Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Paul Weiner, Beth West, Dan Burr, Dan West, Rick Popko
Directed by Dan West and Rick Popko
Distributed by 4321 Films
You know, I've watched some really bad movies over my reviewing career. Movies that I knew I should never have even bothered with. Some you can tell will suck just because of the artwork. Others if Ulli Lommel is listed anywhere in the credits. But what's in a name? In this case the title of the feature, RetarDEAD, intrigued me. It's impossibly bad, yet strangely endearing. Then again, what else should I expect? This is the follow-up to 2003's shit-fest Monsturd (review here). The cast and crew behind that fecal flinging monstrosity are back with a whole new level of entertainment for us to sink to and enjoy.
I always say that I am the proud representative of the lowest common denominator. I wear that badge with pride. Directors Dan West and Rick Popko make these movies for those of us who are entertained by truly absurd films, and they do so happily. Their movies are so lowbrow that you will either:
A. Shut them off soon after they start;
B. Say fuck it and pop a brew and begin getting tanked while watching; or
C. Dig them for their ambition and flagrant disregard for good taste.
Me? I fall under B and C. How can you not love a movie from a crew who promise us ...
Our story begins soon after the dreaded Poopman from Monsturd has been vanquished. His creator, the thoroughly mad Dr. Stern, has emerged somewhat scathed from his near tomb in the sewers to wreak some more havoc in the lives of the citizens of Butte County. His new trick? Take a day job at a facility for special people and inject them with a serum to make them intelligent. Sounds like he should win a Nobel Prize, no? He probably would have if his concoction didn't yield a truly troublesome side effect -- it turns its users into blood-crazed, flesh-hungry zombies! Of course the shit hits the fans, and the retarDEAD are unleashed upon an unsuspecting small town whose residents end up joining the ranks of the undead bite-by-bite. Can the inept police force, a hot FBI agent, and a serial wanker stop Stern and his zombie army before their reign of terror spreads beyond Butte? God, I hope not.
In a word, RetarDEAD is glorious. It's technically inept on just about every imaginable level, but goddammit I dug it! This is absolutely one of those so bad it's good films, and as a result it's nearly impossible to rate it on the normal scale of good and bad. It's unapologetically politically incorrect and packs enough gore and gruesomeness for several more films. We're talking a wall-to-wall blood bath of epic proportions! Sure, some of the effects look ridiculously cheesy and the humor rarely lifts its head out of the toilet, but the manic energy and overall insanity of West and Popko kept me watching, and I'm willing to bet it will keep most of you as well.
To further sweeten the pot, before the flick even begins, the duo subjects us to a Grindhouse-like opening that features silly monster movie trailers and the most obscene theatre commercials I've ever seen. These perfectly set the mood for what's to come and are a great little bonus. Speaking of which ...
In terms of supplemental material we get over forty minutes of outtakes and a nearly ten-minute long featurette that focuses on the movie's extensive F/X sequences. All in all it's a decent watch, but to my shock and awe I found myself wanting just a little bit more.
Simply put, RetarDEAD is not for everyone. If you dig the Troma flicks or if your sense of humor is of the extremely tasteless variety, this flick offers more than its fair share of memorably offensive moments. That is, if you actually want to remember. It's a wonderfully bad experience. Here's to hoping for a trilogy!
3 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5
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