Bath Salt Zombies is a low-budget splatter film that was written and directed by Dustin Mills, and released in 2013.
At its essence this is a kinetic movie that revels in cartoonish violence and over the top brutishness, so if you are after atmosphere and slow-creeping zombie action, then you won’t find it here.
I think every horror fan has a place in their heart for a good B-movie. And Bath Salt Zombies, an unabashedly schlocky horror that seems more from the 1970s than it’s actual 2013 release date, gleefully revels in giving you the B-movie your heart desires.
The plot centers around a new strain of ‘bath salt’ drugs, that are stronger than any that have previously hit the market. After a push-back on the creation of bath salts in the Midwest, dealers and cooks head over to New York to get rid of their remaining stash of drugs. What they don’t realize, however, is that the drugs will actually screw up their customers in ways they couldn’t imagine, turning them into relentlessly violent zombie cannibals. Agent Forster, a DEA agent, is assigned to try and contain the spread of the drugs and deal with the already-zombified addicts.
Kicking off with a stern PSA about the dangers of bath salts, it’s obvious that director Dustin Mills has his tongue wedged firmly in his cheek. It’s a nasty, dirty, skeevy, bloody salute to the kind of gross-out B-movies that have gained so much traction over the last decade or so (see: The Human Centipede), and, considering the micro-budget that the film was made on, it works pretty well.
If you couldn’t guess from the title, it’s one of the most spectacularly gory films I’ve seen in a long time, with cartoonish cannibalism and a handful of respectful nods to other zombie classics. The zombies themselves seem pretty incidental (and, as I will always argue, because they aren’t actually dead that title is erroneous in the first place), like Mills would have used any excuse to cram his movie to the gills with gore and guts, but he uses the tropes of the genre to great effect nonetheless.
The acting is solid enough for a low-budget B-Movie, with Josh Eal dominating the screen as the whacked-out zombie of choice, all manic eyes and completely self-aware over-the-top acting. The movie pulls back just enough from ironic hipster horror and manages to land at a pleasing compromise point, giving a knowing nudge and wink to the audience every now and then but allowing the truly gory, nasty sequences to speak for themselves.
It’s directed with healthy amounts of gusto that pay frequent homage to it’s B-movie ancestors – a dramatic tilted shot looking up at the officer who attempts to convey the seriousness of the situation, a eye-rollingly amusing sequence of the obligatory sexy naked lady in peril, and so forth.
If you’re going in to Bath Salt Zombies expecting a ground-breaking, innovative horror flick, you may as well give up now. This is a movie that doesn’t want your custom unless you’ve got the guts, sense of humour, and sheer constitution to make it through unscathed. It’s an admirable piece of work when you consider the tiny budget, and proves, if nothing else, that someone needs to give Dustin Mills a few million dollars and a lot of leeway to create something with this sense of humour on a much bigger scale.
New it is not, but Bath Salt Zombies has enough to win over even the most cynical zombie fan….as long as you know what you are letting yourself in for. If you take it seriously, then Bath Salt Zombies will be a terrible experience. You have been warned.
Watch the trailer for ‘Bath Salt Zombies’:
Watch ‘Bath Salt Zombies’ below:
|Get the film at Amazon.com|
|Get the film at Amazon.co.uk|
Written by: Louise MacGregor