Four years ago I typed in “zombie bowling” into google search..I don’t remember why (ok so maybe I typed in Zimbabwe bowels for sale and auto correct changed it..don’t fuckin judge me!)..But I do remember that among the games, the puzzling Hillary Clinton photos and the obligatory porno I saw a poster that snagged me right away..a thing of beauty for sure, an almost home made painting of a man holding up a bloody bowling ball with a cast of some of the silliest characters I’d ever seen all around him..It was simple, but effective as hell. On the poster was a name, and that name was ATOM THE AMAZING ZOMBIE KILLER.
With virtually no knowledge of the film or Bizjack Flemco (which is the company that made the film and not an erotic act involving a cantaloupe as I first believed) I reached out to Richard Taylor and Zack Beins to secure a screener.
Where indie directors are concerned it’s always a mixed hat. Some are asshole premadonas who think they’ve created the next Citizen Cane and can’t stand the idea of a site that worships B-movies talking about their movie (most of these ones have no idea what the term B-movie actually means) Some are complete weirdos who only talk in grunts and masturbating in our general direction and some are just like us, just movie nerds with a passion and a drive to blow minds and pull in an audience even if they know they can’t afford it. After several hours discussing the warrants of necro-bestiality midget porn with Richard and exchanging several dick pics with Zack (they were other peoples’ dicks..we aren’t THAT weird) the two were happy to oblige (they also offered to give me what they referred to as a gummi bear enema..to which I politely declined..a decision I regret to this day)
When Atom The Amazing Zombie Killer arrived I had 25 other films I was supposed to review before it and I was just wrapping up the first Gory Guts and Goofiness article. I planned on putting it on the back burner for awhile but I just couldn’t, I needed to see this thing! So I busted out the Vaseline, lubed up my He-man action figures, heated up a plate of rocky mountain oysters and popped it in (The He-man action figure I mean..It was Three Face..I like the ridges)
I watched Atom not once, not twice but three times in a row! Now this is something that as a kid I did all the time..but at that point in B-is For Best’s history we were at our busiest. I was going days without sleep just to get articles done and would still be months behind watching DVDs Blu Rays and VHS tapes piling up on my dresser all the way to the ceiling..but Atom was something special..There was some magic behind all the asinine jokes, outlandish acting and seriously silly gore. Watching this thing you could feel the LOVE radiating out of your tv screen. It had that special vibe that I thought died out with the death of the video store..This was something I’d find in a goodwill dumpster, lovingly wipe the bum shit and cum and ramen noodles off of and then proudly jam into my VCR and I say that with the utmost respect and affection.
I loved the film so much that I wasn’t content with merely reviewing it. After adding it to the Gory Guts and Goofiness article (That’s a link..you should click it) (where it fit like a glove) I got on the phone with my then friend Rob over at Wild Eye Releasing. I was so excited the first thing I asked him was what he was wearing and if he knew how much he wanted this dick…once that was out of the way I started singing Atom’s praises at the top of my lungs(..Literally I composed a hymn called Oh Gory Gory, Gory Atom-lujah…You can get it on I-tunes) After he watched the film Rob got back to me, I was fucking stoked, I knew I had found him a winner, I knew he’d want Atom as much as I did…but he didn’t..not at all “It’s too..Troma man..I mean it even has Lloyd in it.” he said. “Fuck yeah! It’s totally Troma! It’s a fuckin love letter man, it’s great!” I exclaimed. “Great for Troma, not for us.” was his reply.. I wasn’t ready to give up, I knew Wild Eye had taken a new company (Whacked) under their wing, Legendary cheese director Glen Coburn was the owner of Whacked and he had already picked up another film I suggested to Rob (Legend Of The Hillbilly Butcher) so I suggested that Rob toss Atom his way. Thankfully, what Rob didn’t see in Atom, Glen did and he snatched the film up.
