“I hate zombies. They’re assholes”
Following in the footsteps of Troma classics like The Toxic Avenger, Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies is an unabashedly low-budget flick that provides exactly what it promises: Pro Wrestlers fighting against a horde of zombies. It’s so low-budget, if it were a food it would be Ramen noodles. But, in keeping up the history of old-school B-movies, Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies falls squarely into the “so bad it’s good” category of films, the kind that the critics hate but are great fun to watch with some buddies at 2AM.
The set-up is fairly simple: Professional wrestler/asshole Shane “The Franchise” Douglas kills a man in the ring, so the man’s brother, Angus, naturally decides to raise a zombie army in the hopes of seeking revenge. The various wrestlers are hired for a show, where Angus unleashes his zombie army on the assembled cast. What follows is pure B-movie, schlocky goodness.
Let me make one thing very clear: from a technical standpoint, Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies is atrocious. The pacing is practically non-existent; editing is a joke, and sound editing is even worst. Even the lip-syncing is off, making heartfelt dialogue a laugh-out-riot in practice. I started playing a little game in the theater counting how many times certain zombie-extras found themselves back in frame just to be killed off again and again. One actor even looks directly into the camera during an early-long take, as if to make sure that the camera is actually following them. It’s pure nonsense from a movie-making standpoint and absolute hilarity for anyone in the audience.
Now, I give pro wrestlers a lot of respect for what they do. Not only do they put their bodies on the line 365 days of the year, they also have to provide the audience with a compelling character which they stay in at all times. That being said, there’s no denying that “wrestler” does not equal “thespian.” The acting, overall, is a joke. Over and under-acting is abound, and delivery is quizzical and questionable. The exception, however, is the one and only Rowdy Roddy Piper. While “Franchise” is billed as the headliner, Piper absolutely steals the show. His comedic timing is impeccable, as is his dead-pan delivery and, at some points, absolute lunacy. His antics go beyond acting and give the impression that he has actually convinced himself that he’s trying to survive his own personal zombie apocalypse. If this was Evil Dead, he’d be Ash. If it was Zombieland, he’d be Tallahassee. And I, personally and without a doubt, would pay good money to see what Rowdy Roddy Piper could do in a big-budget zombie movie.
Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies wears it’s heart out on it’s sleeve. It’s a movie that wanted to exist so badly it didn’t care what shape it came in. It’s low-budget, trashy, schlocky and poorly made, acted, and executed. And that’s what makes it so perfect. Grab some friends and make up your own commentary track as you go, and you’ll leave feeling great about Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies.
Tyler Leknois is a amateur, independent writer desperate for work. He operates thereelideal.webs.com and is in desperate need of a full-time job.