Thursday, May 4, 2017

Movie Review: Night of Something Strange (2016)

Night of Something Strange (2016) - USA - Horror Comedy - NR
Directed by Johnathan Straiton
Starring Trey Harrison, Rebecca C. Kasek, Wayne W. Johnson, Michael Merchant, Toni Ann Gambale, Nicola Fiore, John Walsh, Janet Mayson, Tarrence Taylor, Kera O'Bryon

Through its uber gross-out facade is an actually entertaining horror comedy that is mostly well done.

A janitor at a hospital makes his way to the morgue where he proceeds to mount and have sex with a female corpse. Had he checked the toe tag on the corpse he might have seen that this female died of radiation exposure, but now he has contracted some super-STD turning him into a zombie killing people and spreading the disease. Meanwhile a group of teens on their way to beach week stop over at a roadside hotel for the night only to encounter walking hard-ons among other dangers.

Let me be as frank as I can right up front; this is one of the grossest movies I have seen. Within the first 20 minutes I shut it off. Forcing myself to return, and I really didn't want to, I discovered the movie improved, and considerably at that. Surprisingly this is actually quite well scripted. As annoying as I thought these teens were going to be, they weren't, and the whole lot of them did a fine job acting, and Nicola Fiore did a damn fine job of getting naked. Let me just say that again; Nicola Fiore did a damn fine job of getting naked.

Beyond the actors and the writers there are some professionals at work here. The cinematography does not linger into distracting corners but stays on target, even though taking place at night the movie keeps its light levels up, the special effects despite being gross are well done, and the editing keeps things moving briskly past the first 20 minutes.

There are continuity errors in this. There's something disgusting done to the character of Brooklyn (Tarrence Taylor) then just seems to have disappeared; and I'm not complaining as it was so disgusting I'm glad it disappeared. Continuity errors abound in the makeup and costuming. The SFX makeup in this is very good, but several times it doesn't quite match the action of previous scenes. The most obvious of continuity gaffes is in the outfit of Cornelius von Zombie (Wayne W. Johnson). Some of it may be the dark color of the outfit, but his jumpsuit seems to stay relatively clean compared to what he goes through in this. And I sure hope they gave Wayne hazard pay as they focus a lot on kicking him in the balls.

In a rare move for me, I am actually giving a movie a passing grade that I don't recommend. It is well made, scripted and acted as I have said, but it is so gross, particularly in the opening minutes, I cannot recommend for somebody to watch this, at least not without having a vomit bag handy. Additionally I take umbrage with the writers being stuck in 80s attitudes. I mean this was released in 2016, not 1986. 30 years later homophobia and the all too stereotypical token black guy strike me as being out of place.

My Rating: 3 Fingers. There are talented people at work here; writers, cast & crew. I would like to see more from them, once they get past their gross-out phase. And once they do get past it I'm pretty confident they've got a Four or Five Finger movie in them somewhere.

For more on the movie and to get copies of it, visit their website.

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