Back when I was just a wee little board whore on Bloody-Disgusting, I kept making a mention that there was potential business in a naturalized zombie outbreak that hadn’t been tapped into quite yet. However, thanks to first-time director Jim Townsend (and B-Sol), I finally got to see it put into motion! When a married couple’s farm produces yet another year’s worth of spoiled crop for wine production, the wife Dionne goes to her witch mother. Literally, she’s a witch. While Dionne has left behind her bewitching family craft, her mother helps cast a spell in order to save the next year's crop.
While most zombie freaks expect infected primates or crazy voodoo, with Attack of the Vegan Zombies we are given an entirely new origin for the undead. The ritual to save the crop required human blood and without a warning, the husband was volunteered. Well, the man lives on a vineyard, so what do you think was coursing through his veins? Dionysus would have been extremely proud of our husband character. Simpler terms? HOMEBOY WAS WAAAASTED. The crop comes in seemingly well, despite the unknown blood alcohol level. The crop is then harvested, new characters are introduced in pairs, vines go insane, and undead chaos ensues. I must make mention that the film has killer vines that attack like something out of a Sam Raimi forest. Literally.
However, the undead chaos isn’t exactly what you may expect. While the typical zombie is used to gnawing on human remains and slurping up brains, the zombies from the mind of Jim Townsend are of a higher class, if you will. They don’t want to eat brains and remains, but alcohol within your blood? That’s more like it.
The gore is kept to a minimum, there’s a lesbian scene that SO could have been longer, and the makeup on the zombies could've been applied using the contents of a crayola box. While I’m normally the one to complain about bad makeup, this is a film in which they weren’t trying to impress us; rather, they just added crappy green makeup and went on with their lives. A ballsy move, but I get it.
The film itself is quite enjoyable, but it is clearly an independent film. Most of the acting is downright painful, and the editing could really use some tweaking, but that almost adds to the film’s charm. Plenty of scenes absolutely scream "b-movie tribute", but there’s also a touch of spoof and monster flick tossed in for good measure. As much as the film is a b-movie, I regret to inform you that there is only one nude scene. Sorry, kids.
The film is extremely predictable, and it’s supposed to be. Those involved are clearly in on the joke, and it makes the film twice as enjoyable than if you take it too seriously. Fans of the dialogue of Army of Darkness will enjoy the script, and fans of “good-bad” movies will eat this up.
I’m not going to lie to you and tell you this is the greatest independent, low-budget b-movie ever made. I will tell you that if you’re into really obviously ridiculous films, you’re in for a treat. I’m one to always admit that I love “shitty” films, but not because they’re awful, just because they’re not trying to be something they’re not. Attack of the Vegan Zombies isn’t trying to change the zombie genre, and it’s not trying to reinvent the b-movie sub-genre. It just is what it is, and I respect the film for it.