REVIEW: EVIL BONG 420

CAST

John Patrick Jordan (Workaholics)
Sonny Carl Davis (Thelma & Louise)
Robin Sydney (Trophy Heads)
Amy Paffrath (The Purge 2)
Mindy Robinson (Stretch)
Chance A. Rearden (Ooga Booga)
Sam Aotaki (Alpha House)

 

Full Moon is a company that seems to be afraid of nothing. The company’s film catalog is chocked full of awesome and obscure concepts, even those that might seem taboo to some folks. But one of my favorite series thus far are the Evil Bong films. Cheap and schlocky, these films redefine B-grade horror. Evil Bong 420 is the latest release in this group, and it certainly does not disappoint.

Rabbit has escaped the Evil Bong’s World of Weed, and has opened a topless bowling alley. It’s the Grand Opening and the balls are rolling, the boobs are bouncing and the weed is plentiful. When his old friends, Larnell and Sarah Leigh stop by to help him celebrate his wacky new business venture, things are finally looking up for Rabbit, right? Wrong! Evil Bong is hot on Rabbit’s trail. With the help of the murderous Gingerdead Man, they crash the most balls out party of the century. But Gingerdead Man has plans of his own when he learns that the secret to becoming a real man is getting his cookies off. The Bong is BACK!! And so is everybody else, including Sarah Leigh (Robin Sydney), Larnell (John Patrick Jordan), Rabbit (Sonny Carl Davis), Velicity (Amy Paffrath), Hambo, Gingerdead Man, Ooga Booga and tons of insane surprise guests. It’s the movie with its mind firmly in the gutter. EVIL BONG 420 has the biggest balls, boobs and bongs you’ll see all year.

Evil Bong 420 looks like it was shot on a home video camera, but that does not detract from the film at all. In fact, it adds to the charm. The look and feel of the movie reminds me of a late-80s/early 90s creature-feature that tries to be serious.As I mentioned above, the acting is cheezy, and it is not confined to one particular actor…it’s pretty much everybody. But honestly, I don’t think I would have liked the movie as much if it wasn’t.

The special effects are typical Full Moon-fashioned fun. Gingerdead Man still looks like a turd with a face, while Evil Bong shines with her bad-assed attitude and curvy stature. You just can’t ask for much more when you’re looking at a film like this. Evil Bong 420  is a major win for me, and I can’t wait to see where they take the series next. I really like how this film incorporates a couple of different Full Moon franchises (much like DOLLMAN VS. DEMONIC TOYS did). This is a fun piece of cheezy pie, so don’t expect an Academy Award winner. If you can watch it with the right mindset, you’re in for a treat.

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REVIEW: GINGERDEAD MAN VS EVIL BONG

 

CAST

John Patrick Jordan (Workaholics
Robin Sydney (Trophy Heads)
Sonny Carl Davis (Thelma & Louise)
Amy Praffrath (The Purge 2)
Chance A. Rearden (Zombies vs Strippers)
Ryan Curry (The Specialist)
Victoria Levine (Submissions)

What technically serves as the fourth movie in both of Charles Band’s recent franchise series comes off as an unexpected mash-up when the mass murdering cookie, Gingerdead Man goes toe to toe with the smoky seductress, Ebee or the Evil Bong. But it’s definitely not like you think.  It’s actually quite tame in most regards, having more to do with softcore scenes and stoner humor than anything else. As you can expect, our deranged cookie still takes out a few unlucky victims; but the majority of the tale really seems to center around the Evil Bong series, which might upset fans of the Gingerdead Man films. I did not feel that a nearly twenty-minute recap  of the first three Evil Bong movies were necessary. All this did was make the film press on a bit longer than it needed to and it felt like a way to kill time, to be honest. Full Moon is better than that. I hope they’re not starting to slack off. Yet again, we needed to be reminded of the very first Gingerdead Man film; which I also didn’t think was truly necessary, especially if you’ve already got the DVD’s like myself; and are already familiar with the story. Perhaps these are here for newcomers, but I would shun anyone who watches this film without having watched any of the precursors. That’s like seeing Puppet Master 4 first, instead of starting with the original. While the Gingerdead Man films did not tie into each other, the three Evil Bong films certainly did; hence the need to watch all of them in succession.

