Bath Salt Zombies sets out its stall pretty early on; which is just as well, seeing as how it’s probably not really for everyone. It opens with a great animated spoof public information film about the dangers of bath salts (the drug, not the actual toiletries) which sees a trashy teen given the drug by a foul-mouthed Satan, with predictable murderous consequences. By the time the announcer says “Bath salts may seem like a crackerjack time, but believe you me, sonny Jim, they’re nothing but a menace”, you’ll probably have a fair idea of whether you’re going to like this one or not. And then, before the opening credits, we get some drugs, some gratuitous nudity, a couple of murders and an idea of just how low-budget this movie is.And it’s REALLY low-budget. Think somewhere between a ’70s exploitation flick and a home movie. Rubber masks and gurning stand in for makeup, but they do an admirable job of having a lot of fun on a shoestring.
Doughnut-munching DEA agent Forster sums up the plot nicely when he says “someone is selling a military-grade chemical weapon on the streets to junkies”. With, he should probably add, hilarious consequences. Bath Salt Zombies may be a cheap date, but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable one, for those of us who like this sort of thing. Director Dustin Wayde Mills plays the Minecraft-addicted chemist Sal, who’s used some stolen military chemicals to create an ultra-addictive smokeable form of bath salts, which of course has the unfortunate side-effect of turning everyone who takes it into a psychopathic cannibal. Peeled faces and severed arms, heads, tits and even a dick fly as the bath salt zombies run amok in New York City.As an exploration of America’s drug problem, Breaking Bad or The Wire it ain’t. There’s something gleefully Russ Meyer-esque about the whole thing, though with more of a punk attitude; the action’s soundtracked by hardcore from The Dwarves, The Murder Junkies and a bunch of other bands, giving the whole thing a kind of Repo Man feel. There’s a great set-piece involving a massacre at a punk gig, which nicely (well, not really “nicely”, but “amusingly”, maybe) evokes the spirit of golden age Troma. Overall it’s like a fucked-up version of inadvertent stoner classic Reefer Madness. In fact, imagine that film being remade by /b/tards, and you might get a vague idea of what to expect from Bath Salt Zombies. Protagonist Richie (played with an amazing variety of gurning facial expressions by Brandon Salkin) ends up looking uncannily like the Trollface Dude by the time he reaches his final showdown with Forster. But along the way there’s a couple of gunfights, a wonderful semi-animated zombie/SWAT team smackdown, and even some slo-mo kung fu.
Personally, I loved it; it’s trashy on every level, and not only does it know it, it positively revels in it. It’s a movie that puts all its cards on the table – if it sounds like your kind of thing, then it probably is. Give it a sho t- I reckon you’ll have almost as much fun watching it as the guys seem to have had making it. With enough change left over for a bag of chips on the way home.
-DEUTERONEMU 90210: ALL HOPPED UP ON GOOFBALLS AND READY TO EAT YOUR FLESH-