Redneck Zombies (1987)
By: Devon B. on July 10, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Stomp Visual (Australia). All Regions, NTSC. 4:3. English DD 2.0. 90 minutes
The Movie
Director: Pericles Lewnes
Starring: Lisa De Haven, W.E. Benson, William W. Decker, James Housely, Tyrone Taylor
Screenplay: Zoofeet, P. Floyd Piranha, Fester Smellman
Music: Adrian Bond
Tagline: They're Tobacco Chewin', Gut Chompin', Cannibal Kinfolk from Hell!
Country: USA
When it was first released, no doubt many viewers were surprised by Redneck Zombies' utter lack of gore. The box may have made it sound violent, but the videocassette release was a badly edited, shot on video, bloodless piece of shit. Not all the fault lay with the filmmakers…this time. In order to ensure an 'R' (US) rating, the distributor eliminated almost every bit of blood from the movie, with no real concern for coherency. When the video was set to go out, the video distributor forgot to mention that there was an unrated version of this new zombie wonder, so most people got a bloodless bore. I'm not saying the cheap grue is the only good thing about Redneck Zombies, but Redneck Zombies is certainly a Troma film where the claim 'director's cut' actually means something.

Redneck Zombies opens with an army guy accidentally dropping a barrel of toxic waste in hickville. He tries to get the barrel back in his vehicle, but a fat hillbilly won't allow it. As the army guy goes back for help, the fat hillbilly gets accosted by his neighbours, but tries to make amends by offering them his new 'still' that he just got from the army guy. When the hillbillies drink the toxic waste, they naturally turn into latex covered zombies. Meanwhile, a group of people have gone on a camping expedition in the woods. They seem to have no clue about anything in the wilderness, and as an acting troupe can be very, very annoying. The most annoying is this actor who just has to be gay. Being gay is fine, but why is this flaming homosexual cast as a character that does little but talk about wanting to make it with the female members of the party? I wonder if this guy was the inspiration for Mr. Garrison on South Park? Eventually the annoying individuals encounter the resident children of the hills and most are joyfully eliminated.

From it's description, Redneck Zombies seems like it should just induce a headache, but it has some very amusing moments, like a homosexual wanting to visit the hillbillies since he's 'seen Deliverance'. Redneck Zombies is also by far one of the better movies shot on video, but it's still shot on video and many of the shot looks the same, with almost all action lit by the sun. The daylight does precious little to cover up the zombie makeup, which are at best mounds of latex and some fake blood. The gore footage is also hurt by the video look, but there are some real high points for those willing to look. Some of my favourite moments include an amusing parody of the hitcher scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre; the several humorous songs that were written for the movie; and the intro from a blood gushing, redneck zombie, angered by the film's title, ranting at the viewing audience. That last thing was probably shot way after the movie was done, but I really like it. Redneck Zombies may also be the first movie to feature an infant zombie.

In another confusing move, the OFLC have rated Redneck Zombies MA, despite heavy gore, attempted zombie rape, drug use, nudity, and implied necrophilia.
Redneck Zombies is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The film was shot on video in the 80s, so expect video grain and glitches, as well some vibration in the image and haloing. It does look better here than it did on my old videocassette, but I also had a sell through tape recorded at slow speed.
The audio is a two-channel track, and is actually not too bad considering the film's budget. There is distortion at times, but the dialogue is mostly clear.
Extra Features
The DVD includes a fair amount of standard Troma extras such as the Aroma Du Troma; the ad for a book by Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma and creator of the Toxic Avenger; an ad for a Tromeo and Juliet shirt; the Troma tour; Kabukiman's masturbation public service announcement; Troma public service announcements one and two, an interview with a Tromette; a merch/website ad; and, of course, the Radiation March short. I am starting to think Lloyd should introduce himself as Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma and perpetrator of the Radiation March instead of 'the creator of the Toxic Avenger.' The T.I.T. and coming distractions from the US release have been crossed out for the Australian version. For more info on most of these extras, including the missing ones, see my review for Beware! Children At Play.

A slightly more exclusive extra is Ron Jeremy and Charisma Take Troma Naked. I was hoping something would happen this time, but it's still just an interview.

For Redneck Zombies specific extras, we get five stills (be still, my heart!), a two minute interview with director Pericles Lewnes who says continuity was not a concern at all, and an even shorter interview with producer and FX guy Ed Bishop. It's a shame Lewnes didn't have more to say, as he went on to be a regular of the Troma stable for quite some time, and could've talked about how he went from low budget filmmaker to eating worms in Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D.

There are two intros, presented separate to the film, so I'm putting them as extras. Naturally, there's one by Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma and perpetrator of the Radiation March. He seems to think Redneck Zombies was the first movie released that was shot entirely on video.
The Verdict
Redneck Zombies has some funny lines, and some clever bits. Admittedly some of it is incredibly stupid, and some of it is ruined by the budget constraints or inexperienced cast, but it's a film with cheap gore, stupid people, some good laughs, and nudity. Can you get more Troma than that?
Movie Score
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