zombie hunterWell Go USA Entertainment

Have you ever watched a movie, and think to yourself: “Self, that was x-amount of time spent that I will never, ever get back”? Due to the nature of my masochistic addiction to low-grade horror and sci-fi, I find myself saying it almost all the time. But, have you ever watched a movie, said to yourself, “Self, that was x-amount of time spent that I will never, ever get back”, and then start formulating a method of plausible and working time travel so you can go back, and smack down your past self as you see the movie on, say, Netflix streaming and contemplate giving it a watch, and stand there pointing a finger in your bewildered face, firmly and loudly saying, “NO! NOOOOO!”, hoping the fact that you found a way to break the laws of physics and risked I don’t know how many paradoxes just to keep yourself from even contemplating watching said movie was enough to make you rethink things? I have just now watched that kind of movie. The movie that made me begin brainstorming the various methods of traversing the space/time continuum the very second the final end credits began flashing up on the screen. That movie is Zombie Hunter.

Zombie Hunter has nothing to do with the Manga of the same name that ran in the 1970s, and featured a story of a professional race car driver forced into an ongoing series of survival games where he has to hunt down alien parasites that hide inside corpses, reanimating them into zombies. Pity, as that would have made an awesome movie. Someone get on that. No, Zombie Hunter the movie is a 2013 flick that is set in a post-zombiepocalypse that was caused a year prior by some designer drug that, for all intents and purposes, looks like some crushed-up Pepto Bismol tablets, and turns the users into flesh eating, Pepto Bismol-spewing zombie-like individuals. Which leads me to believe that this isn’t really a true zombie movie, just a plague of zombie-like symptoms. But, that’s never really fully explained; there’s a quick introduction to the drug, and then we immediately find ourselves one year later, in a Mad Max scenario, where our “hero” of the film is zooming down a desert road in a Camaro, listening to mediocre Nickelback-like rock music on the tape deck stereo, and tough guy inner monologing like there was no tomorrow. His name is Hunter–yeah, I know–and he’s going for a Man With No Name-era Clint Eastwood kind of vocal delivery, while trying for Mel Gibson’s Mad Max fashion sense. So already, I’m thinking Zombie Hunter is really a pastiche from borrowed parts of other, better movies that you should watch instead of this one. And when your movie starts to make you think of other movies you could be watching instead, that’s not a good sign. And we’re only ten minutes in.

Anyway, after the obligatory scene of taking out zombies at an abandoned gas station while gassing up (don’t ask), he finds himself the unwilling guest of a band of surviving humans (after inner monologing about how he may be the only human left). This clan consists of an attention-hungry slut (the “actress”‘s credits on IMDB consist of this movie, and being a “free style exotic dancing and professional pole instructor”, which explains a scene where she just starts pole dancing for no discernible reason whatsoever), the sweet, innocent young lady who develops a crush on this mysterious stranger, her scrawny, geeky and perpetually horny teenage brother, the loudmouth moron who would make Biff from the Back To The Future movies say “Dude, shut up and quit being a jerk”, a crotchety old guy who’s always muttering that he’s too old for this…um, kind of thing, and Danny Trejo as a zombie butt-kicking priest named Jesus. Pronounced “Hey-zoose”, in case you’re wondering.

And here’s where we come to my biggest complaint about Zombie Hunter: the complete and utter misuse of the awesomeness that is Danny Trejo. Because let’s face it–the only reason why I gave this movie a shot in the first place was because of the promo poster used on NetFlix, which was of Trejo’s character, the priest Je’sus, holding up his axe and looking all badass, and looming large over the title of the movie. It’s the one I included as the poster art in this review, so you’ve got a visual aide, here. Look at it. LOOK AT IT. Does that image not scream to you, “Machete with zombies”? Yes. Yes it does. Instead, though, Danny Trejo appears for maybe less than a third of the time, showing up fifteen-twenty minutes in, and then killed off exactly halfway through the movie. By a badly rendered CG rip-off of the Nemesis monster from the Resident Evil games, no less.

Look, I’ve spent far too much time complaining about this…thing. Oh, Zombie Hunter tries so very hard to be a stylish grindhouse style horror movie. The entire thing falls so very flat in the execution, though, that somehow it manages to not even be one of those “so bad it’s good” kind of movies. The curious thing is, this movie is listed as a “horror comedy”. Nothing about Zombie Hunter is even unintentionally funny. All but one character were cardboard and annoying, and the only good thing about the movie was killed off halfway through. The CG effects were sub par to the point where it would make the fine hacks at The Asylum blush with embarrassment. There were a couple of times where the streaming itself failed and had to rebuffer, which makes me wonder if even the NetFlix service didn’t want to finish the movie. I wouldn’t blame them.

The only way you can salvage a watch of Zombie Hunter is if you are really, really good at riffing on bad movies, and can subject several like-minded friends to joining you. I watched this alone, and even my finely honed rapier wit had its limits. Unless you really hate yourself, and consider watching a kind of penance to assuage your self-loathing, pass on viewing Zombie Hunter.