The shadows gather around us once again. Take our hands and wander with us into the darkness where the monsters gather. We’re bringing you 31 horror reviews in October. Whatever you do, don’t let go of our hands lest you find out what truly goes bump in the night.
You have a movie camera and a very low budget. What do you do? Well, you could make something like The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity – two ultra low budget films that went on to become the most profitable movies in history. Where’s the fun in that, though? Why not have a blast instead and make something unusual? Something like Nudist Colony of the Dead?
Shot on a Super 8mm film camera and a bankroll of $35,000, you might be forgiven for thinking that Nudist Colony of the Dead is just a low budget zombie flick. However, this movie has an element that most other films in the genre lack. This movie is a low budget zombie musical.
Before we get into this rather bizarre movie, let’s take a look at the company that brought it to us in the first place, Pirromount Studios, established by filmmaker Mark Pirro. He has been making low budget flicks for almost 40 years and has reportedly never spent more than $50,000 making a film. Pirro directed and wrote the script for Nudist Colony of the Dead.
As for the movie itself, let’s be clear about the level of nudity shown. While this film is certainly not safe for the average workplace, it is actually pretty tame as far as how much skin is on screen. Most of the actors have strategically placed tatters of clothing covering theit naughty bits. While there are a handful of topless actresses and most of the male actors go without their shirts, if full nudity is what you’re after then this is not the film you are looking for.
Nudist Colony of the Dead opens with a courtoom scene. A group of Christians finds the existence of the Sunny Buttocks Nudist Colony offensive and sues to have it shut down. The colony is located on property leased from the city and the judge makes the legally questionable decision of kicking the nudists out and ceding control of the property to the Christians. This scene introduces us to the liveliest character in the movie, Mrs. Druple, who certainly, uh… droops. She’s played by Rachel Latt who seemed to have a lot of fun with the role. At first seeing her feels kind of weird because that body suit and mask stand out from the other actors but she quickly became one of my favorite characters.
The nudists are full of despair at the thought of leaving their colony and decide to commit mass suicide. Frustrated at the unfairness of the situation, Mrs. Druple vows revenge against the Christians. Fast forward five years and the Christians are worried about their wayward teenage children (played by a bunch of twenty-somethings, naturally). They agree to send their children to a retreat located at the former nudist colony now named Camp RipYourGutsOut despite the fact that previous visitors to the area have met violent deaths. When the teens and their chaperones set foot on the land, the dead nudists rise from their graves to exact their revenge. Okay, the story is not exactly Shakespeare but this movie was only intended to be a fun romp.
One unusual thing about the zombies in Nudist Colony of the Dead is that they forego biting or rending their victims in favor of using the environment or tools to kill people. These zombies can not only walk but they can hold weapons, operate vehicles and since this is a musical, they can also sing and dance. The kills in this movie are rather tame and played mostly for laughs.
Where Nudist Colony of the Dead really shines is the music. You may have heard the song played over the opening credits during Dr. Demento’s Halloween shows over the years. If you haven’t, why not listen to it now?
The songs from the film are really damn good and will stay in your head for days. In fact, Nudist Colony of the Dead was adapted into a stage musical and that is due to the strength of its musical score. Small wonder that songwriters Greg Gross and Joyce Mordoh were brought in to collaborate on other Pirromount films.
If this movie has a weakness, it would be the lack of lighting. The scenes were mostly filmed in natural light and can be overly shadowy. Some moviegoers may question the acting ability of the performers but honestly, I have seen worse.
Nudist Colony of the Dead is not particulalry scary but it is a fun movie to watch. That works because Pirromount Films does not classify this as a horror movie but rather a comedy. The jokes come fast and steady. Not all of the jokes will appeal to you but some are bound to make you smile – even if you are rolling your eyes at the same time.
If you are a fan of schlock movies then you might want to call up some friends and check this one out. Just have copious amounts of beer on hand.