"What’s grosser than a pile of dead babies?"

In a scream-filled pre-credits sequence, two TUCKER AND DALE-type hillbillies, Burt (Brian Gunnoe) and Teddy (Robert Cobb), perform an abortion on a reluctant young lady. Afterwards, they decide this is their vocation in life and decide to venture out into the business of performing late-term terminations.

And so, Burt and Teddy advertise an "abortathon" to be held over one weekend at their self-made hotel-cum-casino.

Enter Veronica (Ruby Larocca) and chubby one-time-only lover Louis (Shawn C Phillips), Reggie (Ford Austin) and his ‘diseased hooker’ chick Capri (Desiree Saetia), adventurous fuckers Jackson (Dean Stark) and Jami (Missy Dawn), and T-shirt designer Kevin (Trent McKelvin – actually director Eamon Hardiman appearing behind a pseudonym) with his girl-next-door partner Leah (Kaylee Williams). Each of the women is heavily pregnant and willing to pay for a discount termination.

After settling into their respective rooms – one is called the Tom Selleck suite, because it has a picture of "Magnum PI" on the wall – the four couples are invited downstairs where Burt is ready to carry out the abortions. Leah, however, has second thoughts and thinks she may want to keep her unborn child.

The other girls go through with it and, afterwards, are surprisingly unperturbed by their DIY medical experiences. They seem content to spend the rest of the evening drinking with their partners and fucking.

Meanwhile, Teddy has dumped the bloody foetuses in the cellar, next to a vat of polluted homemade whiskey. Before long, the babies have mutated into life and are crying with hunger …

This, of course, spells bad news for those who ordered their terminations in the first place.

Can Burt and Teddy save the day?

Hardiman writes and directs this sordid little number, hot off the heels of his minor cult hit PORKCHOP. Here, he works with much the same gang but the budget seems to have been slightly upped. Coloured lighting, stage mist and even green-screen backgrounds are used to primitive but fun effect. There’s something bizarrely endearing about the cheery cheapness of it all.

Filled with daft irreverence and literal toilet humour, ZOMBIE BABIES doesn’t always work on this front but is so crammed with punch-lines that it can’t help but hit its target now and then.

Most importantly though, the film is fast-paced once the babies appear – about 35 minutes in - and filled to brimming with gross-out gore gags. None of them are as offensive as perhaps they’re intended to be (coat-hanger baby-slaying; decapitation by umbilical cord strangling; drowning in shit), thanks to their crude execution and the amusing incompetence of the cast.

Imagine something akin to the rudimentary FX of BASKET CASE, crossed with Herschell Gordon Lewis-calibre acting and Shane Mather production values.

Mark Shaw’s score, when not being light and fluffy, is an excellent organ-led affair, much grander than the accompanying visuals possibly merit. It sounds like doom metal being played by a church organist, and it’s great.

ZOMBIE BABIES is presented uncut in 16x9 widescreen. The image looks a little cropped at times but a film of this nature doesn’t stand or fall on the skill of its framing.

Colours are well rendered but blacks occasionally look washed out, and compression issues are there to be seen. The transfer isn’t a bad one but the digital origins of the film’s shoot are perhaps best described as ‘lo fi’. So, bear this in mind.

Likewise, the English 2.0 audio track offered is limited by its source origins. It’s not tragic, but you may need to adjust your volume control by a notch or two.

Independent Entertainment’s region free DVD opens to an animated main menu page. There is no scene-selection menu but the film does have 15 remote-activated chapters.

A static sub-menu on the disc allows access to a brief selection of extras. First up is a rather casual audio commentary track from Hardiman and Dawn. They saunter through their recollections of the film’s 2010 location shoot. In its own shambolic way, this is oddly charming and listenable.

Next up is a 16-minute Behind-the-Scenes featurette. This offers lots of shot-on-video footage and some self-conscious humour, as well as a badly filmed tour of the film’s FX props.

A selection of trailers for other titles in the Independent Entertainment roster rounds off the extras: DEFILED, EXPLOITED, PORKCHOP, UNCLE FARTS’ COLLECTIONS, FACES OF SCHLOCK, STIFFED and THE SEX MERCHANTS.

All in all, ZOMBIE BABIES is a decent enough no-budget affair that knows its target audience and delivers the expected schlock for them in frequent, filthy outbursts.

Review by Stuart Willis

Released by Independent Entertainment
Region 1 NTSC
Not Rated
Extras :
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