Updated: Aug 26
Let’s level with one another for a minute. This shouldn’t be news to anyone, but 2020 has been one kick to the dick after another, and we still have four months to go. What we all need more than anything, except maybe a vaccine and far less existential dread than what we’re all used to, is art. We need to, periodically at least, take in something that isn’t so heavy, that isn’t so doom and gloom. I’m not suggesting actively dodging the news, that’s how we prolong the current state of affairs. Also, you know, wear a mask when you go out.
Such was the thinking of Charles Band and his conspirators at Full Moon Features, as they have put out Corona Zombies, a horror-comedy full of irreverent humor, zingers, and timely jokes. Featuring footage from two previous Full Moon films, Zombies vs Strippers and Hell of the Living Dead, the plot centers around the adventures of the “Corona Squad” as they attempt to get to the source of the outbreak. Meanwhile, loveable airheads Barbie and Kendra try to navigate life in the time of quarantine, as they see the madness unfold on the news.
As someone who’s yet to sit and watch any MST3K in my lifetime, I have to say that the dubbing over an old film done here is just plain fun. It sounds and feels like the voiceover actors had fun with this, and it almost feels like Charles Band said “fuck it, have fun with this, so long as we get from point A to point B.” It’s part making chicken salad out of chicken shit, as has been a lot of things in Pandemia, and part “well, it can’t get worse, so let’s laugh so we don’t cry.” And I can really dig that.
As the title might have given away, this is by no means a ground-breaking film. There’s not even much to be said about social commentary beyond “use your common sense and turn off the neanderthal instincts, you dolts.” I mean, yes, the bits where the news crews cover the folks at the Tits and Giggles strip club is outright funny, showing how going out like nothing is wrong can be deadly. Is it totally unsubtle, beat you over the head with the intended message humor? Absolutely it is, but I mean, even cheap pops are pops.
On the subject of cheap, though, some of the jokes are a bit on the crass side. The movie is intentionally ridiculous and zany, do we really need jokes relating to China? Frankly, the only one worth keeping would be when the news reporter talks about Wuhan, the purported origin of the virus, only for Barbie to quip “But I love that rap group!”
What can I say, I love puns, and I’m not going to apologize for that.
I am perfectly OK with a film being the opposite of serious. “So bad, it’s good” is how we get some of the classics, after all. That said, I don’t know that we need any of the humor being the punching down, low-hanging fruit like some jokes are in Corona Zombies. With this, they’re not riding the line, they’re stepping over it, dropping trou, and mooning the opposition, only to run for the hills when things get any semblance of serious.
These sins aside, Corona Zombies is dumb fun, with a capital “dumb.” And for the most part, that’s OK. After all, the news anymore is so ridiculous, so “what the fuck” worthy that I’m half-convinced it can’t get any stranger than fiction than it already is. And besides, it’s only an hour-long film. If you watch it and don't care for it, you’ve not lost a lot of your time.
People have wasted way longer for way less, after all.
And Full Moon has my full permission to quote me, if they so wish.
Corona Zombies is available now on-demand through the Full Moon Features streaming app.