Meet Jack, a resident of Necroville, and all round good guy who is down on his luck. Necroville is not the nicest place in the world to live given the widespread threat of zombies, vampires and werewolves; to compound Jack’s problems his loser friend Alex just got them both the sack from their job at a video rental store. But then shit happens when rampant zombies burst in while you are trying to work, and sometimes things are going to get a bit out of hand. Jack’s girlfriend Penny is not so understanding of the situation. She needs money bringing in so she can lounge around and not have to worry about going to work herself. So it is that Jack and Alex find themselves working for Zom-B-Gone- a company that offers full extermination services for all supernatural pests. Penny worries Alex might get killed before he manages to bring in a pay cheque and looks to the head of the vampires for consolation.
Director, cast and crew.
Low budget director Richard Griffin is fast becoming one of my new favourite directors in this field. Brought to my attention with the gloriously smutty and wild Disco Exorcist, I thought it wise to track down some of his other projects. Sadly he is not very well known on my native shores of old Blighty. But Disco Exorcist did get a release over here recently; here is hoping this brings about an interest strong enough to ensure some of his other films get Region 2 releases. One thing I love about his work I have explored so far is the real sense of fun and love for the genre that shines through. Necroville marks a collaboration with co-director Billy Garberina, and while not exclusively Richard Griffin, does carry all the energy and trademarks of his other projects.
For the cast, well it is a case of the usual grade of acting associated with bargain basement fun. But, and this is a very big but, such is the tight scripting and likeability of our lead Jack, that it does not matter. Co-director Garberina plays everyman hero Jack. Downtrodden by his bitchy and demanding girlfriend Penny (Brandy Bluejacket), with a loser friend Alex (Adam Jarmon Brown) in tow, you cannot help but feel sorry for the guy. The interplay between Jack and Alex makes for some fun moments as the two spiral from one zany situation to another. There is a real camaraderie between the two- plus a ton of stoner/loser humour- that adds to the fun element. The banter feels natural but considering Garberina and Jarmon Brown co-wrote the script it is not surprising. On the side of the ‘bad guys’ -vile girlfriend Bluejacket pulls no punches in her portrayal of a miserable and nasty bitch Penny, while her vampy bit on the side Clark (Mark Chavez) puts in a worthy turn.
It goes without saying this is micro budget stuff. To give you some idea imagine if Tucker and Dale Vs Evil was done on a Troma budget? Well it might have come out something like this. But given the money and the time the crew had to shoot this they have not done too bad a job, it is definately a cut above many other similar budgeted features. It feels grungy and DIY, but this suits the feel of the film. There is no scrimping on the guts and gore either, which is always a welcome addition. As far as the make-up effects go these too are reasonably applied- given the lack of budget- and there are some great zombie effects in the early scenes. Everything has that delicious old school feel fans of this brand of horror are going to lap up.
The Highs & Lows.
Necroville is a hell of a lot of fun, but then what is not to like? Ok well, if you do not dig whacky, slapstick humour in your horror, you will probably hate it. For those who do love all of the aforementioned there is plenty to be had here. Griffin and Garberina turn it up to eleven when it comes to fast paced action and getting out the grue. We have zombies, werewolves and vampires thrown into the madcap storyline, as the guys go about their business cleaning up the streets of Necroville. There are some fabulously entertaining set pieces as well; including a chainsaw stand- off on a zombie hoarde, a vampire feasting on sucked out baby brains for his dinner, and the brilliantly wacky climatic scene which has to go down as most innovative way to kill a vampire in the history of horror. The script is packed to the hilts with laughs too, if you dig that cheesy stoner humour that is. The soundtrack, as with most Griffin features, is top notch; a blend of psychobilly to accompany the madcap action, and industrial darkwave for the vampire clubs; the guy’s reggae loving, pot smoking boss down at Zom-B-Gone even has his own theme tune. I was very pleased to see Brit psycho band Zombina and the Skeletones feature in the credits with their track ‘Nobody Likes you When You’re Dead’. Another point worth mentioning is Necroville does lack the boob factor seen in some of Griffin’s other features.
Fabulous fun from Griffin and Garberina with a real feel of 80’s video trash; be warned if you are looking for big budget production values you will not find them here. But if you are like me and enjoy a good old gory cheese fest of a comedy horror with things spilling their guts every other minute, and bags of inappropriate humour thrown in, this is for you!