our demon zombie is clad in a 1920s gangster style pinstriped suit. Not sure exactly why, but i can roll with it.Seeing as how he is killing off sets of twins there’s an extra high body count, and while some of the kills are somewhat lackluster, there are a couple that are downright great.
While Zombie A-Hole is a boobs and blood filled good time it is certainly not without fault. There’s an ill-advised animated flashback scene that can be done without, and at almost two hours, the film could use some editing. Mills hasn’t figured out yet that 98% of directors should not edit their own films. More often than not a director, especially a young director, will keep scenes in or let them drag on unnecessarily. Mills should have ditched the animated sequence and the boring rock soundtrack and used whatever he spent on those to have someone edit the film. There is also the effects which vary in quality from practical throat slittings that work just fine to various CG effects that, for the most part are pretty bad. There’s actually one scene that would have been a succesful jump scare if it wasn’t immediately followed by a CG effect that killed it.
All of this aside, Zombie A-Hole is one of the better low-budget indie flicks I’ve seen in quite a while. Yes, it’s hokey in parts but that is part of the film’s charm. Mills definitely shows talent as both a writer and director and I’d like to see what he could do with a little help from an editor.
Zombie A-Hole scores 2 out of 5 Screaming Jamies