‘Enter…Zombie King’ is a good movie, though not without its flaws. In fact, how ‘Enter…’ overcomes some of its challenges gives the movie a unique charm to it.
During a scene early in the movie, Mercedes, lead female antagonist, steps out in a modest bikini.
“It’s a little cold for that, no?” inquires Ulysses, lead champion of justice.
“With this crazy weather, I’m just glad it’s sunny. It’ll probably be raining frogs tomorrow.”
It’s clearly snowing in late winter, with about half-a-foot of snow on the ground. But never the less, Mercedes isn’t going to let some snow prevent her from catching some sun. Similarly, despite being filmed in Canada during very Canadianesque weather, the movie will still pull out the leis, mascaras and zombies as if it were deep below the Mexican border.
‘Enter….Zombie King’ (also listed as ‘Zombie Beach Party’) is a nouvelle-grind, loving tribute to many of the camp and underground elements of cinema and pop culture. Clearly, it’s homage to the El Santo movies (and 1971’s “Los Campeones Justicieros,” which amassed a squadron of famed luchadores) is evident. Additional tributes to beach movies, cult cinema, skin flicks and surf culture can be seen in ‘Enter…Zombie King.’
And, of course, there are zombies.
I’m a bit mixed on this movie. I like it but I want to like it more. I think that perhaps, in trying to appeal to its influences, ‘Enter…’ loses a bit of itself. The movie is a good one but there are ingredients here that could have been tweaked and altered to make it a better movie than what it was. I’d seen it before a few years back and when watching it again, I was kind of surprised by the “mild nudity” that the back label warned me about. I think I was shocked that I hadn’t remembered it, considering the lovely displays from Sarah Murr and Contessa Oblivan (and the boat scene with Fire Amazon and Little D.) I remember the plot, and while geat, the random flesh-for-fun-and-profit was not essential to the story. Great sex of skin by all those involved, though.
For those curious, ‘Enter….Zombie King’ details philosopher/wrestler Ulysses as he reunites with Mercedes and her brother, The Blue Saint. The three attend a zombie-wrestling exhibition put on by the estranged Tiki, former tag partner to US. A girl ends up dead from ZOMBIE ATTACK and this has Tiki on the run.
During the course of the movie, a lot gets done. Tiki’s name is cleared. The truth behind the zombie attack is revealed to be the plot of another luchadore from Ulysses’s past, who now goes by the name ‘Zombie King.’ The death of the original ‘Blue Saint’ is resolved and the threat of the zombie hordes is defeated (OR IS IT DOT DOT DOT QUESTION MARK)
It’s a fun movie, though. A tighter focus might have made it more of a classic, having it trim off some of the excess and restructure it to accommodate everything. There’s a lot more story involved and I think it was a bit of a mis-step on focusing on it.
And, perhaps my main conflict is summed up with the Blue Saint. His name is a so-obvious-it-hurts reference to El Santo and Blue Demon, the patrons of classic lucha libre. But his name didn’t really factor in to his personality or the overall story. He could be called ‘El Canadian Jr.’ and it wouldn’t directly affect the movie. Different mask, different name, same character, same story. Giving him/the movie a life of its own instead of falling on references would have given the movie more of the edge it needed. When I first saw the DVD case in Best Video, I was excited at the prospect and during the movie, I wanted to see it succeed. I came in with a solid B/B+ effort but I was pushing for an A.
But, it’s a independent movie. There are always a hundred things beyond a filmmaker’s control for every one thing they can get a handle on. Just that the movie got made, that it looks good and offers a good viewing experience is a triumph in itself. I give mass respect for all those involve, from its conception to actually making the movie, to even having it available for me to purchase today. That’s an A+, right there and all should be proud.
I do want to say: The ending to the movie could not have been done any better. Without ruining it, both the combination of timing, acting and sound overlay with the closing scene and the opening seconds of ‘Doppelganger’ from 2-Pump Louie make it a perfect way to end the movie (and leave a good opening for any potential sequel.) There’s no dialogue said and no exaggeration of the drama; the truth of the scene and its implications is there for the viewer to comprehend as the movie fades to black.
Of course, there IS a sequel, called ‘Curse of the Iron Mask,’ which seems to be a tribute to the women’s prison/ Isla: She-Beast of the SS films of the seventies. I’ll be sure to pick that up when it comes out on DVD. ‘Enter…Zombie King’ is available now and I do suggest you give it a try.