Buck Wild

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When a chupacabra bite turns a backwoods redneck into a flesh hungry zombie, a hunting trip turns into a nightmare for four college friends trying to get away from big city life.

The chupacabra, a dangerous fiend stalking people from South America all the way to Texas in the United States. Well, not people so much as goats, chickens, and other assorted small farm animals. In fact, the name translates to “goat sucker.” Maybe it’s just me but “goat sucker” doesn’t instill that much fear. Chupacabra, at least to the English speaking world, sounds scary and exotic, like caviar and baklava, goat sucker, not so much, sounds more like something my friends and I would have called each other after one drink too many. I thought about how maybe calling it a Personaslechon, which Google tells me is the Spanish translation of “people sucker,” might have been a bit scarier, but when I mull it over in my head it just makes it seem like the creature might be kind of rapey. When you get right down to it, the chupacabra is essentially a goat vampire, which would be a terrifying thing for adult goats to tell their kids about but doesn’t do as well scaring the human world, at least it doesn’t seem like it should. Especially not when there is a proven creature with the same habitat and then some, one that attacks you in entire hordes, chases you for miles, and will not stop trying to kill you until it’s stabbed you so many times a Game of Thrones character would be shocked. I’m talking of course about Africanized Honey Bees. Who gives a shit about goat vampires attacking chickens and such when that menace is out there? Being murdered by a mini vampire more interested in livestock, embarrassing. Being murdered by a horde of sting happy little monsters with a murder boner, horror movie worthy. Call me when hordes of goat suckers start piling on top of a person to bite them over and over again, or start shooting murder happy bees out of their mouths, one of the two.

Our film begins with a backwoods redneck attacked by chupacabra disguised as a cheap rubber toy with fur, well, it’s supposed to be just a regular old chupacabra, but you wouldn’t be able to tell if it hadn’t have been directly described as such. We then switch scenes to four friends on their way to enjoy a hunting trip, cowardly nerd Tom, straight laced Craig, Craig’s slightly psychotic relative from New York, Jerry, and party guy Lance. Near the end of their drive up to the cabin they’ll be staying at, owned by local loony Clyde, they make a stop at a gas station to fill up and grab a few snacks where they have an unfortunate run in with British redneck Billy Ray and his small posse of suck ups. A fight nearly ensues between the two when Jerry refuses to back down after Billy Ray threatens them, but it’s broken up by park ranger Shipley who sends Billy Ray on his way and asks the group to continue on theirs. Once finally at their destination the four friends meet Clyde, who turns out to be the man attacked at the beginning, and his daughter Candy. Clyde appears to be very ill, hacking up a disgusting goo as he shows the four around where they’ll be staying for the next few days, and leaves the group to their fun after catching Lance making out with Candy, warning the group that their “arrogant, punky” ways will get them killed. Later that night, after a horrible campfire that ends with Craig finding out that Lance is having an affair with his girlfriend, the four decide to retire for the night, but as the others sleep Lance sneaks out for an illicit meeting with Candy. Candy turns out to be a zombie though, one who both talks and is incredibly horny, and attacks Lance, bringing him over to the undead side. The next morning, Tom, Craig, and Jerry go out hunting, all three assuming Lance has run off to be on his own. While Jerry goes running into the woods to play a deer hunting version of Rambo, Tom and Craig head for a nearby deer stand where Craig is able take down a deer, or at least what he assumes is a deer. When the pair go to check out their kill, they find that they have actually shot cabin owner Clyde, now a member of the undead. Tom and Craig feel that they’ve dodged a bullet when Clyde gets up and begins walking, the pair not realizing the man is a zombie, but before he can attack them Jerry shows up and puts a few more bullets in the undead man. They throw his body in the back of their truck, Tom and Craig freaking out and unable to believe Jerry’s explanation that Clyde is a zombie despite the evidence right in front of them. On their way back to the cabin they are nearly caught by Shipley with Clyde’s body, but a quick thinking Jerry knocks him out and when the body in their truck disappears, Craig enters full on panic mode and makes the call to find Lance and get the hell out of there. While Craig and Jerry are able to find a zombified Lance, Tom enters the territory of Billy Ray and ends up a prisoner of the not entirely stable mad man. Craig is left to watch Lance, whom he still refuses to believe is among the undead, and Jerry goes to recuse Tom. Unbeknownst to all three of them is that Clyde has wandered into town and attacked a group of men, turning them into zombies who in turn begin to zombify others themselves. Before long a zombie army has formed and if Craig, Jerry, and Tom don’t get out of town soon things are going to get buck wil…I mean a little crazy.

