hat can you say about Blaine Wasylkiw's
"Rotten Shaolin Zombies" except you either like'em or you don't.
Truth be told, there's actually only one zombie, and I'm not sure going to
a dojo qualifies one for the title "Shaolin". In any case, the
20-minute short film is shot on digital video (I think) and is about two
"brothers" who are, apparently, karate aficionados. They go
everywhere together dressed in their karate uniforms (or gi's, I believe
is what you call them) and do "kung fu fighting" while smiling
at each other a lot. It's all a little homoerotic, actually. (Not that
there's anything wrong with that.)
The relationship takes a turn for the worst when one
of the brothers gets his eyeball eaten by a stray lung fish, leading to
one of the short's funnier gags: a tombstone that reads, "Ate some
bad sushi". But death can't hold back our Shaolin Kung fu fighter,
and soon he returns from a shallow grave to wreak havoc on the living.
Well, actually, he pulls a bone (I think it's supposed to be a penis) out
of a redneck-ish guy working in the fields, bites a hobo's neck in an
alley, and then pulls out his sensei's intestines and lays it on his
stomach for some reason. It's a fun time had by all.
The funniest thing about "Rotten Shaolin
Zombies" is that I really can't figure out if the two karate guys are
supposed to be blood brothers, or if they spent so much time engaging in
homoerotic activity that they just decided to call each other brother.
They certainly don't look anything alike, and although both Wilson Wong
and Wil Yee (the zombie brother and the living brother, respectively) have
Asian names, Wong looks Asian, but Yee does not. So you sort it out.
Although it's no quality film by any stretch of the
imagination, it is pretty damn funny. The scene at the sushi restaurant,
where you can clearly see a string tied to the fish as it's being served,
made me laugh out loud. Also, the death scene, and the sushi restaurant
chef's reaction to it ("The meal is on the house!") also made me
laugh like a madman. Make no mistake, "Rotten Shaolin Zombies"
is 20 minutes of Tomfoolery on no budget, probably no script to speak off,
and most likely made on a single weekend while everyone was probably
liquored up. Even so, I think it's almost as funny as the kung fu madness
of "Kung Pow",
which I still contend is a hidden gem.
So while there are no actual Shaolin zombies, there
is one zombie in a karate get-up. The zombie guy, who happens to like
kicking his "brother" in the balls (again with the
homoeroticism!) when he was still alive, goes out to a park where he goes
one-on-one with his living brother. It's a fight to the finish, and by the
end of it the zombie has lost a limb and his head. The film's final battle
probably goes on for too long, with the jokes running dry until the living
brother vomits and the zombie brother scoops it up for a taste. Now that's
something you don't see in a Bruce Lee film.
But as I said -- you either like'em, or you don't. I
think it's a pretty funny short myself, but what do I know. I'm probably
the only critic who raves about the brilliance of "Kung Pow", so
there you go.