Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Joe (director Jim Townsend) and his lovely wife Dionne (Christine Egan) make the best wine in all the county at their little vineyard but darnit, they have been yielding the equivalent of 1 grape a year and Lord knows you can’t make much wine with one grape. So depressed about his lousy yields, despite the fact that every other farm around him is experiencing bumper crops, it looks like Joe is hitting the bottle again. I can’t be sure since it’s not explicitly stated in this movie ‘Attack of the Vegan Zombies’ but I think Joe is a wino. This does cause us to question why Joe is running a winery but we’re not going to worry about all of that. Dionne’s mother Audra (H. Lynn Smith) hates Joe. In fact in the history of bad mother-in-laws, she’s up there with the worst. Truth be told she’s not too happy with her daughter either considering Dionne has turned her back on her true calling which is joining the family business of witchcraft.

But with Joe on the verge of shutting everything down, Dionne turns to her witch mother to cast a spell to make everything okay. To cast this spell Audra needs a little human blood which seems reasonable enough. Next thing we see is Dionne getting her husband to do what married folk tend to do in bed at night every once in a while which also seems reasonable. Next thing we see is Joe sleeping off whatever, bleeding from scratches on his body. Musta been a helluva night of crazy sex. With his wife. This isn’t reasonable. Not at all.

A year later its boom time for this little farm as the crops are sprouting glorious fruit and the wine is flowing rivers of joy. So good is the yield that Joe has enlisted his good friend Professor Frank (Walter Gunter) to bring some of his students down from the college to help him pick some berries. These kids consist of a pair of very healthy cheerleaders in Lee (Natalia Joblovov) and Jenny (Kerry Kearns) plus uber nerds Louis (Watt Smith) and Paul (Ames Arnold).

It’s not long before Professor Frank and the geeks notice something is off kilter with these plants, highlighted by the fact that they are killing people. Or more so they are turning the people they come in contact with into green, blood sucking zombies. Plus the plants have disabled all vehicle transportation and all communication and naturally, since this is horror movie or sorts, cell phone service in non-existent. So our couple, the awful mother-in-law, the geeks, and the cheerleaders are trapped in the house surrounded by evil plants and a couple of green zombies with survival not looking very good right about now. What are they gonna do? Well, the cheerleaders are going to lez out, which actually makes total sense when you think about it. Okay, so it really makes no sense for these kids to start making out surrounded by killer plants and green zombies but there they go. NOW what are they gonna do?

Hmmm… What are to make of Jim Townsend’s little independent feature ‘Attack of the Vegan Zombies’? Without a doubt the film does have its merits. While I have little doubt that this movie was produced with the equivalent of pocket change, it certainly doesn’t look cheap as this film had all of the elements that we take for granted in a bigger budget flicks like pristine sound, a slick look and dynamic lighting. It’s all here and it’s all very professional. Another thing that helps is the acting, for the most part, is very good. Star Christine Egan made for a very good final woman, calling her a ‘final girl’ doesn’t do the woman justice, nothing girlish about that one, and the relationship between her and her mother played out very nicely. Director Townsend was a little stiff throughout the majority of the flick, but it says here that Christine Egan is his sister-in-law which means she’s either his brother’s wife of his wife’s sister which is kind of weird and would make me a little uncomfortable too. The nerds were funny if not unnecessary caricatures and we did enjoy the cheerleaders, if not so much for their acting skills, but because these are girls who look like they enjoy a good meal and can keep any man warm at night. When they aren’t lezzing out.

But this is a zombie movie and there just wasn’t enough zombie action. Sure the zombies looked like rejected aliens from the original Star Trek TV show but I still wanted to see more of them. Since there wasn’t a lot of zombie action we were kind of stuck watching our cast talk about zombies and killer plants which wasn’t terrible because the actors and the script were competent, but if I’m watching a movie with the word ‘zombie’ in the title then I want to see zombies eating people. Or rather extracting the wine from the blood of those who drank the wine which seems terribly inefficient. There was also this strange ominous music that was playing throughout the movie way before anything ominous was going on. It’s like playing that Jaws music while everyone is sitting at the table eating dinner twenty miles inland. Nothing to be afraid of yet unless the shark can fly.

‘Attack of the Vegan Zombies’ wasn’t a bad little movie at all, it just needed more zombies. And maybe a little less healthy cheerleader lesbian play. I’m just saying.

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