Best Movies of All Time + [Tyshawn Bryant]

MUTANT VAMPIRE ZOMBIES FROM THE 'HOOD

MUTANT VAMPIRE ZOMBIES FROM THE 'HOOD!
Not Rated

"Zombies? Man, you watch too much TV."
-- Dragon

Mutant Vampire Zombies from the 'Hood! is a 2008 horror-comedy directed by Thunder Levin that centers around a group of people trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. After a solar flare passes across Earth, the human population is essentially turned into the living, walking dead (even if our characters can't agree on whether they're mutants, vampires or zombies). A group of gang-bangers led by the infamous G-Dog (Tyshawn Bryant) joins forces with a cop named David (C. Thomas Howell) and a rival Asian gang led by Dragon (Robert Wu). They hear a scientist named Dr. Reginald Monte (Gregory Alan Williams) over the television saying that he has a safe haven in Santa Monica with his grown daughter Lisa (Johanna Watts), so the group decides to head in that direction. When they finally make it to the house, the two groups devise a plan to escape the city and head to a less-populated area where they might be able to start civilization anew.

I'd like to start by saying that this film is exactly as ridiculous as its title posits it would be. Just the concept of everyday thugs and cops teaming up to do battle against swarms of zombies is enough to make for an entertaining flick, but when you add a relatively steady stream of film references throughout the dialogue, there's even more to enjoy. There's constant reference made to the zombie films of George Romero, as many of them are listed over and over again by one of G-Dog's boys. He also continually refers to the creatures as "Nosferatu," a throwback to the iconic 1920s German silent film of the same name. We even have nearly direct lines being stolen from films like 1975's Jaws and 2006's Snakes on a Plane. For a cinephile, there's quite a bit of fantastic dialogue to enjoy. All that being said, the dialogue is really the only piece of the screenplay that's working even remotely successfully in this film. The story itself is a bit shoddy and predictable, but it works well enough for this film's particular purposes.

The acting strangely fits this film relatively well, considering the type of movie we're being presented. As this is billed as a horror-comedy, it's safe to say that the actors were attempting to be as funny as they could possibly be. Some of the characters work more convincingly than others. For example, we get some rather good supporting performances from Maxie J. Santillan Jr. and Jeremiah Birkett, who definitely bring the funny to the table. The aforementioned Williams also serves up a couple of good laughs. The rest of the cast fills out rather nicely considering how ridiculous they all tried to be.

At the end of the day, Mutant Vampire Zombies from the 'Hood! is an entertaining film that works well to pass the time. I wouldn't recommend seeking it out purposely for entertainment, but if you have nothing better to do, it's a nice way to throw away about an hour-and-a-half. If you have a knowledge of film, you might find a little more liking, even if the references are a little cheap. It's a nice effort, and the final result is pleasing, but it's ultimately an entirely forgettable film.

Movie Review Summary
Grade: D+
0.5 Thumbs Up