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Cook, Todd Jason (Director)
Death Metal Zombies (DVD)
October 2017
Released: 1995, Horrorscope Films
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: JP

I am part of a group of guys who do a little YouTube show called ‘Reel Metal’ , where we sit around, drink beer and watch heavy metal themed movies and comment on them. This month we tackled DEATH METAL ZOMBIES which I had never heard of before. I have a fairly substantial library of Metal-themed movies but this 1995 was not anywhere on my radar.

This low budget (or no budget) indie, horror film was self-produced and filmed in Houston, Texas. The plot is simple and it seems cliché but it falls in line with many other Metal-themed horror movie settings. More specifically, a possessed or enchanted cassette (written by the band Living Corpse) when played, turn people into zombies. The heroes have to find a way to reverse the spell before the zombie apocalypse comes. There is a thin and unnecessary subplot about a serial killer, who wears a Richard Nixon mask, stalking teens in town. The special effects are decent given what they had to work with. There are some decent kills, and a fair amount of gore. There is also a bit of gratuitous T’n’A (an oxymoron?) with a classic shower scene that every horror movie needs. The music is actually very decent, it appears the producers got the rights to use the music of Relapse Records in the film. So, thinking back, this was filmed in 1995 so Relapse was a fairly new company, and still pretty cutting edge and underground. The soundtrack is loaded with great bands like Mortician, Amorphis, Dismember, Incantation and tons more. There is quite a bit of product placement in the film for Relapse stuff!

This movie was pretty cool and on paper it looks good (boobs ‘n blood and bangers) but in reality the execution was a bit weak. The acting was wooden, at least if the actors had played it up for the camera or gone over the top like a Bruce Campbell kind of thing, it might have added that necessary camp value that it lacked. Instead it tried to play itself quite straight, as straight as you can filming a movie called Death METAL ZOMBIES. The actors were believable as Metal fans and there were a few fun lines and a few more cringe-worthy ones as well. At least the Metal fans were not intentionally portrayed as total morons, as so often happens in films.

The film runs about 90 minutes and the 10th anniversary edition DVD we watched comes with a smattering of bonus features, a trailer and the whole thing was digitally remastered. DMZ is definitely for enthusiasts of low-budget indie, horror and collectors of Metal related movies. A fun watch but not worthy of classic status.
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