Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Flashback to the early 90's. Underground film was healthy and a lot of really interesting things were coming out. Most of them were featured in the pages of Film Threat Video Guide, which was a cool and vital document of the movement. I ordered a lot of videotapes and while I certainly didn't like everything I saw, I truly believe that I got my money's worth most of the time.'
The thing that made these movies special is that they were made on film. Digital photography killed the underground, if you ask me. The ease of shooting in the new medium and the rising use of the home computer for editing and effects created a deluge of product. And most that I've seen isn't worth my time or money. I don't even like the look of digital photography, just as I didn't care for what most of the guys shooting on videotape were doing. There were and are exception, of course.
One of the coolest guys working was Mark Pirro, who was known at one time as The King of Super 8. A dubious distinction, some might say, but I think it was an honor and Pirro's Super 8 movies were fantastic. A Polish Vampire in Burbank, Curse of the Queerwolf and the film in question, Nudist Colony of the Dead.
Pirro's films follow the gag-a-second method used by The Wayans, The Zuckers and The Farrollys, but the major difference is that Mark Pirro's movies are actually funny.
The title pretty much gives most of the plot away. A nudist colony is shut down by religious zealots (a ruling decreed by Forrest J Ackerman playing a judge). The disgruntled nudists imbibe poisoned Kool-Aide, but vow to return to torment their oppressors. Meanwhile, a crooked preacher (is there any other kind?) arranges for a church group of troubled teens to go camping at the former nudist resort. I think you know what happens then.
Yes, it's another zombie comedy, complete with songs and dance. And as much as it pains me to report it, there is a Thriller parody. But Nudist Colony of the Dead was produced in 1991, so it's innocent.
Nudist Colony of the Dead is about as intellectual as a whoopie cushion, but despite it's intended idiocy, it is entertaining as hell. Only about half of the jokes work, but when you have two or three coming per minute, that's all you need. And the songs are pure brilliance. High points include an inspired rap by a security guard and a preposterous song by the campers called Inky Dinky Doo Dah Morning. You really need to see this.
I originally watched Nudist Colony of the Dead back when it came out. It was on videocassette, of course. The picture was pretty murky. The more recent DVD is billed as being 'digitally remastered', but I don't think it looks a whole lot better. Who cares? You want slick, go see a Michael Bay movie. You want down and dirty laughs in a spoof in which the low budget actually enhances the experience, get Nudist Colony of the Dead. It's a scream.