Evil Bong 777 (2018)

Starring Sonny Carl Davis, Robin Sydney, Jessica Morris, Michelle Mais, Brooks Davis, Mindy Robinson, Peter Donald Badalamenti II (as The Don), Caleb Hurst, Adam Noble Roberts, Elina Madison, Tonya Kay, Jillian Janson, Tanya Tate, Circus-Szalewski, K. Harrison Sweeney, Noelle Ann Mabry, Leya Falcon

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: High times.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


Another 4/20, another Evil Bong movie! Somehow the last entry, Evil Bong 666, was one of the series’ high points, but I’d be lying if I said this gave me too much hope for the next film; it’s always better to have low expectations and be surprised, than to expect everything and be disappointed. In any case, my fears were mostly for naught, as Evil Bong 777 is nearly as fun and inventive as the film before it. My main complaint is that it’s more of a tease than a movie; the villains don’t do much of merit, and it ends on a fairly unsatisfying cliffhanger. That being said, the Evil Bong films were never about delivering a complete and balanced experience to the audience. Instead, they offer a range of oddball characters in oddball situations, and on these terms Evil Bong 777 does quite well.

Evil Bong 777 begins with a short recap of the events of Evil Bong 666 for those who forgot what happened, which is likely a large portion of the “medicated” audience. I definitely didn’t remember the specifics, and if there’s one thing I know about Evil Bong, it’s that intricate knowledge of the plot is essential to the series. 😀 Anyway, upon seeing the colorful images from a 4/20 gone by, I recalled all the weird fun that made up Evil Bong 666. To my surprise, this helps the Evil Bong 777 experience considerably, allowing you a minute to readjust your mind to the whacked-out world of Eebee and friends before diving back in. The recap also gave me the idea of a DVD extra where fans of the series try to explain the movies to people who have never heard of them; I’m positive the reactions would be hilarious. For my purposes here, though, I’ll just say that Rabbit, Faux Batty Boop, and Misty (along with the Gingerweed Man and Eebee) are behind the Venice Beach Magical Weed Dispensary where many of the films have taken place, but before you can say “Puff, Puff, Pass” they’re taking the weed circus on the road to Vegas thanks to a convenient Splyft limo ride.

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Evil Bong: High-5! (2016)

evilbong5Starring John Patrick Jordan, Sonny Carl Davis, Robin Sydney, Amy Paffrath, Mindy Robinson, Jacob Witkin, Chance A. Rearden, Rorie Moon, Circus-Szalewski, K. Harrison Sweeney, Noelle Ann Mabry, David DeCoteau, David Del Valle, Luke Hutchie, Skin Diamond, Adriana Sephora

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Zero. I hope to enjoy myself, though.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
twohalfstar


Reviewing the Evil Bong films seems kind of pointless; if you don’t know on your own whether you want to watch the sixth movie in this franchise, you’re probably too high to operate any kind of machinery, heavy or otherwise. Yes, this latest Charles Band joint is another one that will only appeal to their most ardent fans, although I’m sure more than a few bros and doods will stumble upon it on Hulu (where it is available for free!), while looking for a movie to go with their 420 festivities.

Starting my review with, “Hey, this review is pointless!” probably isn’t one of my better decisions, but in the case of Evil Bong: High 5, it’s kind of representative of the experience. I’ll assume you’ve seen all the previous incarnations of this franchise, and therefore will be aware that multiple films in the series have used the “We’re selling stuff in a shop” script formula. Even if you haven’t seen the films, you’ve been to a store and you know the drill. Customer comes in, converses with the clerk and leaves. Repeat. I didn’t like it in Evil Bong 3: The Wrath of Bong, I put up with it in Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong, I grinned and bore it in Evil Bong 420, but with Evil Bong: High 5 I’m drawing the line. What’s even more annoying is that many of the same customers from the other movies come in and have slight variations on their previous encounters. Sigh. I just hope Band doesn’t make the “Evil Bong Retail Quartet” into a quintet, but honestly, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what Evil Bong: 666 is going to be. I gotta be honest, these movies are so similar to one another that they all kinda run together for me. If not for my reviews to refer back to, this review would seem a lot less informed! Thanks, former self!

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Zombies vs. Strippers (2012)

Starring Circus-Szalewski, Eve Mauro, Victoria Levine, Adriana Sephora, J. Scott, Don Baldaramos, Tanner Horn, Brittany Gael Vaughn, Adam Brooks, Patrick Lazzara, Brad Potts, Jonathan Erickson Eisley, Paul Vinson, Chance A. Rearden, William Thomas Jones

Directed by Alex Nicolaou

Expectations: Moderate, the trailer was good, but I’m still apprehensive. It is called Zombies vs. Strippers.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


When Full Moon announced the film Zombies vs. Strippers, I expected two thing from it: strippers and zombies. I didn’t really expect them to fight as I assumed that Full Moon was just creating a flashy title for their next pseudo-softcore movie. To my surprise, Zombies vs. Strippers is much more reserved with its nudity than you’d expect (not that it doesn’t have its share of titties), but unfortunately it’s also somewhat reserved with its use of the zombies. There are many problems here, but the main one is a question of the budget. One location is fine if you’re innovative, but most of the time Full Moon is never clever enough to keep your mind engaged so that you won’t notice.

