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1989, dir. Dan Hoskins
86 min, Rated R.
Starring: Jamie Rose, Catherine Carlen, Don Calfa, Karl Childers.

Review by Noel Wood

Some films tell you exactly what you're getting right there in the title. One such film is the appropriately titled Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, a fine film distributed from the good people at Troma.

Yes, this film is about Chopper Chicks. Of course, they prefer to be called the Cycle Sluts, but that's neither here nor there. And, yes, they do wind up in Zombietown. Well, at least, they wind up in a town called Zariah that happens to have a little problem with Zombies. But, yes, for your money, you're still getting what you pay for if you're going for title value alone.

You're also getting a bunch of "hey, I recognize that dude!" moments when you watch Chopper Chicks in Zombietown. That's because this film marks some early performances by a couple of actors who would go on to do much more. Billy Bob Thornton and Hal Sparks both make what for all intents and purposes could be considered their debut performances. The film also features performances by such notables as MTV original jock Martha Quinn, Arquette family patriarch Lewis, character actor extraordinnaire Don Calfa, and even the dude who suited up to play Howard the Duck.

Motorcycle babes, the walking dead, and that dude from Queer as Folk all together at last! With all that going for it, how can you go wrong? Fortunately, Chopper Chicks in Zombietown manages to stay quite amusing for the duration of its 86 minutes.

As mentioned, this film is about a gang of girls known as the Cycle Sluts who ride from town to town looking for "meat". Meat, as one might expect, is what one of the Sluts likes to refer to as coitus. One fine day, they roll their way into the aforementioned town, which is losing its citizens so fast that the population sign at the front of the town is a chalkboard to make for easy editing. In this little hick desert town, things seem to go awry -- one of the girls goes missing, and the gang's leader Rox gets in to a scuffle with one of the local bar's patrons. Meanwhile, Cycle Slut Dede has run in to her husband (the former Mr. Jolie himself) and defected from her gang of sisters.

Where are the zombies, you ask? Well, they all seem to be holed up in an abandoned mine shaft on the edge of town. When some curious kid stops by the shaft, he accidentally lets them loose and they start slowly creeping their way in to town. And slowly they do creep. However, as they creep, they get theme music, and not the typical gloomy dirge one might expect when seeing slow-moving zombies. Rather, these zombies get a nice upbeat jingle, complete with slide whistles! It's good to know that we can at least stay jovial when we know things that want to eat our flesh are wandering in to town.

The zombies, we find out, are the result of the experiments of local mortician/mad scientist Ralph Willum (just a letter away from a supporting Simpsons character.) For no other reason other than the fact that he's just mean (he said it himsef!) Willum kills random people in the town and then inserts batteries into their skulls that turn them into flesh-eating zombies. All in the name of science, I guess. He makes a zombie out of Lucille, the missing Cycle Slut, as well as the local sheriff (Mr. Courtney Cox's daddy.)

The Cycle Sluts eventually get their acts together and band together with a bus full of blind orphans (the best kind!) and Bob Littleton, Willum's pint-sized sidekick (Littleton! Get it?) who alerts the Sluts to the zombies' weakness. Some severed heads and explosions later, and the sluts do a pretty good job of taking care of the town's little living corpse problem.

The zombies are a little different here than in the traditional Romero/Fulci flick. They're man-made rather than the result of some freak genetic mutation or spaceborne virus, so they follow a slightly different set of rules. The bite of a zombie doesn't infect you with Zombie Madness, it just hurts. Still, they plod along at the requisite zombie pace and grunt and groan as well as one might expect. They also die like a zombie should -- by having their heads ripped clear from their torso (or blown off with a shotgun, whichever seems easier to you at the time.) Still, they show up early and they see plenty of camera time in this one, as well as cause a fair amount of splatter, so they certainly satisfy the zombie quota more than, oh, say, the last George Romero film did.

Oh, and lest we forget the sole zombie that gets stuck in the mine, hypnotized by the security camera. You almost feel sorry for the poor little flesh-eater.

Although this was not an original Troma production, it still falls nicely under their umbrella. There's plenty of nonsensical violence and ridiculous dialogue, although Lloyd Kaufman wouldn't have allowed all the nudity to be implied as it is in this one. Still, if you're looking for a fun movie complete with zombies, blind orphans, midget sidekicks, and pissed-off Martha Quinn, this is the movie for you.

Rating: Four out of five Brains.


All Material Copyright 1998-2006 Movie Criticism for the Retarded.

For questions, comments, or the occasional stalking letter, send mail to Noel Wood. Please give proper credit when using any materials found within this site.

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