By Richard Winters
My Rating: 4 out of 10
4-Word Review: Surfers turn into zombies.
When compared to other low grade teen comedies of the 80’s this one fares a bit better. The story is about a nerd (Eddie Deezen) who decides to take revenge on all the ‘cool’ surfers by forcing them to drink a cola that will turn them into zombies.
The idea of mixing the crude humor of the 80’s with the zany surfer themed films of the 60’s is not a bad one. The film initially avoids the sterility that the other teen comedies usually have. The first fifteen minutes are fresh and inventive and there’s even a chuckle or two. It’s nice how it mixes old B-list actors with up and coming young stars like Eric Stoltz, Corinne Bohrer, and the late and underappreciated Tom Villard. The film also shows definite venom towards the surfers and some of which is accurate while taking some fun shots at the adults particularly two of the dads of the surfers who seem very much like what happens when ‘surfer dudes’ have to grow up and actually start earning a living. There is also a garbage eating contest between one of the zombies and a fat guy that has to set some sort of gross out precedent.
The problem comes with the fact that the story has no direction and eventually loses all momentum. There are too many absurd elements thrown in that have no connection to the main plot. The film comes off as derivative and convoluted and the manufactured calamity filled finale is incoherent.
Star Deezen looks and acts so much like a nerd you wonder if he was bred in some sort of laboratory. It is almost hard to believe how scrawny his arms are. Initially it is kind of funny and diverting to hear him say such megalomaniac statements with his high pitched voice, but his act is one-dimensional and eventually becomes annoying. Lyle Waggoner is another bad actor whose only claim to fame is his chiseled good looks. However, his bumbling police sergeant character Chief Boyardee is funny and he does get the film’s best line, which he says to a group of mouthy teens. “If I need any shit out of you kids I’ll squeeze your heads.” Ron Palillo who is best known for playing Horshak on ‘Welcome Back Kotter’ plays his deputy named Lt. Underwear and even sports gray hair! Cleavon Little though is wasted in a meaningless role of ‘Daddy-O’.
My Rating: 4 out of 10
Released: January 14, 1984
Runtime: 1Hour 31Minutes
Director: Randall M. Badat
Studio: International Film Marketing