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{As you can see}

Yes, I almost did the title call there, I came really close to saying things were going to get buck wild. Damn it, I just did it. The title just gets stuck in your head after having to hear it repeatedly during the movie. It seemed like they took every chance they could to say “buck wild” as if you were going to forget that the movie was called “Zombies and Deer and Other Such Things,” I mean Buck Wild. I’m sure someone thought it was going to be funny, some still might, I sure as hell didn’t think it came anywhere close to being funny, but that’s what the movie seems to be aiming for, at least part of the time. It kept bouncing around between funny and serious, as if it couldn’t figure out exactly what it wanted to be. Of course, considering how bad the jokes were I doubt it would have worked even if they had gone full on comedy. I didn’t find much to be funny in Buck Wild, not even mildly. I think the most I did was a halfhearted chuckle once every great while. I know a lot of people aren’t major fans of comedy in a zombie film, but I actually think it works great when it’s done right. Some of my favorite zombie movies are comedic ones, but this is definitely not one of them. I just didn’t think the humor was at all well written, that coupled with horrible characters, bad acting, and the horribly portrayed zombies, as well as a few other moments written into the movie that just didn’t make sense, put this one in the bottom of my list.

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{These zombies are about to get…wait for it…buck wild}

The thing that annoyed me the most was how the zombies are portrayed in that they bounce around from intelligent to your more standard, brainless undead. I understand that they were trying to make them humorous, but much like the rest of the comedy in Buck Wild, it just didn’t work. There are specific zombies like Candy and Lance that go back and forth between smart and not so smart, but the rest of the horde constantly does the same as well. They are all shown to be mindless animals with no intellect, but throughout the film do things like drive cars, use battering rams, and put out fires, yet opening doors is an elusive action for them. They’ve figured out how to drive a car, but turning a knob is too difficult. I know I’m harping on what seems like a minor, inconsequential thing, but one involves turning an ignition, then working a steering wheel and gas pedal, while the other involves simply turning a knob and pushing. Sorry but it got on my damn nerves and I couldn’t let it go. Then there are the individual zombies that pissed me off in their double natures. Specifically three:

  • Candy, Clyde’s oversexed daughter, talks like an Evil Dead deadite, demands sex like she hasn’t had any in weeks, and then vamps out before attacking Lance, vamping out being her face transforming all of a sudden before she attacks like the vampires on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Then, after having her talk and act like a horny college kid, they show her as nothing more than a mindless zombie as she attacks a bunch of drunk bar patrons.
  • Then there’s Clyde himself. He wanders around in a daze one moment, but then knows exactly where he needs to go the next, like he’s suddenly become a homing pigeon. He quite literally goes in circles for a while before heading to town. There’s also the growl he makes, the other zombies don’t make said growl, but Clyde has a thing for it.
  • Finally, there’s the worst of them Lance. Lance annoyed me more than any of the others because they used him in the most ridiculous of ways. He’s one of the zombies that knows how to put out a fire, extinguishing a torch before chasing Craig and Jerry, then being unable to open a car door, eventually getting knocked out by Jerry smacking the car window. After he’s taken back to their cabin, Jerry takes off to go find Tom, and Lance escapes his confines. He’s about to eat the bumbling Craig, but suddenly finds a batch of pot brownies he’d brought along with him. Lance being a major fan of drugs in life, he snatches the brownies up and consumes them, becoming nearly instantaneously stoned and deciding television is more important than human flesh. It’s not even that pot brownies take a hell of a lot longer to kick in that annoyed me, or even that drugs would have a really hard time making their way through a zombie’s system, it’s that what is shown to clearly be a creature of pure instinct, lacking even basic intelligence, would suddenly become aware of drug filled goodies. To make my annoyance even worse, not long after getting stoned out of his mind, Craig complains about Lance possibly banging his girlfriend to which Lance comes alive and begins to psychoanalyze Craig for being a complete coward, reverting back to a thoughtless animal right afterward, becoming so dumb in fact that he is unable to avoid falling on a pair of sheers.

These are of course the three biggest offenders of the constant back and forth between intelligent and unintelligent zombie, but they all seem to do it on a constant basis that grated on my nerves nearly the entire film. Again, I understand it was done for comedic purposes, but in my opinion it didn’t work, and I wish they had gone with one kind of zombie and stuck with it.