The Tough Titty is a strip joint in a shit part of LA run by Spider (Circus-Szalewski). He’s in love with the tiki aesthetic and flower-print shirts and his titty bar is a reflection of that personal style. It’s not the most modern decor, but it is unique. The zombie apocalypse is happening throughout the city, but everyone in the bar is completely oblivious to it. When the only two (zombie) patrons in the bar don’t raise anything more than a tired groan when one of the dancers shakes her thing for them, no one thinks anything is amiss. Even when one starts eating the other’s fingers, they just shrug it off as two crazy dudes. I suppose that’s not a crazy response to that situation; if I saw two guys eating each other’s hands at my workplace I might think of zombies, but I wouldn’t necessarily jump to the conclusion that the apocalypse was upon us. For once it seems that Full Moon has provided us with a realism in the characters we never knew we wanted. It doesn’t really work for a zombie movie, but the character’s reactions do lead us down some good paths that the quick-thinking, self-aware yahoos of some zombie films would have never let us see. Things like a stripper giving a man turning into a zombie a lap dance and thinking he’s complementing her when he groans “Brains!” after she asks him why he likes her so much.

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The Dead Want Women (2012)

Starring Jessica Morris, Ariana Madix, Jean Louise O’Sullivan, Circus-Szalewski, Eric Roberts, J. Scott, Robert Zachar, Jeannie Marie Sullivan

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: None. Hopefully it’s better than Killer Eye: Halloween Haunt, and something more than a simple softcore film.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


“Boys, that’s the thorniest rose I ever met.”

So speaks one of the many party guests during the opening scene of The Dead Want Women, and while it’d be easy to say that the line was a great analogy for the film, it just ain’t. See that would mean that despite the thorns and the discomfort and the blood, you’d have delicate beauty and sweet fragrances. Well… shit, the movie does kind of have all of that (except I’m imagining the sweet fragrances)… so what’s the matter? Through all the smoke and mirrors (and nudity), there isn’t much of a story here—but that’s OK, because it’s remarkably more of a movie than the last couple of Charles Band’s films were! Hurray!

Where his last film, Killer Eye: Halloween Haunt, was nothing more than an exercise in seeing just how boring he could make a movie about girls getting naked, The Dead Want Women is something slightly more. While it does feature a character that is completely nude in every scene she’s in, there’s actually a lot more substance here than you’d expect from Band’s recent track record. The film opens in the late 1920s when *GASP* a silent film star is being put out to pasture as the talkies take over. Fuck me running, if I have to watch another movie with this plot, I’ll kill someone, then make a silent movie about my experience but set it in the late 20s so that my character could be replaced by a plucky newcomer with a great voice, then watch that film and then kill myself. That should be enough to put that tired, old cliché to bed. Are all the film industry’s touchstones to the 1920s gleaned from Singin’ in the Rain? Anyway, our raspy-voiced silent film star isn’t too happy and one thing leads to another and she’s in an underground cave watching her actor friends fuck a couple of nubile females. Oh, these Hollywood types! They so crazy!

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Evil Bong 3: The Wrath of Bong (2011)

Starring Peter Stickles, John Patrick Jordan, Mitch Eakins, Brian Lloyd, Sonny Carl Davis, Michelle Mais, Circus-Szalewski, Irwin Keyes, Jacob Witkin, Robin Sydney

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: High. Part 2 was great.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-Movie scale:
twostar


After the wonderful follow-up to the surprisingly enjoyable Evil Bong, I eagerly awaited the third film in the series. Perhaps the fact that I was disappointed is directly connected to these unrealistic expectations, or maybe it’s because I was unable to see the movie in the theater in glorious 3D and scratch-n-sniff aided Sniff-O-Rama! In any case, I was expecting some quality comedy and instead I got what amounts to a couple of good jokes and a lot of filler.

In one of the most epic opening scenes Full Moon has ever done, an alien meteorite/spaceship hurtles through the infinite cosmos on a collision course for Earth. Don’t worry, it’s small. The world isn’t in danger… or is it? This scene evokes a feeling of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey with its space-faring visuals and haunting choral music, but this is where the similarities end. Inside this ship is an alien bong, hell-bent on controlling the Earth! So far, so good, but as soon as the bong makes its way to Brett and Bachman’s head shop, the movie starts to take a downward turn.

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