When the plot finally got rolling, we were greeted by a very familiar face in Larnell, who’s role has been reprised by John Patrick Jordan. This time, he’s finally moved on up to owning his own headshop and he’s hired a short but murderous fellow by the name of string, who is played by The Don. Amy Paffrath plays the role of the carried on girlfriend, Velicity from the Evil Bong series, but her performance (or perhaps the character in general) just seems a bit flat for me this time. It’s also too short to notice. A little bit of T&A and she’s out the door. Interestingly, several Ooga Booga references pop up into the film, like Hambo (Chance Rearden) and an Asian couple (Tian Wang, Jinee Joung) of tourists who seem to mock the stereotype of The Gook as in displayed in the Ooga Booga series of figurines. The mouth appliance that Tian wears is exactly like the teeth displayed on the figure. At any rate, numerous other Full Moon characters appear in the film and other references can be found for those with a keener eye than mine. It would appear that Larnell has been locking Ebee/Evil Bong (Michelle Mais) in a cabinet, where he hopes to find her secret. Yet another familiar face plops into the shop (too many coincidences for the story to make sense though) by the name of Rabbit (Sonny Carl Davis) who all Evil Bong fans should remember The man was unmistakable in his performances and I’ll go out on a limb to say that Sonny’s performance was without a doubt one of the most memorable in the film. Rabbit is such a loveable character and I don’t think that anyone else could capture him (especially the multitude of emotions on his face which make him look like a crazed old man who just escaped the nuthouse) the way that Sonny does. So without a doubt, his work on the film makes it all worthwhile in the end.

Now that we’ve covered the headshop, let’s move onto the bakery. Obviously, since Gingerdeadman 2 & 3 were alternate timelines, only the original is rehashed and they do it quickly enough so that it’s not so much of a bother as with the Evil Bong recaps. The story brings back southern belle Sara Leigh, the brave young woman who first battled the cookie (Robin Sydney, she also plays someone else but I don’t want to get punched in the nuts for uttering her name as it says on the sign) as well as a new employee by the name of Debbie (Victoria Levine) who more or less interacts with a pervert (Timothy Bennet) and ends up fucking her boyfriend Larry (Ryan Curry) in a backroom of the bakery, where they are both eventually slaughtered. It goes without saying that Sara Leigh now owns her own bakery right in California, which is also close to Larnell’s headshop. (But since marijuana is practically legal there, I wouldn’t be surprised as to how many bakeries collide with headshops out that way.)

Then comes the cookie, which I was quite upset to see at first. First of all, Gary Busey isn’t reprising his role for some reason or another this time around; but Bobby “Busey” Ramos is now taking the job. But that’s not the problem, as Bobby does a fine job with the character and makes me think that it’s still the same guy. My problem is the odd decision to not use the puppetry that Full Moon has been known for since the beginning. Instead, they’re using real human mouths for the puppets; which seem to stem from either lack of funds or the fact that they’re just trying to get it done as quickly as possible. Either way, this is the worst that I’ve ever seen the Gingerdeadman, ever. It’s pretty bad when you see the rehash of the first film and notice how well the puppetry was done, only to find that many years later things have gone down the tube completely. Come on Charles, what happened? You’re better than this. I’ve actually been watching a few of the older (and somewhat more obscure) Full Moon films like Vampire Journals and Meridian, noticing just how well done they were in terms of story and makeup. But this one seems kind of rushed and I’m curious as to why.

Bottom line is that Gingerdead Man Vs. Evil Bong wasn’t quite all that it was cracked up to be. It had plenty of Full Moon appearances, but not enough of a plot to keep it going. It just wasn’t long enough. Too many recaps and ridiculously expectable plot developments make this one only a decent film at best, which pales behind the previous installments. And once again, the use of actual human mouths on the puppets is so terrible that I can’t believe it was ever considered. That’s something out of amateur film making, and for a man who’s got more films to his name than there are people in some towns; Charles Band is no amateur.

