The Horror Zine Review
All American Zombie Drugs
A film by Alex Ballar
Director: Alex Ballar
All American Zombie Drugs
A Film by Alex Ballar
Review by Jorge Valdes
All American Zombie Drugs is an entertaining piece of work about a band of burnouts trying figure things out. While watching this film, it is somewhat reminiscent of great movies like Dazed and Confused, Pineapple Express, and Shawn of the Dead. Of course if contemporary movie goers haven’t seen these flicks they are somewhat out of the loop. AAZD is an artful blend of genres, so while it can’t be called a true comedy, horror, or drug culture movie, it is a wonderful conglomeration of all three.
Although the film starts off a bit slow, the viewer will be pleasantly surprised with many of the weird idiosyncratic characteristics of the actors. All of the actors like to get as high as humanly possible, letting themselves run rampant in the sober world. The drugs are a staple to each of these hilariously wonderful actors known as: Sebastian (Beau Nelson), Vinny (Wolfgang Weber), Melissa (Natalie Irby) and Kara (Susan Graham). But as I watched this film it made me wonder a few things. Despite being incredibly funny, and full of interesting humor, I wondered how these “drug” users have been able to stay out of trouble and survive for as long as they have, without a reality check.
This film shows the coming of age struggle with some of the characters, and it also is a satire for those who may be living a fraction of this lifestyle, and who need to see where they may be headed. Of course, if you were seeking life advice you wouldn’t expect to find it in a movie titled as this one, but this film does offers such advice.
All American Zombie Drugs starts off weird with very odd humor that made me laugh out loud. To see Sebastian suffering from narcoleptic dry humping is of course one of the most odd introductions to a character I have yet witnessed. Eventually this same actor has an incredible scene where he dances with a lawn mower at his landscaping job, the camera angles are neat, the music is great. This is when the film really takes off. Alex Ballar, the director of this film (also an actor) does a wonderful job at being a concerned conscience for Vinny.
After deciding to get into the drug business for some free highs along the way, and rent money (they at least hope), the characters create a new drug that will answer all their prayers…like being able to focus, having tons of energy, and feeling the ultimate elation. After a lot of experimentation, the characters are finally ready to sell their perfect home brew drug. But they discover a highly unwanted side effect…with a chilling consequences.
The endearing part of the film comes from Vinny and Melissa who are coming to terms with death in their families, drug use, and their directionless lives. Kara, Sebastian’s girlfriend, plays her role well: she’s flighty, lovey-dovey, and insane. Her role in the film does a wonderful job at practicing hard love and hard drugs.
But my favorite scenes are the ones that contain Sebastian. His character has so much energy and so much preposterous believability that you feel he is the guy you go to if you want to get out of your normal daytime routine. I especially enjoyed his hilariously choreographed lawn-mower dance after he ingested plenty of acid.
All American Zombie Drugs is well done with nice camera angles, smooth scene transitions and clean and clear audio.
It doesn’t have an indie film feel at all.
What it does have is plenty of interesting characters whose dialogues convince you of their long term drug use, and of life’s misdirection. The film centers around slackers, some supernatural stuff, and entrepreneurial goals. It delivers tons of wonderful moments that will make you laugh, scream and think. It is a funny movie with an original plot containing motifs that cannot be separated; each one is needed to make the movie work.
See the movie HERE
About the Filmmaker
Alex Ballar is New York born and raised. He has been a working professional in the entertainment industry for over a decade: acting, writing, producing and recently, directing.
As an actor, Alex has shared the screen with many recognizable faces: Jude Law, Al Pacino and Barbara Streisand to name a few. His most recent acting and producing credits include Seeking Dolly Parton and the highly anticipated Bring Me The Head Of Lance Henriksen.
Alex began writing, producing and directing. He has written over thirty screenplays, optioning and selling eight of them to date. He has many high profile film and TV projects in progress and just made his feature film directorial debut on the award winning and critically acclaimed All American Zombie Drugs.
You can visit Alex HERE
About the reviewer
Jorge Baldomero Valdes Jr. was born in Lufkin, Texas, on August 28, 1984. His interests have always been an observer of the arts; he likes to look at things and to ponder them for a while.
Jorge decided to write in 2007, and his direct influences have been his professors, including Joe R. Lansdale who teaches Creative Writing at Stephen F. Austin State University. Jorge graduated in 2009 with his major in Spanish and double minors, Ceramic Arts and of course, Creative Writing.
Today Jorge is a graduate student, majoring in English. If he happens to feel the need to paint, draw or write about how he feels, he does! To keep up with himself, he drinks lots of coffee.