11th Apr2019

Movies You May Have Missed: ‘Bong of the Dead’

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to the latest installment in our regular Movies You May Have Missed series here on Nerdly, in which I highlight some of, what I think, are the best movies that have flown under the radar of many or have been “forgotten” in the intervening years since its release. This time round its the low-budget stoner comedy-horror Bong of the Dead.

bong-dead-poster

Stars: Simone Bailly, Mark Sweatman, Jy Harris, Barry Nerling, Vince Laxton, Cher Staite, Allan Kipling | Written and Directed by Thomas Newman

Official Synopsis:

The world might be in the grip of the zombie apocalypse, but all stoners Edwin and Tommy are worried about is getting their next dope hit. When the undead attack, they discover that mashed-up zombie makes the most excellent fertiliser for their marijuana crop, inducing the sort of super-powerful high most pot-heads could only dream of…. Zombie brains + cannabis = super weed! With their gorgeous friend Leah in tow, the trio venture into the Danger Zone, which is over-run by the undead, to try to bag some more zombie brains – and try not to get eaten or lose their high in the process.

My Thoughts:

Imagine if Cheech and Chong were caught in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and you have Bong of the Dead

A stoner “comedy” in the very broadest meaning of the word, the film comes from writer, editor, VFX supervisor and director Thomas Newman – a veritable one-man-band of filmmaking who apparently made Bong of the Dead for $5000 and completed post-production in his basement over the space of two years. And whilst you have to admire Newman for actually getting off his arse and making a movie, one can’t help but feel he was a little TOO close to the project to remain impartial and even with a mere 90 minute runtime, there’s still plenty that could have been left on the cutting room floor.

Whilst the comedy is not really that funny, the gore is most definitely impressive – especially considering the budget – with nods to zombie movies that have come before it. In fact the film seems to be an homage to the early work of Peter Jackson, from Bad Taste to Braindead, with the same inventive action as the former and the over-the-top gore of the latter, right down to using lawnmowers to massacre swathes of zombies. Oh and there’s some rather nasty gore that really has to be seen to be believed!

An OTT goofy zombedy, Bong of the Dead is more a triumph of filmmaking than storytelling. But if you like your budgets very low, the gore quotient very high, and huge dollops of stoner humour you might find yourself enjoying it. Just stick around for the post-credits sequence is all I’ll say…

Where to Find It:

The UK Left Films DVD of Bong of the Dead is long-since OOP, however the film has been released on Blu-ray in Germany of all places and you can order a copy right now on Amazon. You can also rent and/or buy the film on iTunes.

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