REVIEW: THE GINGERDEAD MAN 1, 2 & 3

CAST

Gary Busey (Predator 2)
Robin Sydney (Evil Bong)
Ryan Locke (American Gun)
Larry Cedar (Deadwood)
Alexia Aleman (Close Call)
Newell Alexander (Flushed Away)
Margaret Blye (The Entity)
Jonathan Chase (Gamer)

The Gingerdead Man starts as armed robber & brutal killer Millard Findlemeyer (Gary Busey) kills diner owner James Leigh (Newell Alexander) & his son Jeremy (James Snyder), watching this happen is James daughter Sarah (Robin Sydney). Jump forward several years later & Sarah now runs a bakery & Millard Findlemeyer has just been executed for his crimes, a strange package containing gingerbread topping is delivered to Sarah’s bakery. Sarah decides to use the topping & bakes a large gingerbread man, however unknown to Sarah the topping somehow contains the soul of killer Millard Findlemeyere & he becomes a walking, talking killer gingerbread man out for revenge on Sarah who helped send him to the electric chair…UntitledProduced & directed by Charles Band & partly produced by his company Full Moon Entertainment this is undeniably a very silly horror film but one that I quite liked. The script is a silly spoof on Child’s Play (1988) with the soul of a serial killer finding it’s way into a gingerbread man instead of a doll, The Gingerdead Man isn’t too dissimilar to Jack Frost (1996) which used a snowman as it’s central gimmick. Almost the entire film is set inside a bakery & in that sense it feels a little like the excellent slasher Intruder (1989) which is set inside a late night supermarket. At only 70 odd minutes long with nearly five of those taken up with opening & closing credits it moves along at a nice pace & isn’t boring either, the story is silly but fun & the central Gingerdead Man character has a certain odd charm, the one-liners are alright & the character’s are a little better than I expected with some development that doesn’t add up to much but at least the makers tried.

The Gingerdead Man is a film with a bad reputation but one that I thought was fun, moved along at a good pace & had a charismatic central villain.

CAST

Bruce Dent (S.W.A.T.)
Michelle Bauer (Voodoo Academy 2)
Travis Dixon (Truth or Dare)
Junie Hoang (Fifth Ward)
Kevan Moezzi (Guber)
Frank Nicotero (Wishmaster)
Joseph Porter (Mega Piranha)
Kelsey Saunders (The Genesis Code)
Jon Southwell (A Little Light)
John Vulich (Dawn of The Dead)

This time around our pint sized killer friend the Gingerdead man has been delivered into a box baked goods to Cheatum Studios. Despite the fact that he was destroyed in the first one there is no explanation to how he’s back, but hey it’s Full Moon. They actually did a great job in this film by making fun of their own pictures at every turn. It’s pretty much and hour+ spoofing their countless sequels, low budgets, poor direction, and awful acting they’ve provided over the years. The main character Kelvin Cheatum, whose a complete spoof on Charles Band, is pulling out all the stops to keep his studio running as it’s on the downward spiral. gingerdeadman2-dKelvin is giving a dying boy a tour of the studio while the Gingerdead man is doing some major killing behind the scenes. As the the killings continue Kelvin works on trying to pull the disgruntled actors together to try and finish Tiny Terrors 9 before they lose everything. Then Kelvin and his tourers walk in on the Gingerdead man while chainsawing one of the stagehands causing studio wide panic. Eventually it turns out the dying kid is in disguise and really a crazed fan who want to bring the studio down. However the Gingerdead man saves the day to some extent only to be killed by the puppets from Tiny Terrors 9.

I really enjoyed the Gingerdead man 2 and think it may have a slight edge on the first one. Now my enjoyment comes from the standpoint of it being a Full Moon film and not a legitimate big budget flick. It’d really be foolish to pick this one up and expect to get anything really good. It’s obviously nowhere near scary but did provide me with a lot of laughs and enjoyment.

