Saturday, 24 March 2012

From the archives: The Stink of Flesh

Back when zombie movies were really hard to come by this was the second indie effort I chanced my arm on after Feeding the Masses, I wrote this for a Horror site  where it must have been read by at least seven people. Reviving it here I hope to double that readership.

Low budget indie zombie movies always appeal to me on a puerile level and this one featured Billy Garberina, star of another ultra low budget effort of which I am very fond, Feeding the Masses. Although slightly thinner plot-wise than Masses the detail and dynamics of the characterisations, and the higher levels of innovative gore, ensure that The Stink of Flesh now occupies a spot similarly close to my heart.

Matool is a loner who has been surviving the apocalypse of the undead thanks to his wits and more than competent use of his hands, feet, hammer and nine inch nails. More recently however a new strain of more mobile and capable hyper-zombie have been making his hand-to-hand melee approach somewhat more risky. After picking up a young kid,  the sole survivor from the den of a thinly veiled paedophile, Matool is himself picked up (after being knocked out) by Nathan. Back at their place Matool meets Nathan's wife, Dexy, and becomes willingly involved in their 'alternative lifestyle' in which Dexy's sister Sassy (complete with malformed conjoined twin Dorothy and played by the niece of Gunnar 'Leatherface' Hansen) is also deeply involved. The situation is further complicated by the arrival of three special forces troopers and Nathan's unhealthy obsession with the female zombie he has chained up in his shed.

The lack of budget is evident but thanks to lashings of fun effects, blood and throat tearing The Stink of Flesh is never anything short of entertaining. The action is deftly handled and original, the hyper-zombies owing less to 28 Days Later and the Dawn remake, more to Umberto Lenzi's Nightmare City and the kung fu zombies of Versus. The cheesy acting (especially by the great Garberina) only lends a greater weight of charm to the sharp and pointed script, it is obvious the cast (with the possible exception of Nathan) are amateurs but they are obviously having fun and they exercise total dedication to their buddy's film. Their buddy in this case is Scott Phillips, screenwriter of cult classic Drive and his cameraman is Richard Griffin, director of Feeding the Masses.

The Stink of Flesh was made for just $3000 and it was worth every sweat-soaked cent so viva EDP Productions. I'll be keeping a close eye on their output from now on, especially their unofficial Star Wars spin-off Moisture Farmers.

Incidentally the extras are a heap of fun, particularly the commentary track which provides a warm and witty accompaniment to the feature.

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