What is it that makes a movie terrible? This is an easy question to answer for most of us. Bad writing, bad acting, bad effects; bad everything. Troll 2 comes to mind, a movie so tone zany that the part of my brain that processes plot is permanently broken. Despite the bad name, some of these movies are actually quite entertaining. Something within these movies draws me to them. I have a self-imposed (and possibly self-degrading) title of “Bad Movies Connoisseur”, and indeed of most people I know, I’ve found myself watching movies traditionally deemed as “shit”.
To start the series off I found it impossible to find a movie more fitting than the movie that inspired it all: Zombeavers. Released in 2014, I found this special movie on Netflix. The basic premise of the movie involves a barrel of radioactive waste that has found its way to a beaver dam, which just so happens to be on the lake where six raunchy teenagers happen to be staying. It’s as cliche as the genre gets.
The film opens with a pair of truckers chatting in their truck, as truckers do, when they hit a deer and lose one of the barrels of toxic waste they are carrying. This is a good moment to stop and appreciate the hilarity of the dialogue between the truckers, and I must say that their dialogue is what drew me into the rest of the film.
The two best characters in the film somehow.
There’s then a cheeky little animated sequence at the beginning showing you the credits, which is supposed to distract you from the three minute long shot of a barrel careening down a river. I get that the credits are supposed to be the main focus here, but if I wanted to watch things float down a river I’d go watch Milo & Otis again.
And bawl my fucking eyes out…again.
It is at this point that we are introduced to our main characters: a trio of young, attractive females (the three on the above movie poster). They banter about plot-related things and you can’t help but notice that none of them can hold the Southern accent they’re all attempting for more than one of their lines. It should be noted that this movie is supposed to take place in Indiana, a state that is significantly not the South.
These girls find themselves at one of the girl’s, Mary’s, family cabin, and discover there’s no cell service to move the plot along…I mean because they’re not supposed to text their boyfriends. After meeting stereotypical old neighbor #1 and a creepy possibly racist beaver expert who’ll come to the rescue later in the movie, the aforementioned boyfriends show up. This point in the film is when things go south (not literally, they’re still in Indiana).
The titular villains of the film show up in a way that is only fitting of one of these kinds of bad horror films: by scaring a girl attempting to take a shower. Immediately I noticed the horrifically bad puppet zombeaver puppet, and couldn’t help but laugh because I really didn’t know what I expected. In the moment that’s supposed to give you the most fright, you find yourself laughing your ass off as this poor girl in her underwear fends off a silly puppet. The humor continues as she gathers all of her friends together and her ex-boyfriend beats the zombeaver to death with a baseball bat.
The beaver jokes write themselves.
At this horrifying point in the movie, just when you think that things couldn’t get any sillier, you learn that humans can turn into zombeavers. This is learned when shower girl makes sexual advances towards another girl, and transforms in front of our very eyes! The movie continues on, killing off characters with no sense of real reasoning as to which characters are killed. One single character survives the madness that the film presents, only to be run over by the lovable truckers from the beginning of the film.
The movie is a gore-fest, which is by far its biggest draw. The gore is over-the-top enough, and the acting just bad enough to make this movie and enjoyable time. You’ll find yourself laughing at the bloody parts, and sighing at the funny parts. I could easily find myself watching Zombeavers sometime in the near future.