MST3K: Zombie Nightmare

Zombie Nightmare

Review by Annie Riordan

Year released: 1987

aka: Pumpkinhead Knows What You Did Last Summer in the Dead Of Night

The Movie: Once upon a time, little Tony Washington’s idyllic, kodachrome childhood is rudely interrupted when his daddy saves a young black girl from rape at the hands of two white guys and gets murdered for his efforts right in front of Tony and his mom and God and everyone. 

Some time later (10 years? 20? whatever) Tony is all grown up and won’t fucking stop growing. He’s a steroidal Happy Hulk who still lives with his momma and sports a goofy grin wherever he goes. But this is a horror movie and we need a monster, so Tony gets killed off within the first twenty minutes by a carload of drunken asshole teens.

Tony’s grief-stricken mom may be inconsolable, but she ain’t stupid. She has her son’s dead body brought to the black girl her husband rescued all those years ago, because – like all black girls everywhere, amiright? – she’s grown up to be a powerful Voodoo Priestess. Because you can’t swing a dead chicken without hitting a voodoo practitioner in rural Canada, ya know? Yeah. Wow. Canada. Come for the moose and maple syrup, stay for the Voodoo, eh? 

So, Voodoo Tina Turner slaps some paint on her face, shimmies around a bit and voila, Tony is back from the dead and ready to rawk. Baseball bat in hand, he roars off into the night to find the punks who killed him. And, that’s pretty much it.


Oh, and Adam West is in this movie and sits behind a desk for almost the whole entire movie, not being Batman. And it turns out he’s evil because he’s the guy who tried to rape the Voodoo chick and killed Tony’s dad and he gets dragged off into Hell. The end.

The Cast: Jon Mikl Thor plays Tony Washington. Tia Carrere, aka Cassandra from Wayne’s World in her motion picture debut, playing Stupid Twat who “hides” behind picture windows. Adam “I used to be Batman” West doesn’t even show up until halfway through the film. Shawn Levy, who plays the role of intensely unlikable fuckferret and rapey hurler of pasta actually went on to become a rather successful producer/director, working on everything from Stranger Things to Arrival. So, good for him. 

The Crew: Director Jack Bravman was previously and primarily a purveyor of pornography. I just wanted to see how many P’s I could fit into that sentence. Perhaps (I did it again!) this explains why he felt the need to provide his horrified audience with close ups of penile bulges in wet tighty whities and lots of bulging boobage bursting from bulbous bodices. Remember, a p is just a b turned upside down.  

The Nutshell: As the middle installment of the Fasano Heavy Metal Horror trilogy (sandwiched between Rock ’n’ Roll Nightmare & Black Roses) this one is the weakest. And that was me being polite. This film is absolute crap.  I seriously just watched a video of a sea cucumber taking a giant shit, and the long, wet turd it forcibly ejected from its anus was still ten times more entertaining than this film. I thought about getting into the details of the Fasano/Thor collaborations, but really, who cares? None of them were particularly brilliant, and although their soundtracks are considered primo classic metal, you’d be better off with the River’s Edge OST; less hair, more grit.

Best Riffs: Tom Servo, upon watching Tia “Wayne’s World” Carrere try to evade death at the hands of a heavy metal zombie: “Well Tia, it’s still better than working with Mike Meyers.” 

Servo again, as zombie-mom chats with her buffed, muscly, oiled-up son, clad only in a T-shirt strategically slashed to show every straining tendon: “And son, cover the nipples. The neighbors have been complaining.”