By David Dent
Comedy horror. Mostly it doesn’t work. You have to be in the right mood too.
Well obviously I was because in a very knockabout (very very) gross out way Jonathan Straiton’s STD virus/zombie movie works brilliantly. It opens as it means to go on with Cornelius, a mortuary worker who has sex with an infected corpse, contracts a Cabin Fever style flesh melting disease, goes home, rapes his wife and then eats her reproductive organs.
The film then focuses on a group of young people out to have fun on their Spring Break, and running into the growing number of victims of the spreading disease, including of course our mortuary worker.
That’s all you need to know. The lead characters are interchangeably stereotypical and all equally annoying, so it’s fun (in a rather odd way) to see our squeaky clean cast suffer all sorts of zombie like indignities as they end up in a motel fighting off the infected – and each other.
However it’s the supporting actors that get the big laughs: mortuary worker Cornelius who’s both hungry and randy; the chain smoking store worker who’s only marginally more horrible in her zombie state than human form; and the motel owner who catches one of the cast having a piss behind a dumpster, warning him “If you shake it more than three times, you’re playing with it.”
The word that came to my mind while watching this was ‘Troma’ but there’s far more excess in Night of Something Strange than in any of Mr Kaufman’s output. This is more like Peter Jackson’s early movies Bad Taste and Braindead, but it’s even grosser than those.
But unlike all those films Night of Something Strange boasts a very funny, sharp script and comedy acting turns that are laugh out loud.
For a first movie this is something rather special. Not for everyone probably but destined for cult status, and one of those rare things – a comedy horror movie I really want to see again. With this and the hold-on-to-your-lunch delights of this year’s The Greasy Strangler, is this going to be the latest genre craze?