I’m a big fan of horror movies, and as I’ve grown up I’ve found horror to be filled with valuable life lessons. Example: If a zombie outbreak were to ever happen I’ve learned how to mask my scent from other zombies, thanks to The Walking Dead. If ever attacked by a gelatinous blob from outer space, a life-saving place to go is a freezer. If killer Klowns from outer-space want to show me their shadow puppet skills… just say no! So, what did I learn from watching Night of Something Strange? That safe sex isn’t just for the living. Yeah, that might seem like a weird and somewhat twisted life lesson, but none the less dead or alive, safe sex matters.
Keeping that life lesson in mind, what are you in for with this one? Well, for 94-minutes director Jonathan Straiton takes you on a somewhat horrific and comedic adventure as the living do battle with the dead; here is what the movie is about. A group of friends is heading out to the beach for some fun and sun. Needing to stop for the night, the group finds a motel to hold up in. Unbeknownst to the group, there’s a deadly STD virus running rampant that turns those infected into the living dead and the group is caught in the virus’ path.
When I saw the trailer I knew I had to see the movie, but unfortunately, the movie didn’t hold up to the expectations I had from the trailer. As far as the story idea writers Jonathan Straiton, Ron Bonk and Mean Gene came up with an interesting spin to throw onto the ever growing horde of zombie films. Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the idea of a sexually transmitted disease turning people into zombies. Back in 2013, we got the movie Contracted. The difference between the two films is Contracted’s style was serious and grossly terrifying while Night’s direction was more grossly comedic. The script is filled with (crude and witty) humor, awesome “I’ll be back!” style one-liners and really good looking special effects.
From the very start of the movie, you’re made aware you’re about to watch a twisted flick. From the opening of the movie all the way to the credits Straiton takes you, sometimes kicking and screaming, on a dark comedic adventure that you won’t be able to forget about anytime soon. Something I thought was cool was Straiton throws in a fun little twist during the movie that I wasn’t expecting. The twist doesn’t really affect the main story, but it was a fun treat to get during the film.
The biggest problem I had with the Night of Something Strange is the constant continuity errors. Yeah I know that sounds weird because every movie has continuity issues, but there are so many and so frequent that it was yanking me out of the movie. Like some of the zombies looks stayed the same throughout the movie, while others were constantly changing the longer they were a zombie. Not in the slowly rotting way, but the make-up became more intricate and oddly even shiny by the credits. Along with the continuity issues, I felt the story would make sudden changes to the zombies that made no sense and were not explained in the story. It seemed like they couldn’t figure out what to do with a scene so they went with what they thought would gross out the audience and distract them from the obvious lack of ideas to make the scene work better.
I will say, this movie won me over with the use of practical effects over CGI. Most of the film is practical, with CGI being used a few times to help expand a scene. I think my favorite was the vaginal tentacle monster. Yeah, you read that right. Think something out of John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) but on a lower budget. As good as the effects were, the make-up used to zombify the Cornelius character looked good at first, but after he earns some road rash the make-up would switch back and forth between looking good and standing out real bad because it wouldn’t move with the actor very well.
Even though I didn’t get the movie I was expecting, I still think people will get a kick out of watching it. I’m sure there are people out there that will be able to see past the continuity thing and see the movie for what it was intended for. A nowhere near serious zom-com that delivers some seriously unique kills, witty banter and oddball characters caught in some extremely questionable situations. Speaking of which, out of everyone in the movie, I think Michael Merchant, who played Freddy, had some of the most messed up and yet funny scenes and I gotta say he took those scenes like a champ.
Side note, for those of you looking for a copy of Night of Something Strange, you can find it on Blu-ray and DVD. Now, I found three versions of the movie. The first one is a limited edition Blu-ray with bonus features such as behind the scenes, auditions, a gag reel, trailer gallery and filmmaker’s audio commentary. The second version is a limited edition DVD that has the trailer, auditions, gag reel and filmmaker’s audio commentary for bonus features. Last but not least is the plain DVD version that features trailers, scene selection, and filmmaker’s audio commentary. So it looks like fans have a bit of a variety to choose from.
Overall, if you’re a zombie fan and are looking for something a little strange to watch tonight then give Night of Something Strange a go and let me know what you thought about it.