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Review: CORONA ZOMBIES (2020)

Nobody has ever accused Full Moon Features or its founder Charles Band of being overly PC. Or of having any class at all for that matter. But there are things like making Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust or Evil Bong 777 with not one but two human/puppet sex scenes complete with full-frontal nudity. And then there’s Corona Zombies.

Bruno Mattei’s Hell Of The Living Dead or Night Of The Zombies or Zombie Creeping Flesh depending on where you saw it came out in 1980. Charles Band (AIMEE: The Visitor, Parasite) had Kent Roudebush and Silvia St. Croix write “funny’ dialogue to redub chunks of it with. Then edited in a few minutes of footage from a 2012 Full Moon film, Zombies Vs Strippers and some news footage of Donald Trump saying stupid shit. To finish it off he shot maybe ten minutes of new footage. If this sounds like a train wreck, you’re right.

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The new footage concerns Barbie (Cody Renee Cameron, Devil’s Junction: Handy Dandy’s Revenge, Girls, Guns, And Blood) and Kendra (Robin Sydney, American Muscle, Evil Bong 888: Infinity High) who chatter brainlessly about what’s on the news and the lack of toilet paper. Most of the film though is a redubbed film from forty years ago being passed off as happening here and now. That might have worked if it was funny and distracted you from that fact. But it isn’t.

The new plot re-brands the original commando team as The Corona Squad. And now has them going not to Africa but to a replica native village in Baltimore to recover hijacked toilet paper. Why change the setting from Africa to Baltimore? I can only guess it was so they could dub in plenty of allegedly funny, stereotypical, gangsta dialogue. And from there, it’s off to the Scambells Soup factory in China. It seems they made the mistake of adding bat soup to its flavours.

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Is there anything good about Corona Zombies? Well, it is only an hour long. And between the two films, it plunders, there is a fair amount of gore and some breasts. But doing a re-dubbing like this isn’t easy and takes time. Making the new dialogue fit properly with what’s on the screen and still be funny isn’t easy. An obvious rush job, Corona Zombies just tosses anything that even seems funny or edgy at the screen and prays.

The footage shot for Corona Zombies is as slapdash as the dubbing. There’s a shower scene where they don’t even try to hide the fact the actress is wearing a tank top and a bra. Neither of the actresses in the new footage is exactly shy when it comes to nude scenes either. Maybe this was supposed to be a joke. But that doesn’t explain why we can see the film crew’s shadows on the wall during the scene.

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Corona Zombies tries to be a deliberately tasteless comedy. And, as films such as The Toxic Avenger have proven they can not only work but be hysterically funny. However, this film forgot to provide the comedy and is just tasteless. The irony here is, that the English dubbing of Hell Of The Living Dead was frequently unintentionally funnier than what they replaced it with.

Corona Zombies is available to stream via Full Moon Features.

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