"Evil most fowl", screams the tagline ...

A brief opening text takes the trouble of quoting from the bible, warning us that the Antichrist will ascend to earth and that "the end of the world" will soon come.

Then we meet hot but whiny Melissa (Melissa K Gilbert - no, not her who made her name on "The Little House On The Prairie"!), a fast-food clerk necking on behind her place of work with rogue boyfriend Bobby Ray (Jason Von Stein). Their petting seems destined to be short-lived - first by Melissa's irate boss Max (Jimmy Lee Smith), and then by a gang of Satanists that inexplicably show up.

The Satanists are led by maniacal Leviathan (Daryl Wilcher), who introduces his evil cohorts before instructing them to beat Bobby Ray up and drag the screaming Melissa away into the night.

As the "god-damned Satanists" drive their victim to a secluded graffiti-strewn destination and prepare to offer her as a bride to Satan, Bobby Ray enlists the help of local sheriff Fasmagger (Nathan Standridge) and Max in an attempt to track them down and rescue his big-breasted love interest.

Their first stop is a tattoo parlour ran by the colourful Razor (Doug Walker), as they reckon all Satanists are inked up and therefore he'll know in which direction to point the intrepid trio. After a spot of torture, Razor sings like a bird.

By the time our heroes catch up with the dastardly devil-worshippers, they have already invoked Satan and Leviathan has been transformed into a possessed, slobbering beastie.

A bout of fisticuffs ensues, culminating in Leviathan's body being cleansed of the demon and the remaining Satanists being bound in rope by Bobby Ray and co. It seems that good has triumphed over evil (or, rather, rednecks have triumphed over Satanists), but then ...

This is the one and only day where Beelzebub can seize the opportunity to walk the earth. Even though his possession of Leviathan has been quashed and his wedding to Melissa scuppered, the dark one manages to transcend to our world when contaminated blood falls upon a sacrificial chicken ...

Can trash-talking Melissa and her dumb friends save the day? Will they be forced to work alongside the verbally abusive Satanists in order to do so?

Shot on digital camera over the course of 30 days, this shoestring Georgia-lensed effort from 2006 sounds very much like a Troma production on paper. And although the brains (?!) behind this - writer-director Sam Drog's debut feature - are Smear Pictures, the stench of Kaufman's farce factory can be smelt throughout.

But that doesn't mean there isn't a whole heap of fun to be had during ZOMBEAK!'s shrewdly brief running time (71 minutes). Whether it's the type of fun the filmmakers intended, is debatable...

First off, there's the gore. The inert silliness of the storyline and its delivery has allowed for the BBFC to see the funny side of the copious grue, and pass it with a 15 rating (the 18 certificate on the cover must refer to the trailers on the disc ...?). Despite the film's certification, we get a healthy amount of Herschell Gordon Lewis-type splatter (read: very primitive but bloody). The actual chicken attacks are wisely kept to darker interludes, which doesn't make them any less ludicrous but at least hides some of the FX team's ineptitude. I'm not being cruel, I realise this film was made for peanuts, but ... I strongly suspect we are not witnessing fledgling Savinis or Bakers at play here.

There are also some hilariously naff CGI effects employed sparsely throughout proceedings. These are very amateurish, and weirdly work in the film's favour.

Why? Because Drog's script is as rum as they come. In an oddly enjoyable sense. Performances are exaggerated throughout, as they'd need to be to overcome the cartoonish and desperately "comedic" script. The pace is relentless and the horror is camper than a row of tents. Prepare yourself for loads of sub-John Waters-type profanity and verbal abuse too.

Faintly echoing I DRINK YOUR BLOOD, BLOOD FREAK and even THE COTTAGE (the voluptuous kidnapee who subjects her captors to foul-mouthed tirades), ZOMBEAK! however remains a unique proposition - also throwing in equal parts NIGHT OF THE DEMONS and SCOOBY DOO, with a large side order of hillbilly scuzziness for good measure.

But a film that employs an exclamation mark in its title is only going to appeal to a certain, perhaps booze-assisted, crowd. The end credits even make the threat of an upcoming sequel. Thankfully, that is yet to transpire.

The film is presented uncut in a decent 16x9 presentation that exhibits all the benefits of digital films transferred on to DVD (sharp images, good colours, high contrast) and the pitfalls (less clarity during night scenes, occasional ghosting). It's an efficient if unremarkable presentation for a budget-priced disc.

English 2.0 audio is, again, good enough to sit throughout the film without grimacing at the lack of audible dialogue. In fact, you're more likely to be grimacing at the one-liners you CAN hear - all too clearly!

A static main menu page leads into a static scene-selection menu allowing access to the main feature via 6 chapters.


I made a comparison earlier between ZOMBEAK! and your general Troma offerings. That may bring to mind the sublime POULTRYGEIST: NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD, Kaufman's own take on the deadly fowl genre (...). Obviously, ZOMBEAK! isn't in the same league as that. But as cheap, daft indie comedy-horrors go, it's hard not to smile through - even if you're just laughing at how bad it all is.

ZOMBEAK! really is a film where the title tells you all you need to know. If you read past that title and the cover artwork at the top of this review, then you must be at least a little intrigued ...?

Review by Stuart Willis

Released by MVM
Region 2 - PAL
Rated 18
Extras :
see main review