If there is one thing Jean Cohen and George Smith’s ZOMBIE EX’s movie can lay claim to it is originality. To my mind, it is the first picture dealing with the concept of a young man being stalked by his former lovers who have now developed into flesheaters. Snugly packaged in cover art that suggested a zom-rom-com the best I could hope for was a few buckets of blood and having the odd giggle coerced out of me.

The story revolves around a young man in his early twenties called Zach (Alex Hammel-Shaver). He has accumulated a string of psychotic girlfriends over the years that through twisted obsession seem to stay in touch with him. Soon to be added to the list is his current partner Felecia who effectively has just kicked him out of their apartment.

It’s lucky for Zach that he has a couple of very loyal friends. For starters there is Lilly (Madison Hart), who harbours secret feelings for him but doesn’t want to rock the boat. Instead she just plods along working for the HapiWater company who produce mineral rich bottled water that has fast become the new fad in female wellbeing. Even a few cases of HapiWater consumers developing strange and violent outbursts hasn’t affected the business – yet...

Then there is Dan (Scott Keebler) the beer swilling party animal whose idea of sorting Zach’s problems out is to enter him onto a Dating Game TV show on and rig it so that the group of females who make up potential dates are… wait for it… all Zach’s Ex’s!!!

Among the past partners are 6 Shooter Shelley (Danielle Rothman) whose penchant for pricking condoms has granted her six kids; Debbie (Lisa Paone) a disturbed MILF who is married to a man called... Zach; The cat and lollipop obsessed Monica (Jessica Sullivan); the excitably volatile pair Irene (Brandy Bryant) and Jolene (Gabrielle Martinez) are so ‘out there’ it begs the question how the very laidback Zach got with them in the first place!

Now herbal drinks spreading a Zombie virus I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to; but the idea of Joe public over ruling TV executives just so he can play a little practical joke on his friend is a step too far when plausibility is concerned!

So with the Dating Game show sponsored by HapiWater and copious amounts of the drink being distributed to Zach’s Ex’s just before airtime, it’s no surprise that a mass cat fight soon evolves into an all-out zombie massacre. That is of course unless Zach, Lilly and Dan can come up with an antidote….

I found ZOMBIE EX’s hard work I am afraid. While I appreciate there is a demographic out there that find pleasure in schlocky slices of z-grade bedlam, I couldn’t help feel director George Smith could have enhanced his movies appeal by shearing off 20 minutes or so from the 100 minute runtime. Even so, I suspect I could have also toiled with a truncated version in all honesty. The DVD distributed by Bloody Earth Film is an American release and as such had a NOT RATED moniker on the back cover. I have learned over the years that this doesn’t necessarily equate to explicitness beyond the requirements of a standard "R" rating from the MPAA. I would imagine the movie ever gets a release on these shores a 15 certificate would adorn its packaging.

The ‘gore’ from the first hour is constituted of red paint slapped onto necks, ridiculously chunky foot long intestines and some drooled blood out of mouths. This does pick up a little toward the climax with a few strewn limbs thrown in here and there. In a chaotic final reel, with our trio armed to the back teeth with guns and an unrelenting supply of ammo a little more liquid is on display – but not much! Put it this way: I actually found myself craving some CGI blood effects as a gesture toward an element of gore. The squibs used must have been past there sell by date as they could only produce a feeble dribble despite the living dead being taken out at point blank range. The action sequences were also rather lame. Baseball bats carefully placed on fiends’ shoulders was enough bowl them over. And to give you a flavour of the humour throughout how about this: the trio are on the roof of a parked car surrounded by ravenous zombies. Dan inadvertently flicks the radio on and plays his rifle like a guitar to the music. They then find an escape route by ‘crowd surfing’ across the zombies elevated hands away to safety. Phew, that was close!!!

When a gross out zombie lesbian snog lubricated with copious amounts of saliva and blood is the stand out highlight of the entire movie, you can start to appreciate the monotony of the remaining 99 minutes or so.

As seems to be the custom with a few of these zilch budget comedic horror flicks lately, the DVD is supplemented with two separate feature length commentary tracks. The first is a rather amateurish attempt with the cast basically indulging in some light hearted reminiscing. It offers little value to the viewer but they sound like they were having fun at least.

The secondary commentary track with director George Smith and Producer Paul Manoogian fares a little better when it comes to divulging the inspiration and inside story to how ZOMBIE EX’s came to be.

Other EXTRAS include a sped up bit of footage showing "Mohawk" Rob Frankel get transformed into a women. It clocks in at a diminutive 1 min 10 sec if male to female make up artistry rocks your boat.

Cast Confessions (6m 28s) reveals some intriguing personal anecdotes from the shoot while a 7 minute photo montage offers some stills form behind the scenes. The official ZOMBIE EX’s trailer (2m 20s) along with a Blood Earth Films trailer reel completes the bonus material.

If relationship dilemmas and diluted gore sequences appeal you may well have fun with this. But for me, ZOMBIE Ex’s has just been scribbled out of my little black book.

Review by Marc Lissenburg

Released by Bloody Earth Films
Region 1 NTSC
Not Rated
Extras :
see main review