Flesheater (1988) 1 brain

Alternate Titles:

Flesheater: Revenge of the Living Dead
Revenge of the Living Zombies
Zombie Nosh

Bill Hinzman may be better known to you as the first zombie to appear in Night of the Living Dead, in the graveyard with Barbara and Johnny. Apparently he got recognized by fans often enough on the street that he decided the character deserved his own movie, so he wrote, directed, and starred in Flesheater: Revenge of the Living Dead, reprising his role (but not exactly, so he could avoid being sued).

The plot is simple. A zombie is awakened by a farmer in rural Pennsylvania, somewhere near Pittsburgh (sound familiar?), and he kills the farmer. He and the farmer proceed to wreak havoc on a group of young folks having a campfire in the woods nearby. More people are killed, and more zombies are created, and more people are killed...and so on. There is a very weak subplot about one couple that manages to stay just ahead of the zombies, warning people as they go (and being mostly ignored).

In an interview on the Flesheater DVD, Bill Hinzman says that all low-budget movies are pretty much the same, and once in a while someone just gets lucky and becomes famous. I can't remember right now whether he mentions any names, but it seems pretty clear he's talking about Romero. The fact that he can't see what sets Night of the Living Dead apart from other low-budget zombie films is a good indication of what's wrong with his own film.

Hinzman seems to think that to make a horror film, you just need to show people being killed. Most of the film has no atmosphere and no tension. The only scenes with any tension at all bear a striking resemblance to scenes from Night of the Living Dead, and these are dispensed with early in the film so Hinzman can get down to the business of his monotonous killing. After he feels he has shown you enough killing (and gratuitous nudity), Hinzman rips off some more scenes from Night of the Living Dead for a plodding finish.

To Hinzman's credit, the makeup and special effects in the movie are pretty good, so if you're into the gore, you may want to give it a viewing, but find some way to keep yourself awake so you don't miss anything.