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 666 (2017)

Starring Mindy Robinson, Sonny Carl Davis, Michelle Mais, Robin Sydney, Jessica Morris, The Don, Bobby Ramos, Caleb Hurst, Orson Chaplin, Tonya Kay, Megan Sage, Samantha McGee, Brooks Davis

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Low.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


Despite the numbering, Evil Bong 666 is technically the series’ 7th entry, and for my money it’s one of the best Full Moon films in years. I know that isn’t saying a lot because Full Moon’s output has been pretty lackluster for a while, but just in terms of simple entertainment it’s probably the best Bong since Evil Bong 2: King Bong. Of course, your enjoyment will depend on your tolerance for the usual stoner logic and antics that fills these films, but I imagine anyone interested enough to read a review of a movie like Evil Bong 666 is on-board, strapped-in and ready to roll.

Evil Bong 666 follows the basic storefront formula of the last few Evil Bong films, but it changes up the energy by replacing the series’ star character, Larnell (John Patrick Jordan), with a new store owner, Lucy Furr (Mindy Robinson). This might seem like a small detail, but it changes the film’s course considerably. Instead of seeing Larnell and/or Rabbit (Sonny Carl Davis) handling a steady stream of customers — something we’ve seen way more than anyone ever needs to — now we have the devious, Satan-loving Lucy Furr taking care of business. It’s a whole new ballgame. It not only breathes life into the store scenes, it packs the bowl for another round. And thankfully, there’s actually not that many store scenes! I’d have preferred another David DeCoteau cameo instead of one of the lamer scenes, but you can’t win them all.

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Evil Bong 420 (2015)

evilbong420_1Starring Sonny Carl Davis, John Patrick Jordan, Robin Sydney, Amy Paffrath, Mindy Robinson, Sam Aotaki, Rorie Moon, Chance A. Rearden, Michelle Mais, Bobby Ramos, John Karyus

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Low.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
threestar


Evil Bong 420 is the latest entry in the stoner comedy series from Full Moon, and despite the title’s suggestion it’s actually the 5th film in the series. If that angers you or in any way matters to you, I’d say you’re not the right kind of person to check this one out. But if you like your films trashy and stupid, you’ll find a lot to laugh at and enjoy here. In fact, Full Moon has done us all a favor and distilled this one down to a potent 53 minutes of trash (including the credits). Without any of the bullshit that usually clutters up and slows down B-Movies, Evil Bong 420 is nothing but the sweet sticky bud you’ve been jonesin’ for.

Evil Bong 420 focuses on Rabbit (Sonny Carl Davis) and the grand opening of his new bowling alley. It’s not just any bowling alley either, it’s a topless bowling alley! What that translates to in Full Moon speak is “lots of titties,” which usually also means a strip club movie (like Evil Bong) so the bowling alley was a welcome break. It also allowed for a hilarious David DeCoteau cameo, something I’m always happy to see. But don’t get too excited bowling fans, as the bowling alley doesn’t specifically matter to anything in the “plot.” Nope, Evil Bong 420 is yet another in the “some guy runs a shop and people come in” style of plot pioneered and honed over the course of the last couple of Evil Bong sequels. I gotta say, they did it pretty well this time. It feels more natural than it did in the last two films, and I think the shift to Rabbit as the main character helps a lot. The addition of a few beautiful topless women helps, too. This has long been a B-Movie tradition, and it continues to work its magic even in this technological madhouse we call 2015.

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Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong (2013)

gingerdeadvsevilbong_3Starring John Patrick Jordan, Robin Sydney, Sonny Carl Davis, The Don, Michelle Mais, Bob Ramos, Victoria Levine, Ryan Curry, Amy Paffrath, Masuimi Max, Mindy Robinson, Chanell Heart, Tian Wang, Jinhee Joung, Chance A. Rearden,  Joss Glennie-Smith, Orson Chaplin

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: I don’t even know, honestly. On the low end, for sure.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
threestar


Despite what that poster to the right might make you think, Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong is not a movie for everyone. I’m inclined to go with the tired adage, “It’s for the fans,” but since I’m not the biggest fan of either series and I really enjoyed this one, I can’t say that it’s as exclusive as that. And liking this movie leaves me with a bit of a conundrum. I’ve lambasted some of Full Moon’s modern films for a few recurrent reasons: being excessively trashy, being questionably racist and for being shameless in their self-promotion of the company’s merch. The conundrum comes when Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong is all three and yet I still liked it. I guess what it boils down to is that when it’s not being horrible, Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong is a lot of stupid fun. I can’t fully explain it, but I definitely enjoyed Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong. Most of it, anyway.

