July 29, 2008
Rick Popko and Dan West
Rick Popko and Dan West
Paul Weiner as Sheriff Duncan
Beth West as Agent Hannigan
Dan West as Deputy Dan
Rick Popko as Deputy Rick
Tony Adams as Agent Russo
Dan Burr as Dr. Stern
The tone is set for the low budget horror delightRetarDEAD in the first few minutes when trailers for grainy low-budget horror films with mis-matched audio and silly costumes come blaring across the screen… This is one group of film makers that have decided not to take themselves too seriously.
Once the feature presentation begins it becomes evident that this is a sequel to another low-budget Indie horror flick that you’ve also never heard of, Monsturd (about a monster made of human waste, affectionately referred to as the “Poop Monster”). A young girl, presumably fresh from her experience with the Poop Monster is having nightmares and her father comes to her bedroom to comfort her. Because it “sometimes helps to talk about it” the girl shares with her father the details of her dream.
Dr. Stern (Dan Burr), it seems, is not dead after the conclusion of Monsturd as everyone suspected and is instead conducting evil experiments with a drug that transforms people of below-average intellect into thinkers of genius proportions. Now… if you were an evil scientist with a serum that can make mentally disadvantaged people incredibly smart, where would you go for test subjects? You guessed it; Dr. Stern got a job as the special education teacher at Butte County High School. Somehow nobody is particularly suspicious when the special Ed. students who normally order chocolate milk in the cafeteria begin demanding Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1957 within a week of Dr. Stern’s arrival.
Little do the budding Einsteins or their proud parents suspect, the newfound mental acuity comes with terrible side effects including erratic behavior, blue faces and cannibalistic zombieism.
Meanwhile Deputy Dan and Deputy Rick (Writers and Directors Dan West and Rick Popko) have their own problems. There is a rampant Peeping Tom, aka “Weiner Wagger” terrorizing women throughout Butte County. To make matters worse the one who leaves “pecker snot” on the window sills of Butte’s most refined ladies is also calling into the police precinct with taunting jibes and noises of farm animals. Little do the hapless lawmen know that their hunt for the marauding masturbator will land them smack in the middle of a zombie outbreak and potentially the end of the world.
RetarDEAD is perfectly and bloodily hilarious. The one-liners are priceless and eternally quotable while the background happenings are jam packed with references to horror greats like Romero and Savini. The gore is so incredibly over the top that you’ll be rolling on the floor with laughter and disgust. The blood flies with such volume that you’ll have flashbacks of the classic Peter Jackson gore- fest Braindead or any number of Tarantino movies. The feasting on human flesh by the zombies is done with such gusto and enthusiasm that one can actually feel the joy as a living human body is ripped apart before your eyes. The ending is, while abrupt, wrought with irony and works well to cap off this march through the macabre.
RetarDEAD is as devoid of political correctness and social redemption as any movie ever was, which is exactly how I like it. I, for one, will take blood, gore, wit and camp over redeeming social value any day.