CAST

Jacqui Holland (Silent But Deadly)
Jean Louise O’Sullivan (Legit)
Mike C. Manning (Cloud 9)
Carrie Lazar (Thor)
Junie Hoang (Fifth Ward)
Robin Sydney (Evil Bong)
Steffinnie Phrommany (The Advocate)
Peter Stickles (Evil Bong 3)
William Butler (Mothman)
Kimberly Dawn Guerrero (Anchorman 2)

After being digested, crucified, and locked up Hannibal style, it’s time for some revenge! Charlie Band takes us on another ride, through the demented mind of a killer cookie, hellbent on bloodshed.

The Story – After cleverly escaping the maximum security Research Institute of Homicidal Baked Goods, the Gingerdead Man stumbles up a time machine and finds himself sent back in time as he slaughters the contestants of a 1970’s Roller Boogie Contest. The only hope for survival is when a young girl blessed with the gift of Telekinesis makes the scene. The actual setting was quite fun and really stood out as a roller disco rink. The sets were filled with colors, music, decorations, disco balls, almost everything you would think of!

Okay, for the most part, these are first time actors, and they’re not bad, especially considering the budget on which they were hired. Most of the characters are stereotypical, like the bitchy girl who wants to win the contest, the dumb blonds. I counted a total of 15 deaths, and some of them were actually very creative, but I expect nothing less with the a company like Full Moon! The highlight includes acid and a water hose.

Overall, I found the movie very enjoyable. Like I said, it does feel like a 1976 horror movie when you factor in the setting, costumes, music, and let’s not forget the cheesy makeover scene, complete with music and random outfight changes! There was some forced humor including a cookie penis, and some toilet humor that really took me out of the film, but most people in my demo range will enjoy it. I think one of the most enjoyable scenes had to be the 1941 flashback, it was hilarious! Oh, and don’t get me started on the ending, it’s so offbeat and random, but you’ll enjoy it!

REVIEW: EVIL BONG 1, 2 & 3

 

CAST

David Weidoff (Roommates)
John Patrick Jordan (Workaholics)
Mitch Eakins (Glory Road)
Brian Lloyd (Candy Stripers)
Robin Sydney (Trophy Heads)
Kristyn Green (Carver)
Tommy Chong (That 70s Show)
Michelle Mais (Trading Places)
Jacon Witkin (Hail, Caesar!)
Kirsten Caldwell (Hot Tamale)
Phil Fondacaro (Sabrina: TTW)
Tim Thomerson (trancers)
Bill Moseley (Army of Darkness)
Sonny Carl Davis (Thelma & Louise)

A nerdy bookish student named Alister moves in with a group of stoners and he’s soon going to regret it. Whilst his 3 new friends spend the vast majority of their time getting stoned, Alister chooses not to participate saying that he needs all his brain cells for his studies. So, as Alister studies, or rather tries to, his new friends get high and mooch around either sleeping or playing video games.Image result for EVIL BONGOne day while perusing a copy of High Times, the guys see an advertisement for a supposedly haunted bong and decide that they must buy it. Naturally, they don’t really believe that any danger will befall them but they are sadly mistaken. Turns out that if you smoke from the bong when you fall asleep, the bong will take your spirit. Everything seems ok at first in the dream world, after all, who’s going to find a topless bar threatening? As expected the guys find it to be a very nice place to pass the time, but the dancers in this bar are not as friendly as one would like.

My main reason for enjoying this is because it’s a Full Moon release and is jam-packed with cameos from their other films. So we get to see not only the Gingerdead Man and Ooga Booga but Jack Deth too. The only real downside to the film is in its overuse of the Monster Bra line that Charles Band created, of which more is explained on the extras as there is a fairly decent sized segment about the Full Moon Roadshow which is highly entertaining

 

CAST

Mitch Eakins (Glory Road)
Brett Chuckerman (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Sonny Carl Davis (Thelma & Louise)
Mitch Eakins (Glory Road)
John Patrick Jordan (Workaholics)
Brian Lloyd (Candy Stripers)
Michelle Mais (Trading Places)
Amy Praffrath (The Purge 2)
Robin Sydney (Trophy Heads)
Jacon Witkin (Hail, Caesar!)

