Put This One to Sleep
There's true art behind making a movie so awesomely bad, it must be celebrated. To qualify for this honor, the filmmakers have to know they're not making the new Citizen Kane and realize they're involved in creating a cheesefest instead. Therefore, they might as well make the experience of sitting through a B-movie as painless as possible. If someone isn't in this frame of mind during the production process, there's a good chance the movie's going down the tube.
Necropolis Awakened, a low-budget, straight-to-DVD horror movie, has a story with a lot of cool stuff going for it. Zombies, assassins, car chases, drunk hairy guys...what's not to love, right? However, writer/director Garrett White took this flick seriously and thought he was going to revolutionize the horror genre. Unfortunately, all he's accomplished is unseating Uwe Boll (of House of the Dead infamy) as the director of the worst zombie movie in existence. Necropolis Awakened is one of the most miserable movies I've ever laid eyes upon. It's one sorry excuse for 90 minutes of celluloid that could have been put to better use by bounding and gagging everyone involved with this pathetic garbage.
Let's take a look at the film's plot. Something evil has taken place in the town of Sky Hook. Not long ago, drooling cult leader Nefarious Thorne (Brandon White, the writer/director's brother) set up shop in Sky Hook, and in no time, his clan of genetically-designed zombies have taken over the place. The residents are either dead or undead, with the exception of a sole survivor: Bob (Duke White, Brandon and Garrett's dad), a whiskey fiend who resembles a thinner Captain Lou Albano. Somehow, he's managed to avoid Nefarious and his followers, having hidden in the mountains and built himself a nice arsenal of weapons he raided from the town's abandoned homes. But Nefarious has begun forming plans to expand his zombie hordes, and as for the Bob problem, he's hired a trio of assassins (Duke White, Brandon White, and Brandon Dubisar, as far as I know not a member of the White family) to finish the job. Luckily for Bob, help is on the way in the form of his nephew Tiden (the perpetrator of this cinematic crime himself, Garrett White). Summoned to Sky Hook by a note from his uncle, a skeptical Tiden comes to see for himself what horrors Nefarious Thorne has created and teams up with Bob to make sure that the invasion plans are squashed.
Oh, Necropolis Awakened...How much do I hate thee? Let me count the ways...
I hate your "special" effects, with zombies that look like microwaved Halloween masks and a hilarious-looking "beast."
I hate your lack of continuity, which allows the audience to see the lips moving underneath the masks worn by characters.
I hate your amateur style, which the filmmakers might have seen as gritty and dark but comes off as dismal and depressing. And you can back off with the boom mic; we can hear the overacting just fine.
Which reminds me, I hate your rotten performances, especially the absolutely rancid, over-the-top turn delivered by Duke White as the hitman Judas, who looks like a human version of Bugs Bunny and talks like a hyperactive Little Nicky. Not a pretty sight.
I hate the way you boast "It's Pulp Fiction meets Day of the Dead!" on your cover. Using this sort of hyperbole about such a bad movie is what gets you torn to shreds by movie nerds like me.
I hate your wannabe Tarantino style; he wasn't the first to think of a movie filled with thugs, violence, and profanity, and you're not the first to rip him off.
Did I mention that I hate Duke White as Judas?
I hate how you took a story that would've made a great cult classic and transformed it into a lethargic mess.
I hate how the hitmen are completely unphased when being hired by the undead. No one is that tough.
I hate the zombies themselves; they screech like baboons and feast on flesh, but you can't expect me to believe that the mindless undead can drive a stick shift.
I really hated Duke White. Seriously, I'll tell my grandkids about my vendetta with this guy.
I did, however, love the unintentional hilarity Necropolis Awakened stirred up. From Judas' incomprehensible speech and a zombie stumbling to the ground "Benny Hill" style, to the high-pitched face on the side of the "beast's" head, I had a good time laughing myself silly at the elements Garrett White tried to put on with a straight face.
I could spend all day describing how awful Necropolis Awakened is, but I wouldn't be any closer to pinpointing how horrible it really gets. What a waste of time and zombie gore!
MY RATING: 1/2 * (out of ****)
(Released by Pathfinder Pictures; not rated by MPAA.)
Review also posted at www.ajhakari.com.