Redneck Zombies (1987) 1 brain1 brain

Alternate Titles:

Redneck County Rape

I actually saw Redneck Zombies a long time ago, even before I really got into watching zombie films. I remember thinking it was horrible, and I ended up fast-forwarding through most of it. When I started this site I knew I would have to watch it again someday, without fast-forwarding, to give it an honest review. Now, after years of seeing some of the worst that the genre has to offer, imagine my surprise when I finally rewatched this and found it almost enjoyable. If I mention that Troma released this film, you can probably guess what turned me off in the first place: bad acting, cheesy dialog, no plot to speak of, and cheap production values. Two things have changed since then: my awareness of the class of bad movies that know they're bad, and my ability to pick out the sparks of genuine wit and creativity in the midst of the garbage.

The basic plot is simple. A barrel of supertoxic radioactive waste is being transported by jeep through the countryside by a soldier, and he gets into an accident while trying to give his dog a smoke. The barrel falls out of the jeep, and it's appropriated by a territorial redneck, who then has to give it to a rival redneck clan whose moonshine still he has destroyed. The moonshine clan uses the barrel to cook up a new batch, radioactive waste included, and it's distributed throughout the countryside. In the meantime, a nearby group of hikers has settled down for the night. The moonshine has the effect of turning people into zombies, and the next day they start their search for human flesh.

And that's pretty much it. What makes this movie more palatable are the creative touches that come out of nowhere, like the hirsute Billy Bob (Zoofeet, who also co-wrote) who insists that everyone call him Elly Mae, the cancer-ridden Tobacco Man (E. W. Nesneb), who drives around a truck, selling tobacco like ice cream and prophesying doom, and the hiker who always seems to have a flask or bottle stashed in his pockets to take a nip from (Martin J. Wolfman, I think). There are other inspired touches, too, but I don't want to give anythihg away.

So am I recommending this movie? Weellll, that depends. Like I said, this movie is a train wreck by any normal standards. But if you like cheesily bad horror and can appreciate the humor in the intent of the joke rather the execution, you just might enjoy yourself.