Here's another bargain-priced four-pack of silly sleaze from Shock-O-Rama Cinema, this one targeted at those of you who like your horror utterly nonsensical. If you've got a taste for this stuff, this is a great way to bulk up your collection for those aimless Saturday nights. A word of caution, however, these four Richard Griffin-helmed films come on three disks, with Necroville sharing a platter with Splatter Disco, and only sporting one extra. The other two movies get their own disks, with all the attendant extras. Giddy up!
Feeding The Masses:
Anyway, that's the basic premise of Feeding The Masses, which churns up some glib, pointed fun with the concept, occasionally interspersing satiric talking heads with exploding heads and a wee bit of intestine noshing. All around earnestly broad performances indicate this is a serious romp, meaning it's mostly silly but no one's slacking or rolling their eyes. How nice is that, to be taken seriously as a fan of horror comedy?
In the end, Masses leans too heavily on the yak-yak, with plenty of obligatory scenes of characters discussing what to do in a panic. Zombie-less scenarios involving the news interest us conceptually, but other static scenes unfortunately outweigh the gut-ripping zombie chases we come to expect. Feeding The Masses gets an 'A' for effort (or is it 'I' for idea?) but stints on the thrills.
Creature From Hillbilly Lagoon:
As seemingly pollution-spawned monsters terrorize a few city kids, some rural types become entangled in the mess, and mild hell breaks loose. Laurel and Hardy-style hijinx organically result - it's amazing how nothing feels forced - and instead of rubbing our faces in it, the actors give it their heartfelt all. How anyone can argue with that? Well, people interested in preserving brain cells might object, but this variation on an old-fashioned monster mash is so intent on straight-forward fun, without any form of hip, knowing attitude, that you'd best just crack open a can of beer, (similar to one used to impale Bubba) sit back and enjoy the ride.
Guys in white hazmat suits complicate matters, a late-game twist adds some interest, nifty looking monsters, cheap but splashy gore, and a goofy coda that finally provides a bit of toplessness combine to render this hearty, harmless fun for horror fans always looking for a new fix.
What else can you say? The serial killer stalking a cheap dance club with a rotating cycle of fetish nights would be just as confused as you when he discovered those fetish nights often devolved into musical numbers featuring stage-diving furries, while a Shakespearean romance grows behind the scenes. Truly, this is the most nonsensical, irresponsible, and flat-out silliest in this bunch of movies, but if you're into it this far, you consider that a good thing. Or at least a radically different thing.
As with all the movies in this collection, actors really don't take matters all that seriously, except for the fact that they commit 100% to the ludicrousness of it all. It's with consistent amazement that I watch director Griffin coax earnest performances out of his principals without devolving into smirking attitude. On the other hand, these movies, and generally most of the other splatstick movies presented here, lack a certain frenetic pacing that would increase their delightful value. Often, this comes down to mere moments between line readings that linger just slightly too long. It's one of the few weaknesses in this weird slasher film and its brethren.
Pacing problems again raise their shaggy heads, while the movie often wallows in slimy, silly gore and kung fu fights. Yes, this is a horror movie of lofty ideals. Actually, despite those pacing problems, Necroville might be the best film in the bunch with winning characters, the occasional spot of inspired brilliance, and a rooftop finale that reaches stupidly entertaining heights, as a smug and smarmy vampire king gets his splashy comeuppance. There's absolutely no logic in the surprise ending, a fact that somehow makes its gross improbability all the more satisfying. Regardless of what order in which you choose to watch these movies, Necroville seems like an appropriate capper to the sordid affair, so those of you who have a taste for tongue-in-cheek horror should be well pleased with this loony collection. The DVD