Bubba's Chili Parlor (2008)
Reviewed by Kryten Syxx
Starring S. Mike Davis, Camille Rocha, Audery Elizabeth Evans, Ramie Mercado, Bradley Maroney, Adrienne Gibson, Tristan Vaughan
Directed by Joey Evans
There is something in the meat! My God, man! Don’t eat that “World Famous” Bubba’s Chili!
Bubba runs a respectable chili parlor in a rural part of Texas. Everything is good and decent until he receives some free “government” meat. Little did he know that this special delivery was tainted with a mutated strain of Mad Cow Disease. There are already zombies on the loose, and anyone who tastes his new batch of chili will soon join the army of the undead!
As much as one should heed the warning not to partake in the tainted recipe, horror fans should sample the zombie goodness known as Bubba’s Chili Parlor. Yes, it is an indie film, but this one doesn’t follow the dime-a-dozens we’ve seen these past few years. This one has heart … and blood … and boobs … and zombie boners.
The film is solid, though it could be edited down a bit to keep the pace moving. Some scenes just carry on too long with no real depth since a few characters never evolve to the point where we’d like to care about them. Then again, Bubba’s Chili Parlor does have a real AAA player in the game who was unexpected, Audrey Elizabeth Evans. Audrey plays a smart and clever kid named Ashley. Her intelligence is ignored by her mother, and no one understands that she needs a healthier environment to live in.
Her presence and character bring a new twist to the zombie world: What would a zombie creating virus do to someone who possesses an amazing brain? Ashley manages to maintain a certain level of wit about her even after joining the undead legions, and at one point she is able to revert back to a normal human state, at least temporarily. This kind of zombie behavior should be explored more.
Bubba’s Chili Parlor also has a lot of laughs, plenty of sight gags in this one. Did I mention zombie on human sex? Yes, it’s there … gross and erotic at the same time. Hell, even the human on human sex scene is hilarious by being totally distasteful. How could you stop laughing if a re-animated dead guy was walking towards you with a raging hard-on? No wonder these plagues spread so quickly.
This movie also gets props for great make-up effects. Even the basic deaders who are covered in blood and tattered clothing have a much more realistic feel about them than some Hollywood flesh eaters. Bloody sprays, limbs falling off and zombie children continue to creep me out so many years after Dawn of the Dead. Good job.
Bubba’s Chili Parlor also tries to capture the whole grindhouse/drive-in feel from the days of old. The feature is delayed in the beginning with some modified classic announcements and commercials; there’s even an intermission that brings us more of these fun distractions. It’s the little touches like that can make all the difference in an indie flick’s appeal.
In a world where it seems many are lazy when rushing out their low budget zombie pics, this one feels like something that was made by people who loved what they were making. We just can’t get enough of Bubba’s Chili and look forward to what Joey Evans and his crew come up with next.
4 out of 5