Saturday Night Horror Fest

So this weekend we only got around to watching one horror film. (I know, I know. SLACKER!) It ended up being a Billy Zane B-flick called The Mad.

DVD cover art

DVD cover art

As much as I enjoy watching Billy Zane in a crappy B-flick, this movie disappointed me.

Basically, Billy Zane plays a doctor on vacation with his daughter. They’ve both brought along a girlfriend and boyfriend (respectively). The first half hour is about the relationship between father and daughter–displaying that Zane and his kid are complete polar opposites, while the cook and waitress at the restaurant the family dines in are getting along perfectly fine. (Does it help that the cook and waitress are stepfather and daughter? Or that he smokes weed with her out back? Perhaps the strange sexual tension between them plays a major role?… That last one is far weirder than the others.)
Just when it seems they might start understanding each other, the organic beef the cook used for the house special turns the customers to zombies. (Except for the cook, waitress and family.)
Oh, and did I mention.. the beef also gets an appetite for human?
Yeah.. The idea is that a virus killing the cattle of a local farmer mutated when the farmer administered an illegal growth hormone and not only do people who eat the beef become zombies–but so does the beef itself. (That’s mostly why I picked this one. It sounded funny, in a crappy B-flick kind of way.)
Since it takes such a long time to get to the zombies, the film’s already losing points. Once the zombies are revealed, it moves a little faster and the comedy picks up. Not much, but enough to keep the viewer’s attention.
The reveal at the end isn’t half bad–just make sure you’re paying enough attention to understand. The character explaining the whole mess speaks with a terrible imitation of a Southern drawl and the great punchline is lost. Try turning on the subtitles–if there are any. It might help.
It’s not terribly bad, but it ain’t that great either. The only good thing about this movie is Billy Zane–and that’s only if you like him. If you’re of the “I can’t stand Billy Zane” category, then.. well.. you ain’t gonna like it.

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