The characters of the first film are back, Brett (Brian Lloyd), Luann (Robin Sydney), Bachmann (Mitch Eakins), Allistair (Brett Chuckerman), Larnell (John Patrick Jordan), and they are battling the effects of the evil bong, as Bachman has memory loss and is narcoleptic, Larnell is as big as a Goodyear Blimp, and Larnell is paranoid and tweaking out all the time.

So our group of pothead idiots jump on a plane after quizzing a delivery service guy about where the evil bong was delivered from. They jump on a plane and go in search for the origins of the bong, and how to solve their problems. Along the way they run into a scientist and her partner, get some food, and drag her into the quest to fix all their problems caused by this bong. They run into Larnell’s grandfather and the plot thickens like a dark cloud of marijuana smoke.


The Poon-Tang tribe did give the guys a bit of eye-candy, running around half-naked and sporting Tarzan jungle garb. The group of potheads and mess-ups find out that the Poon-Tang tribe is involved in the guys figuring out a way out of their dilemmas. Once the group encounters the bigger and badder bong, King Bong, the film really gets better, and by better I mean that there is more vulgar half-witted jokes, one-liners, and a voice coming from the bong that sounds like a dirty and foul-mouthed comedian

 

CAST

John Patrick Jordan (Workaholics)
Peter Stickles (Shortbus)
Sonny Carl Davis (Thelma & Louise)
Amy Praffrath (The Purge 2)
Brian Lloyd (Candy Stripers)
Christina DeRosa (Extreme Movie)
Irwin Keyes (Intolerable Cruelty)
Jacon Witkin (Hail, Caesar!)
Michelle Mais (Trading Places)

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Evil Bong 3: The Wrath of Bong – it’s safe to assume that the folks at Full Moon Features aren’t going to mess with what appears to be a winning formula.  Following some trippy, kaleidoscope-like graphics of a meteor traveling through space, the film opens on a man (Irwin Keyes) burying his wife, whom he appears to have just murdered. He is startled by a mysterious meteorite crashing onto earth. Upon investigation, a strange device that looks curiously like a bong pops out of it. Brandished with a skull and glowing green hoses, the cosmic device becomes lovingly referred to as the alien bong.


The man doesn’t think much of the incident, nor of the green fuzz that starts growing on him, and instead brings the bong to a local hemp shop to pawn it. The store is run by haphazard stoners Brett (Brian Lloyd) and Bachman (Mitch Eakins). Meanwhile, Larnell (John Patrick Jordan), now a consistory theorist and ninja in training, and Alistair (Peter Stickles), who works for the space institute, run into each other at the crash site. They also head to the hemp shop and, just like that, the old gang is back together.


Upon buying the bong, Bachman can’t help himself; he has to try out the new merchandise before putting it on the shelf. After taking his first hit, he is brought to the alien bong’s world, which is inhabited by naked extraterrestrial chicks covered in fluorescent body paint, among various drug paraphernalia. One by one, the other characters join Bachman on the intergalactic journey. When there, they are drained of their seed (yeah, that seed) so that the aliens can create imitation humans to take over the world. Three of the funniest characters from the previous installments return for a hit. Gramps (Jacob Witkin) is now a medicinal marijuana salesman with an assistant known as Nurse Hookah (Christina DeRosa), who pantomimes his every word. Rabbit (Sonny Carl Davis), on the other hand, is a priest that preaches the good word. Of course, Eebee (Michelle Mais) – the original Evil Bong – is back as well to help save the day. She is as crude as ever as she minces words with Alien Bong (Circus-Szalewski).

Two of the boys’ old objects of affection also make appearances. Luanna (Robin Sydney) happens into the shop but is largely unused, while Velicity (Amy Paffrath) makes a cameo at the end. It’s nice that all of the familiar faces returned to reprise their roles, but many of them were unnecessary and would not have been missed otherwise. Fans of the Evil Bong series  will certainly enjoy the latest entry. It’s essentially more of the same, although I think this one trumps the previous sequel.