As the fourth entry in both the Gingerdead Man and Evil Bong series, there’s definitely a bit of baggage going into this one. So thank God Full Moon decided to pair the heroes from the respective series with a new friend each, allowing them to regale their new acquaintances (and the audience) with stories of what happened in the previous films. But wait, this is a movie! Who wants to hear boring stories about what happened when you can just show a bunch of clips from said movies? Charles Band actually has the gumption to do this to summarize all three previous Evil Bong films, as well as the first Gingerdead Man movie. The other two Gingerdead films are apparently non-canon, which makes sense as they’re not about anything even remotely related to the tale of blood and dough told in the first film. Surprisingly though, I actually enjoyed the recaps as it had been a while since I’d seen the films so it got me back up to speed.

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Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver (2011)

Starring Jackie Beat (Kent Fuher), Paris Wagner, Steven-Michael McLure, Kimberly Pfeffer, Selene Luna, Jacqui Holland, Justin Schwan, Jonny Jay

Directed by William Butler

Expectations: Super low. Not a fan of the Gingerdead Man.


The Gingerdead Man series is one of my least favorite Full Moon franchises. The first film was absolutely awful, and while the second film is much better, it’s still pretty far from being anything I’d actively choose to re-watch. My dedication to reviewing every Full Moon film is strong though, so I soldier on to bring you a review of the latest entry, Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver. Simply put, it’s bad, but fortunately for me it’s closer to the second film’s tone and quality so the film at least has some entertainment value.

The film opens with a blatant rip-off scene from Silence of the Lambs, where Clarissa Darling (get it– Jodie Foster was Clarice Starling) travels to the Scientific Research Institute for the Study of Homicidal Baked Goods to meet with the Gingerdead Man. Now if I remember correctly, Gingerdead Man was crucified by a team of Puppet Master knock-off puppets at the end of Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust, but as I’ve said before, continuity has never stood in Charles Band’s way of a good/bad movie. In any case, the cookie killer escapes into the Institute’s time travel wing that just so happens to have developed a time travel device for food transportation. Gingerdead Man jumps in and transports himself back to 1976 in the middle of a roller rink. So theoretically this means that the research institute on the hill shown at the beginning of the film is on the site of the old roller rink. Whatever. I understand that these movie are not meant for intense critical examination, but I like to amuse myself by applying logic to them and making the plot somewhat more complex than it should be.

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The Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust (2008)

Starring K-von Moezzi, Kelsey Sanders, Joseph Porter, Frank Nicotero, Jon Southwell, Jacob Witkin, Michelle Bauer, John Carl Buechler, David DeCoteau, Greg Nicotero, John Vulich, Adam Green

Directed by Silvia St. Croix

Expectations: Low. The first one was abysmal.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
twohalfstar


The Gingerdead Man 2, despite featuring a storybook opening detailing the events of the first film, disregards everything from its predecessor except the titular character and chooses to forge ahead into unknown territory. Well, maybe unknown is a bit extreme, but you get the point. The Gingerdead Man 2 instead goes for the Full Moon jugular, aiming itself squarely at Charles Band and the Full Moon filmmaking mentality, as well as the overarching genre of low-budget horror pictures. Surprisingly, it actually succeeds a lot more than it fails at this and winds up being an okay movie.

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The Gingerdead Man (2005)

Starring Robin Sydney, Ryan Locke, Alexia Aleman, Jonathan Chase, Maggie Blye, Daniela Melgoza, Newell Alexander, James Snyder, Larry Cedar, Gary Busey

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Moderate. Killer cookie, sounds good enough.

On the general scale:
halfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
onehalfstar


Sorry Charlie, this movie sucks. I don’t even know where to begin, but when I started having flashbacks to Thankskilling, I knew I wasn’t in friendly waters. The Gingerdead Man isn’t quite as bad as that awful killer turkey movie, but it does share a lot of qualities. The Gingerdead Man himself is a puppet that’s killing people while unleashing mildly amusing profanity-laden quips, and while they’re better written than Thankskilling‘s, they are just as facepalm-inducing. You would think that the man who literally created the killer puppet genre could wrench out a better film than this, but I suppose when you’ve made about forty in the genre you’re allowed a dud once in a while.

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