Starring Trey Harrison, Rebecca C. Kasek, Wayne W. Johnson, Michael Merchant, Toni Ann Gambale, Nicola Fiore
Directed by Jonathan Straiton
Screened at FrightFest 2016
When skeevy morgue janitor Cornelius (Johnson) decides to have his way with a corpse during a boring night shift, he ends up with the STD from hell – quickly transforming him into a sexed-up zombie looking to get his rocks off with (and spread the infection to) any woman he can get his hands on.
At the same time, a bunch of stereotypical college students are on a road trip to Spring Break festivities. When one of them accidentally contracts the infection from a blood-soaked toilet seat left behind by Cornelius, the bodily fluids hit the fan as the gang stop for the night at a roadside motel and the sex-zombie action begins in earnest.
First of all, if you’re to enjoy Night of Something Strange in any way, be sure to leave your sensitivities at the door. This is a film packed full of vulgar humour from start to finish, and peppered with violent rape scenes that regularly feel exceptionally uncomfortable given the playful tone of the over-all picture.
Acting from the student crew (primarily named after horror figures such as Freddy, Jason, Christine, Carrie etc.) in the early dialogue-driven scenes is less than impressive, but perks up once the madness begins and their tasks revert to primarily running, screaming and looking astounded at the madness unfolding before them. The completely archetypal nature of the characters remains a hard pill to swallow, though, with it being utterly unbelievable that any of these people could actually be friends, let alone agree to be stuck together on a lengthy road trip.
Gags such as one character sharting on the face of his sleeping friend, and another unwittingly engaging in anal sex with the corpse of his fat chum – completely believing that he’s making quiet love to his girlfriend – and subsequently getting his junk stuck is the kind of forced depravity that Night of Something Strange demands you find hilarious.
Despite the problems with performances and approach to rape, Straiton’s film does garner the occasional belly laugh and amused groan of disgust (see one character receiving a gigantic load of caustic cum to the face, for example), and the practical effects are wonderful – offering up tons of splattery goodness and even some monstrous tentacle action.
There’s very little left to the imagination – Straiton apparently determined to massacre every taboo out there – but every time you think Night of Something Strange may have crossed the line, it tends to win you back with a good-natured (if sick and twisted) laugh. When the creature rampage is in full swing, the chuckles and gore come thick and fast ensuring a fun ride to the genuinely side-splitting ending.
So it’s very much ups and downs. Night of Something Strange has little aspiration to be anything but vulgar, disgusting and amusing, and it does succeed there – but your tolerance for almost offensively basic characters, stilted acting and sexual assault as comedy will need to be high if you’re going to have fun with the degenerate onslaught it presents.