Starring David Weidoff, John Patrick Jordan, Mitch Eakins, Brian Lloyd, Robin Sydney, Kristyn Green, Tommy Chong, Michelle Mais, Jacob Witkin, Kristen Caldwell, Phil Fondacaro, Tim Thomerson, Bill Moseley, Brandi Cunningham, Dana Danes, Gina-Raye Carter, Sonny Carl Davis
Directed by Charles Band
Expectations: Low, subterranean even. I expect nothing.
On the general scale:
On the B-Movie scale:
Bro, just the fact that I can write anything positive about a movie called Evil Bong is something of a miracle. As much as I love Full Moon movies, what I’ve seen of their recent output hasn’t been their best by any means, so I went into Evil Bong with a distinct trepidation. I’m sure the lowered expectations helped me in the long run, but after watching Evil Bong, it seems like all the pile-of-shit movie dread wasn’t warranted. Against the odds, Evil Bong is actually pretty enjoyable.
The story revolves around a group of slackers (who’d have thought?) and their new roommate, the ultra-square nerd Alistair. One of the bros sees an ad in High Times for an old possessed bong from New Orleans and he can’t resist. It arrives under strange circumstances and is immediately put to the test. Turn your brain off before this scene though, because your logical side will guffaw when they remove it from the box and begin using it without adding any water. Minor details. Anyway… soon after, one bro is dead! Oh no, bro!
You may be wondering, “Why all the bros, bro?” Well, Evil Bong probably has more uses of the affectation “bro” than any other film made previously. Many lines begin or end with it, and while it fits the characters, fuck if it doesn’t get annoying. Just had to get that off my chest, bro. The production has something of a television sitcom vibe at times, especially during the opening half hour or so when the four bros are bro-ing it up in their messy bro-partment. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I was glad to see the film transcend this quality as it moved along. Charles Band’s direction here is as solid as it usually is, setting up good shots and coaxing fun performances from his cast. Don’t get me wrong, the acting isn’t top-notch or anything, but it’s definitely a cut above most recent B-movies I’ve seen.
The plot is pretty basic and by the end the whole thing devolves into a steady series of Full Moon cameos and strip club sequences, so arthouse fiends in search of moral dilemmas and character depth will be disappointed. The cameos add a lot of “Oh shit!” factor to the film, especially for me when Phil Fondacaro and Tim Thomerson pop up. They’re both big favorites of mine and still on top of their game. It’s good to see them, but it also makes me sad that they’re not really making movies anymore. Thomerson’s Trancers character Jack Deth is especially great to hear and see again. Even some puppets make guest appearances, but surprisingly there aren’t any Puppet Master cameos! The award for the best cameo easily goes to Tommy Chong, who comes in late in the film and elevates the movie a lot more than you’d expect. Maybe it’s the fact that I already like him, but his scenes are some the best in the film and are a great “deus ex machina” way to end the story.
On the gore scale the film ranks pretty low, but on the implied carnage scale the meter climbs a bit higher. The Evil Bong (or EeBee, as she is called at one point) kills by transporting the intoxicated victim to a world inside the bong. This world happens to be a strip club and as each victim sits down with a stripper, they are attacked by the stripper’s possessed plastic bras. One stripper for example has plastic sharks on her bra, which come to life and gnaw on the bro’s hands, eventually killing him. Wow… that sounds fucking stupid on paper, but trust me, it’s fairly entertaining. After the initial strip club scene, I was hoping for a variety of vignettes based off of each character’s own idea of nirvana, but I guess hiring the strip club out for multiple scenes and making a few sets of plastic-augmented bras is cheaper than dressing four or five different sets for varied dream sequences. It makes perfect low-budget filmmaking sense, in addition to the whole multiple strip club sequences sense that it makes for most men in the audience.
Overall, Evil Bong does exactly what it sets out to do. It remains entertaining and funny throughout its runtime. It’s sure to be a hit with any bro looking for a fun, low-budget pot comedy. Even better if that bro is also a big Full Moon fan, as the cameos will pay off instead of making absolutely no sense. I’m looking forward to checking out the King Kong inspired sequel, Evil Bong 2: King Bong, in the coming weeks.
And don’t forget that the newest Full Moon movie, Evil Bong 3D: The Wrath of Bong is actually getting a limited theatrical run! It’s Full Moon’s first theatrical release, so check out the cities/dates and check it out if you’re free, bro!
Next week, I’m going to take a look back at a film I enjoyed a great deal as a kid, Dollman, starring Tim Thomerson! Can’t wait to revisit it.