JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Attack of the Vegan Zombies (Director/Writer: Jim Townsend) - April 18, 2010
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Attack of the Vegan Zombies

2.5 2.5
76 min.

The Gifts of Wrath

Going green has seldom been deadlier. In a “be careful what you witch for” premise, a bitter practitioner of spells (H. Lynn Smith) and her desperate-to-save-the-farm daughter (Christine Egan) turn perpetually barren grape vines into bumper crop monsters who crave their fermented incarnations as much as those who till the soil.

To curiously harvest just the remaining 10% of the spectacular yield, a pair of babes (or quartet, depending how you look at it) is hired to pick the delectable fruit (Natalia Jablokov, Kerry Kearns). Filling out the temporary-help roster are Professor Frank (Wyatt Gunter) and two super nerds (John D. Kelly, Watt Smith). The former isn’t averse to taking a dip in the nubile girls, while the later are so stereotyped that they probably leave their horn-rim glasses on when choking their virginal thermometers.

At the centre of it all is farmer Joe (Jim Townsend who also wrote, directed and produced the verdant production). The reformed wino submits to a bit of rough sex on the saddest night of his life, only to have a few drops of his alcohol-infused blood mixed into the farm-saving potion, thus passing down his addiction to the ensuing season’s plants.

What had the promise of great fun, satire (Big Pharma is merely pricked rather than adroitly skewered), all manner of sexual couplings (only the dyke-fantasy crowd won’t, er, come away disappointed) and vegetative gore turned out to be a script—especially its dialogue (“I’ll do anything to help him succeed” “[the] land has good spells and bad spells”)—which was so on the nose and awash in predictability that the inevitable carnage couldn’t happen soon enough.

On the plus side were the menacing soundscape (and a zesty credit chart: “Knock on Would” by Catero) and Max Fischer’s imaginative cinematography.

There was so much potential in the narrative (and so many other Zombie flicks that make this genre a very difficult one to enter, let alone say something new—cross-reference below), one could only hope that a more generous helping of incantations might have been called upon to exorcise the demons from the writing. JWR

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