Motocross Zombies from Hell (2007) 1 brain

There must always be a struggle for makers of zombie films to figure out what will make their film stand out from the rest. They need to figure out what unique setting or plot elements will make the average zombie film watcher perk up and say "that sounds like it might be good!" And of course, if they can work that element, whatever it is, into the title, that's even better. There seems to be something especially attention-getting about the combination of zombies and motorized bikes, whether it's motorcycles, scooters, or, as in this case, motocross bikes. Chopper Chicks in Zombietown. Biker Zombies. Hot Wax Zombies on Wheels. And this one.

Not that these seem like "good" movies when you hear of them, in the normal sense of the word; I think most fans expect something extremely campy. Unfortunately, for the most part, these movies seem to end up just being bad. In large part it seems like this is because the filmmakers end up taking the film too seriously. At least, this is certainly the case in Motocross Zombies from Hell. Everything is played straight, from the love triangle of the leads, to the menacing zombie motocross team, to the montage where the heroes are preparing for battle. And there just isn't the skill level to carry it off.

There was one sign of humor, or of more desperation: the credits showed this to be "A Cohen Brothers Production." Nobody with the last name of "Cohen" is associated with the film that I can see, certainly not the similarly named Joel and Ethan Coen. It's too bad the producers' sense of humor didn't make it more into the film.

The film stars a trio of friends, motocross champ Cody (Jason McClain, a stuntman who stepped into the role at the last minute), his mechanic and best friend Tom (Dave Competello), and Cody's girlfriend and Tom's secret crush Lori (Rachel Diana). The three of them are at the biggest race of the year, but unbeknownst to them, a mysterious group of riders called Team Skull will also be there, managed by a classist jerk with a cane that actually looks like it's a pipe. The Team Skull riders are actually undead, and are possibly also men that died at Custer's last stand (don't ask), and the classist jerk is actually working for Satan, who tells us in voiceover at the start of the film that he's after Cody. I didn't quite catch why. Maybe Satan is building a cadre of motocross riders.

Without going into details, the trio of friends ends up hiding out in an abandoned house, fighting zombies. Oddly, there are actually more zombies inside the house than out, but the friends stay there anyway. And somehow, even though this appears to be a small, one-level house, they're inside the house for hours before getting attacked. Plot holes like this abound.

There are two good things I can say about this movie: first, despite the title, there was not as much footage of motocross racing as I had feared there would be, and second, there was a plot twist that I totally didn't see coming that I have to tip my hat to. Do these things save the movie? Unfortunately, no. This is just another disappointing title.