A Smash or Trash movie review by Robert Long II ©2013
Starring Beau Nelson, Wolfgang Weber, Susan Graham, Natalie Irby, Alex Ballar, Bobby Burkey, David Reynolds, Aidan Bristow, Russ Cootey, and Brian Thomas Smith
Written and Directed by Alex Ballar
IMDb Synopsis: Vinny and Sebastion, two burnouts, going nowhere in small town suburbia and still riding the high of their high-school days, start a business doing the only thing they have ever excelled at…drugs. With the help of a jealous girlfriend and a rich goth chick, Vinny and Sebastion take on the mob, angry, geeky frat-boys, and zombies in the search of the perfect high. - Written by Alex Ballar
Drug humor has never been my bag. So please bear in mind this as I go through a blow-by-blow account of my viewing of this independent movie. In fairness if you are a person that likes substance abuse comedy, you may get a kick out of what happens in this film. Without further ado, let’s slip the DVD into the machine…
• Montage of drug usage
• Guy in purple hat talking to two retro 70s babes.
• Two guys on couch – one guy humping pillow. Hump guy’s girlfriend walks in on them. Other guy starts doing bong hits.
• Couch hump guy screws girlfriend in bed – no nudity – girlfriend left unsatisfied.
• Guys snack in a park and talk to a guy.
• Couch guy talks to a dude outside an apartment about drugs.
• Guys get told to do yard work – guys dance as they do yard work. Other guy thinks main yard worker has turned into a zombie. Guys are on far out trip as the main yard worker and owner look on in disbelief.
• Other guy gets a look at a goth chick. At this point I say to myself – I do not understand drug humor.
• Couch guy and his girlfriend screw again – girlfriend has clothes on. What the heck?
• Other guy has visions of more zombies – tries to clear head at sink.
• Goth chick comes over to apartment. Goth girl can’t start her car – guy offers goth chick a ride. They head over to the goth chick’s house – do a line of coke.
• A drug pusher shows up.
• Goth chick and other guy are in bed with doughnuts.
• All four main characters back at stoner central.
• Goth chick goes to see bad guys. One is bald, the other did a season of Big Bang Theory (Brian Thomas Smith).
• Guys get evicted and head over to Goth chick’s place.
• 1 Hr 10 Min mark we have had a lot of people talking on couches, in doorways, in kitchens, and at tables. Where are the zombies?
• 1 hr 15 Min mark: Couch guy’s girlfriend dies of overdose in the middle of a park. Couch guy is high as a kite.
• 1 hr 20 minute mark: They bury couch guy’s girlfriend.
• Two high nerds dancing.
• Couch guy’s girlfriend comes back to life.
• A nerd dies and they go to bury him.
• Couch guy’s girlfriend attacks and kills a guy. Couch guy gets attacked.
• Drug dealers show up at house and the house comes under siege ala night of the living dead.
• Other guy snaps out of it and it turns out it was all a bad trip – everyone is alive.
• Other guy decides to go clean and takes the goth chick with him. Couch guy and girlfriend continue to make drugs.
• The end
It’s a bit too little too late. Over an hour of build up to twenty five minutes of action, where it turns out none of that happened either. As I have never been high – I don’t really get drug humor. The low budget aspect of this movie comes through because it is shot in and around Burbank apartment buildings, and there is a lot of dialog. Unless you are Woody Allen you are going to have a tough time pulling this off, and keeping the audience entertained. If you are the type of person that reads High Times magazine and likes Cheech and Chong movies you may get a kick out of this.
The action is very solid, and I even recognized Brian Thomas Smith from his stint on THE BIG BANG THEORY. Here he plays one of the heavy hitter drug dealers. The camera work, lighting and direction are professional and definitely bring the movie up several notches. The acting – these are all professional Hollywood actors – is the real reason to watch this movie. It is extremely good, and if you were to look them up on IMDb, they all have a pretty extensive list of credits.
FINAL RATING: I give this a 5/10. This is for the acting – which is quite good. Your mileage may vary depending on how much you like or dislike drug-related humor. You can pick up ALL AMERICAN ZOMBIE DRUG HERE.