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{Eating pot brownies usually makes me want to analyze people too, Star Trek or Star Wars people but still people}

This kind of leads into the movie moments that didn’t make sense that I mentioned a paragraph above, moments that, much like the undead, were meant for comedic purposes, but were just so absolutely stupid that I couldn’t get past them. I’ll give you a few examples of what I mean:

  • At one point Jerry and Tom are on the run from the undead and Jerry smashes into a zombie, splattering blood all over the windshield that he uses the wipers to clear off for the most part. Nothing wrong with that, except for when Jerry suddenly decides that in the middle of the chaos he has to take a crap, he could hold it he explains, but he believes it’s bad to hold it inside. Mind you zombies are running rampant, murdering anyone they find in their path, and Jerry can’t wait a bit to relieve himself. While he goes and does his business Tom wisely decides to wait inside the locked vehicle so as not to expose himself to harm, no wait, he doesn’t do that, he gets out and cleans the windows instead, because even though they still have perfect visibility, he’s bothered by the blood on the window. Naturally, he forgets the keys in the car as well.
  • Then there is the moment when in the middle of a fucking zombie apocalypse with the undead running amok, Craig decides he absolutely has to call his girlfriend to confirm if she’s cheating on him. Imminent death is all around them, they are standing outside with absolutely no protection, and he just has to make the call?
  • I understand that the filmmakers needed a way to spread the infection, but instead of going with a subtle slow build up, Clyde just turns nearly a dozen people at the same time. He walks right up to a group and manages to turn them all in a span of minutes. This is a small, Texas town where everyone is bound to have a gun. I’m fairly certain someone would have just shot him at one point or another. True enough, these people all recognize him and only think he is sick, but once he started attacking, one of them would have pulled out a firearm. Beyond that, even if one assumes that none of them had a gun, after he bit one or two people, the others would have at the very least restrained him.

The three examples I’ve given are the worst offenders, but they are by far not the only ones. The movie if chalk full of plot holes, lazy writing, and inconceivable moments.

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{Least of which is how a guy like Craig is able to shoot perfectly but to be fair, that happens in most zombie movies}

Lastly, there are the characters that completely destroy what was already a broken film. Each one is an over the top caricature of a specific type. This is yet again tied to what the filmmakers would hope to be humor, but it once again simply did not work, being more annoying than anything else. There’s Tom, the cowardly nerd who is scared of damn near everything, starting out as whinny and ending the film as such. Lance is the perfect frat boy stereotype, a man with no desires beyond sex, drugs, and partying as much as possible. He was easily the most annoying of the four, someone you wanted to punch every time he opened his mouth. Craig is far too nice for his own good, so nice that he is blinded to even the most obvious things, to a point that didn’t make him nice but stupid. He refuses to believe his girlfriend is cheating on him, even though he has pictures on his phone that are beyond obvious, pictures where Lance is kissing his girlfriend and grabbing her ass with him standing right near by the pair. Jerry was probably the worst of them all though. He went out of his way to be as mysterious, as psychotic, and as bad ass as he possibly could, going so far as to even do a Christian Bale Batman voice whenever he’s talking. It was how far over the top they all went that just killed all their characters for me. I’m not sure if I should blame the actors for taking it too far, or the filmmakers who goaded them, but it was annoying either way.

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{I was going to complain about Billy Ray, but I kind of liked his character}

Part of me wants to say no one should ever give this film their time, but I think Buck Wild is going to be a film that some like me are going to hate, and others will enjoy. If you think that what I’ve presented are things you can get past, things that might not annoy you as much as they annoyed me, then I’d give it a shot. You might enjoy it more so than myself. The effects are actually rather well done and the zombies, those that don’t vamp out anyways, look good. I just couldn’t get past the bad comedy.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: Tyler Glodt (Stray, The Eves)

Starring: Matthew Albrecht (The Eves, Bunnyman), Isaac Harrison (Trust Me, The Truth), Dru Lockwood (Shuffle, The Right Shape), and Jarrod Pistilli (Kicking the Dog, Future Phone)

Written By: Matthew Albrecht (The Eves), and Tyler Glodt (The Eves, Murder Jeans)

Released By: Conation and Millennium Entertainment

Release Date: 2013

Release Type: Straight to Video

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Rotten Heads: One and a Half Heads Out of Five

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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