Somehow we didn’t get a copy of the official release until The other day Richard and I were talking and I asked if we could snag a copy to do an update and after I agreed to a hot mayonnaise rubdown in return he shot over not only the official release of ATOM THE AMAZING ZOMBIE KILLER but also shot us an early Bizjack Flemco short called THE MISPLACED ROMANCE OF CANNIBAL GIRL AND INCEST BOY
Since we already covered the actual film, lets take a look at the release itself. Alot of the time when I receive a DVD after I’ve done the initial review there’s not a whole lot to talk about when I do the update..that’s sure as hell not the case here. First, let me tell you if you’re an Atom fan and you pick this bad boy up you need to clear some serious time..you’re going to need it.
Where most new releases are sadly lacking in special features, this one is packed full, with everything from the original mock trailer that came well before the film, to teaser trailers (One of which is just Atom jerking off while looking out the window at girls walking by followed by “coming soon”…such subtle approaches are what make me love Bizjack Flemco so much) not one but two awesome music videos (one from Bolonium and another from The Radioactive Chicken Heads) and one of the funniest commentary tracks I’ve heard in a very long time (I’m a commentary junkie so this was a huge selling point for me)
The real bell of the ball here though was the making of documentary ROCK AND BOWL, which is feature length and follows Richard, Zack and everyone else involved in Atom The Amazing Zombie Killer from start all the way until the film premieres. The documentary is at time hysterically funny and at other times heart breaking to watch as the boys struggle with every conceivable setback but still continue striving towards the goal of making the best film about a psychotic bowler with a head wound fighting imaginary zombies to ever feature the sub-plot of crooked used car dealers. This documentary was excellent enough that it could easily have been sold as a standalone film but caring more about completetion and creating an excellent release for the fans than they do the money (which they could seriously use…I’m not kidding go buy their fucking movies asshole they need the money NOW!) they instead gave it to us for free with Atom.
The only quarrel I have with this release has nothing to do with Bizjack Flemco as they had nothing to do with this decision: The cover art…Atom’s original artwork was breathtaking, it grabbed me by the balls and pulled me in…this?
That’s just sad, come on Glen! Did we really need another cut and paste Photo shop cover with stock zombies, a person who’s obviously no one from the movie and…whatever the hell that background is?..I mean fuuuuuck the ball isn’t even the right ball for christsakes! Look at the hole placement! If you do another run of this release PLEASE AT LEAST HAVE A REVERSIBLE COVER!!! This is ATOM THE AMAZING ZOMBIE KILLER not Land Of The Dead Bowling edition!
Overall I give this release no middle fingers up. While the cover may indeed suck, the contents are fucking amazing, If you don’t own this because you saw the artwork and it didn’t tickle your pickle please, look at the original artwork, it’s much more representative of the actual film.
So we know Bizjack brought the thunder with Atom..but what were they doing BEFORE that? Were they always so crazy and perverse..well..with a film entitled THE MISLED ROMANCE OF CANNIBAL GIRL AND INCEST BOY what do you think?
THE MISLED ROMANCE OF CANNIBAL GIRL AND INCEST BOY Introduces a violent flesh eating young woman who’s all alone in the world..that is until she meets an ally in the form of a deformed, dog-like mongoloid who she frees from his abusive mother. What begins as an unlikely friendship soon blossoms into young love..and a montage..of course.
