Enter...Zombie King (2004)
Directed By Stacey Case
This is one of those reviews that is kind of difficult to write because the movie in question is one of those films that you just have to experience for yourself in order to understand and appreciate it. Much of the dialogue delivery is stiff and hokey, yet it works given the nature of the characters. The fight scenes are are clunky and aggresively dopey in nature, yet it works given the sort of genre flick the film aspires to be. The entire time I was watching this movie I couldn't help but to think that this is what a Troma film would be like if Troma possessed an ounce of self control. It's over the top, but not so far over the top as to become numbing.
Enter...Zombie King is set in a world where masked wrestlers walk around going about their everyday business without ever removing their masks. Whether it's making corporate business deals or just buying a six pack of beer at the local mini-mart, the mask stays on. Enter...Zombie King is also set in a world where flesh-eating zombies are so common the news reports on the zombie attacks as casually as they would any other murder.
The Mexican wrestling superhero genre goes to the Great White North and collides with the zombie genre in this tongue-in-cheek hybrid that almost plays out like an R-rated "Scooby Doo" mystery. Heck, the final showdown even takes place inside an old abandoned amusement park. But unlike those old El Santo movies and episodes of "Scooby Doo", there is plenty of gore and gratuitous nudity thrown if for good measure. As I already said, it sort of resembles a Troma movie only it seems more professional in both its presentation and its mannerisms. It doesn’t feel compelled to constantly beat you over the head with its outlandishness.
Masked wrestling superstar Ulysses is back in town to meet up with his friend The Blue Saint - the hot-headed son of another legendary masked wrestler - and Blue Saint's masked sister Mercedes, with whom there seems to be a hint of romance. Along the way, Ulysses hears about his former tag team partner Tiki, who is holding a wrestling event in town where he is going to wrestle some zombies inside a steel cage. Tiki travels around the country in a truck pulling a U-Maul trailer containing four zombies that he's "domesticated" in order to put on exhibition matches against them.
Meanwhile, the evil Zombie King, a huge masked wrestler that runs around in bear skins while dangling little skeleton marionettes from his fingers, is plotting to take over the world by creating an unstoppable army of the living dead. Aiding him are The French Vixen, an evil scientist looking to create a human-zombie hybrid while running around in a dominatrix outfit complete with a flaming Valkyrie-like mask, and The Murdelizer, Zombie King's top henchman, who surprisingly is the only non-masked character in the movie.
Are you getting all this?
A woman is killed by zombies outside of Tiki's show and so naturally Tiki gets the blame. Ulysses sets out to prove Tiki's innocence and uncover who is really behind the zombie threat while The Blue Saint remains convinced of Tiki's guilt and goes after him. When they finally get that straightened out, they all join forces to learn who is really behind the current rash of zombie attacks and uncover the Zombie King's dastardly plan.
Plus, the Zombie King reveals that he is a desperately lonely man and The French Vixen just doesn't do it for him so he decides to make Mercedes his new bride. Unfortunately, this subplot falls completely flat due to the fact that it comes from completely out of left field with virtually no set-up. At least Zombie King’s "I’m lonely" speech provides some chuckles.
It’s also soon revealed that Murdelizer murdered Blue Saint's dad, which doesn't completely add up seeing as how the guy playing Murderlizer looks to be in his twenties and he would have had to been about eight years old when Saint's dad was killed. On the other hand, if you're willing to go along with everything else in the goofball plot then little details like that shouldn't matter. I mean we’re talking about a movie where the characters from time to time comment on the "weird" weather they’re experiencing in order to explain why the seasons obviously changed during the length of time it took them to film the movie.
And I can't think of the last time I saw a zombie movie where most of the zombies were destroyed by having their heads ripped clean off by people with their bare hands.
Although Enter...Zombie King is mostly a lot of goofy fun, I couldn't help but to feel a bit let down by the finale. It basically comes down to three different showdowns between the various characters. Blue Saint and Murdelizer square off on a pier, Mercedes and The French Vixen duke it out inside the amusement park, and Ulysses pursues Zombie King throughout the park before they find themselves inside a wrestling ring for the final battle. The Mercedes and French Vixen fight is easily the weakest because Mercedes wins with a move that doesn't look like it would have even knocked the wind out of someone let alone leave them laying in a heap on the ground and the extremely lame one-liner she delivers afterwards doesn't help matters. The end of the Ulysses vs. Zombie King fight is even more problematic as Ulysses isn't even the one that finishes off the Zombie King once and for all. It begs the question of why Ulysses is considered the star of the movie when he's the character that does the least in the movie.
Also, would it have killed the guy playing Ulysses to find a mask that fit his head properly? Every single time he speaks the cheeks portion of the mask puffs in and out like a fish breathing. It's funny at first but after awhile it becomes really distracting.
As for Tiki, well, I won't spoil what he's off doing during the finale other than to say he has a method of "domesticating" zombies that would make Benny Hinn proud.
The actual ending is just a party scene that goes on way to long without offering much of anything other than a lesbian zombie make-out scene that is neither amusing or arousing. It all just feels like a means to pad the film out a few more minutes and keep in mind the film is only about 76 minutes long.
If you go into this movie because you're looking for a zombie flick then you're probably going to be disappointed because first and foremost, Enter...Zombie King is both a loving homage to and parody of Mexican wrestling flicks. The intentionally funny dialogue is often delivered as stilted as the bad dubbing in any of the Santo movies and the fight scenes always devolve into pro wrestling complete with numerous armdrag takedowns, hiptosses, monkey flips, and bodyslams. If you have any affection for Mexican wrestling movies like I do then you'll probably enjoy the hell out of Enter...Zombie King. If not, then the whole movie will probably feel like a hammer blow to your cranium.
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