Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Film Review: GEEK MAGGOT BINGO (1983, Nick Zedd)

Stars: 3.5 of 5.
Running Time: 74 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Nick Zedd, Richard Hell, Gumby Sangler, Brenda Bergman, Donna Death, Bruno Zeus, John Zacherle.

GEEK MAGGOT BINGO (also known as THE FREAK FROM SUCKWEASEL MOUNTAIN) will cause most people to unleash the bile that they usually reserve for, say, their landlord or the Department of Motor Vehicles, and, from an objective standpoint, I can't really blame them, but honestly I enjoyed this thing quite a bit. It's kind of targeted toward people who'd say "Boy, I really enjoyed PINK FLAMINGOS, but I had one complaint- it was too polished." This is DIY to the max, and ends up looking like something in between basement porn and an elementary school play.

The script ain't great, the style is nonexistent, and the acting... well, I'll talk about that in a bit. But there is a great degree of genuine artistry on display here: from hand-painted title cards and lovingly-rendered homemade sets to astounding, ghastly deformed fetus SFX and an unsettling two-bodied Frankenstein-style monster, there's enough creativity for several higher budget pictures:





But this thing is a mess. Richard Hell stumbles in while LITERALLY reading from his script, playing a totally wasted cowboy who half-sings nonsensical poetry, and at one point breaks the fourth wall, asking "How 'bout some direction, Nick?" This only makes me like Hell (and the film) even more.

Hell reads his script.

Hell waxes poetic.

Hell participates in an intricately staged tableau.

Gumby Sangler, as 'Flavian' the vampire, embodies a special form of bad acting that's impossible to consciously duplicate- he is the absolute worst, and I love it.

I think you can see what I mean.

Robert Andrews as Dr. Frankenberry is clearly a community theater all-star, and Brenda Bergman has a kind of wild-eyed intensity that's very in the moment, but you kind of feel like she has no clue what's happening around her. Largely incoherent, strung out, inspired by old Universal Horror flicks, and introduced by a rambling host with a drool cup (John Zacherle), I guess I can't help myself: three and a half stars.

(Side note: The GEEK MAGGOT BINGO DVD comes with some bonus Zedd shorts from the last ten years, which I cannot recommend- digital video and the laziness that can accompany it haven't exactly done Zedd any favors, and, unfortunately, none of the charm (or visual artistry) of GMB is evident.

-Sean Gill


2009 Halloween Countdown

31. PROM NIGHT (1980, Paul Lynch)
30. PHENOMENA (1985, Dario Argento)
29. HOUSE OF WAX (1953, André de Toth)
28. SILENT RAGE (1982, Michael Miller)
27. BASKET CASE (1982, Frank Henenlotter)
26. THE DEADLY SPAWN (1983, Douglas McKeown)
25. PELTS (2006, Dario Argento)
24. ANGEL HEART (1987, Alan Parker)
23. KILLER WORKOUT (1986, David A. Prior)
22. FREDDY'S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE (1991, Rachel Talalay)
21. THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971, Robert Fuest)
20. FRANKENHOOKER (1990, Frank Henenlotter)
19. HELLRAISER (1987, Clive Barker)
18. GEEK MAGGOT BINGO (1983, Nick Zedd)
17.
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