This film couldn’t be more different from Atom, where Atom relied on witty one liners, and a linear story THE MISLED ROMANCE OF CANNIBAL GIRL AND INCEST BOY was a purely visual tale free of dialog or any plot in the traditional sense..and that’s not a bad thing here
The acting in this film was wonderful, bringing to mind classic films like Nosferatu and The Phantom of The Opera with it’s use of exaggerated gestures and facial expressions… But picture that feel mixed with Nekromantik and Bad Taste…Yeah this is a unique little picture that’s for sure. Cannibal Girl was the exception to the rule here as she went through the majority of the film cold and expressionless (Other then in scenes where Incest boy does things that please her and in a great little wink at The Toxic Avenger’s road cone hat gag) this character’s deadness contrasted nicely with the rest of the characters cartoonish antics and almost made it seem as if we were seeing, not the actual world but how she sees things, a notion that’s backed by the way certain scenes seem to be disjointed or out of order as if they are taking place in the mind of someone who is far from emotionally sound. Incest Boy had a hilarious look to him, coming across as what would happen if Chris Angel had hot slippery buttsex with the corpse of Brandon Lee and then they took the resulting abortion, jammed it into the anus of a dog and then waited 9 months before yanking out the fully developed result and handing it over to be raised by a crackwhore. His child-like demeanor contrasted Cannibal Girls cold fuck you attitude so well that the pair made for some very interesting screen time.
The cinematography in this one was a wonderfully ground up looking 16mm film that made the entire affair look like home videos of a serial killer that had been dropped into a septic tank and than recovered by police to use as evidence..This is a compliment as it works perfectly with what we’re seeing on screen.
The Gore here is off the wall and cartoonishly over the top, done with some of the oddest smash cut techniques I’ve ever seen in my life. I was never quite sure if what I was seeing was supposed to be actually happening or if it was in the female lead’s head..and I like it that way.
Overall i loved this little picture, I’d be very curious to see this short (It’s under 14 minutes) turned into feature length with a narrative. the characters and concept are interesting enough that I think it could work. I give it 2 middle fingers chopped off and sanded to the bone and I for one hope to see this one get a VHS collectors release in the future. This is one that belongs on tape for sure
Besides blowing my mind with Atom and Cannibal Girl, Bizjack Flemco (goddamn that’s fun to say..say it with me Bizjack Flemco..I will Bizjack Flemco all over your sister’s face!
…ok..so that was kind of inappropriate, I apologize) they also exposed me to two of the coolest bands that I had somehow never heard of before watching Atom. One of them is Richard Taylor’s own band Bolonium (<—psst click that it’s also a link)
BOLONIUM is a high energy, goof ball band built up of Richard, his buddy Tim Johnson (Who wrote the final script for Atom),and Ben Finley (who looks simply fabulous in faux fur and eye shadow and has a wonderful mustache), There’s another member and a hot chick involved somehow as well..but we have no idea who they are..and we like the mystery..so don’t tell us! The sound and theatrics of these guys (who showcase a keytar AND an accordion in some of their music) Is like a mixture of Divo, The Misfits, and polka era weird Al with a healthy dose of rockabilly tossed in..They may be a joke band..but they’re waaaay better than they should be allowed to be!
The other band we discovered through Atom have been around FOREVER (Literally, the primordial ooze was actually their collective genital excretions..Look it up) and that band is The Radioactive Chicken Heads (<—yup another link..you’re getting the hang of this). As much as I love Atom, it just wouldn’t have worked without the amazing theme song these guys provided.
THE RADIOACTIVE CHICKEN HEADS are a band that’s followed just as much for their theatrics as their actual music.Just picture Gwar, meets Green Jello, meets Yo Gabba Gabba on fuckin bathsalts and you’ve got these wonderful weirdos. Their music is all nonsensical fever dream fairy tale acid trips and holy shit do we love them for it..plus how the hell can you not love a bunch of guys wearing what looks like chicken pinatas on their heads hanging out with a tomato and fronted by an angry punk carrot…why are you still here and not checking these guys out!
I give both bands two middle fingers chopped up and sanded to the bone. In a world full of mindless poop hits and shit-hop bands like these are a welcome change for a grumpy old foogie like myself.
So what will come next from Bizjack Flemco? Rumor has it they are currently working on a mega million dollar musical remake of Microwave Massacre and that Burt Reynolds has signed on to play the microwave…of course, i may or may not have been the one who made that rumor up..either way, we certainly hope this is not the last we’ve seen of these amazingly talented, strangely sexually appealing young filmmakers