Zombies! What more could you ask for? The Chopper Chicks are reved up for
the rowdiest ride of their liberated lives when they make a pitstop in
the armpit of America, ZOMBIETOWN! There they discover a murderous mortician
who's killing off the dimwitted townsfolk and turning them into - take
a guess - zombies!
biker-babes vs. flesh-eating zombies in the nuttiest, head-choppin', action
climax ever made!
"Blind kids, a midget, dykes on bikes... we could start a side-show!"
In Zombie Town
is the typical Troma mix of light horror, adventure,
and bad gags. I would think this film was thought up during a heady night
of boozing in front of the video recorder. Films viewed being Easy Rider
, Faster Pussycat
, Kill, Kill!
of course Night Of The Living Dead
. However, the resultant film
is no way in the same league as its 'inspirations'.
The film is
about a gang of leather clad female bikers who ride from town to town to
escape the grind of everyday life and their diverse pasts. At the films
beginning they are riding into the dusty, desert backwater of Zariah (population
128 (no sorry 127!)) in search of `meat' (both senses of the word are applicable).
After the typical cliché of the frosty reception from the locals,
the girls discover that Zariah has an alarmingly high mortality rate. Yes,
a 'mad' scientist is at work bumping off the locals and raising them as
zombies. Cue confrontation between the 'chicks' and the shambling undead.
On a sidenote:
The term chopper has three meanings. Here the usage is obviously as slang
for a motorbike, but chopper also means axe and also has a phallic resonance.
I think the filmmakers wasted the opportunity to make a film (the only
film) about axe wielding dyke bikers. The resulting film being a sort of
Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert meets George A. Romero!
Back to the
review proper: 'Chopper Chicks'
also has themes/moments similar
to two much better zombie films namely Dead & Buried
Plague Of Zombies
. Using the undead as slave labour, here to work in
a radiation contaminated mine (hey, it's a Troma movie - they have to get
a radiation link in somewhere), is lifted straight from 'Plague'
I won't mention the Dead & Buried
link as it would overtly spoil
Suffice to say
I was not particularly impressed with 'Chopper Chicks'
. For starters,
the film fails to make the zombies threatening or frightening. Zombies
work best in claustrophobic settings, when they pop up unexpectedly and
when there are vast numbers of them. They are not much good ambling down
a high street or along a desert road where they just become fodder for
a baseball bat. Also, the evil protagonist did not have much of an impact,
being reduced to the level of a fall guy for slapstick humour. There isn't
even a confrontation between him and the biker women.
is also a comedy-adventure so the horror aspect could take
second place. Fair enough, but the film mostly fails here as well. Moments
that I found amusing were as sparse as the desert setting. The characters
too easily fall into the realms of crude caricature and the viewer ends
up with more empathy for the cadavers. Any pretence of a veneer of female
solidarity/empowerment in the film is quickly scraped away. The inclusion
of a blind troupe of children adds nothing to the film. Here the potential
for moments of both horror and comedy as the kiddies mingled with the undead
was lost. Finally, too few of the humans die whilst the zombies are massacred.
The only biker to die in battle does so stupidly, just becoming another
plot mechanism for another explosion.
does have some redeeming features. The initial victim is a
child - a welcome break from the typical rose-tinted treatment of children
in most horror films. The use of a stapler to seal the zombies' mouths
to stop them biting is inspired. As is the fact that the local townsfolk
refuse to fight the zombies as they're 'family'. The best moment in the
film is the reaction of one biker to a proclamation of love from an ex-boyfriend.
Her response to the words `I love you' is superb, a cinematic classic.
- The original title was Cycle Sluts Vs. the Zombie Ghouls but was shot and cast as Chrome Hearts. (Chrome Hearts was
used because the filmmakers believed they would have a better chance of
getting people interested in the film if it had a more respectable title.)
residents of the town-used-for-filming were not fond of this movie being
made in their backyards. Some reportedly covered themselves with bed sheets
and banged pots and pans near the set to disrupt filming.
Martin Brummer, the driver of the school bus, died shortly after filming
in a tragic car accident.
- The mortuary scenes were filmed in an old abandoned school house.
- About three weeks into filming the director, Dan Hoskins, noticed
graffiti starting to appear in the back of the sets. One wrote, " Who do
I have to fuck to get off this shoot."
- Jamie Rose, who plays Dede, crashed the day she was being trained
on how to ride a motorcycle. They promptly sent her to shoot the next day.
- Shooting in the desert for three weeks can get a little boring...
so the crew decided to make an ongoing chart of who had slept with who
during filming. It is said to have been a long and thorough chart.
- During filming, Billy Bob Thornton was held at knife point in
his trailer by a crazed local. The man insisted that Thornton sing a song
that he created but to no avail. Police soon arrived and threw the crazed
inbred in jail.