Zombie Frat House (2020) Review
Zombie Frat House bills itself as “The Walking Dead meets Animal House” and it starts off with the guys from Sigma House in trouble. This time it seems they’ve gone too far and Dean Jones (James J. Gallagher, The Op, Petty Cash) is taking great pleasure in telling Wolf (Brian Miracle, Fishstix, Leaving Eden) that he, JB (Colin Daly, Blood of Bad Men, Super Deluxe), and the rest of them have been expelled.
As they stand outside the dean’s office commiserating, and planning an epic party to go out on, Wolf causes a passing chemistry to spill a load of test tubes. Nobody notices he forgot to pick one up. But by morning it’ll be impossible not to notice as they wake up to something worse than a hangover, the zombie apocalypse.
Director Ross Bigley (Disembodied, A Little Horror) and co-writers Michelle Hoffman and Brian Roloff justify the Aminal House comparisons by opening the film with a barrage of distinctly non-PC jokes. Some hit the mark, some miss, and a few fall into potentially offensive territory. That may be due to the fact that Zombie Frat House was shot for $6,000 all the way back in 2013, followed by a long budget-challenged post-production phase and eventual premiere in 2020. Jokes about sexual assault may not seem as funny now as they did when they were written ten or so years ago.
After the dead start to walk however Zombie Frat House naturally turns into more of a horror comedy, and that includes things like a catfight between the naked and zombified Sasha (Marie Sirena, Tough Cookies, Indie Guys) and the equally nude but still living K-G (Anieya Walker, The Ringing Bell, Lesser Beasts). There’s also a lot of time spent satirizing the various character types and squabbling we see in these kinds of films from the guy who plans on drinking himself to death before the zombies can get him to the last racist in the world.
Eventually, everyone from the dean and K-G’s father to a trio of redneck zombie killers, Bufford (Tom Reed, Without a Name, Earlybird), Tobey (John Walski, to whose memory the film is dedicated) and Darla, (Stacey Meyer who is better known for her work as a producer on several seasons of Ice Road Truckers) find their way to Sigma House just in time for the shit to hit the fan.
Here again, the long delay between filming and release hurts Zombie Frat House as some elements, like the character who is selfie-ing their way through the apocalypse, have been done to death by now. Similarly, the White Trash Zombie Killers feel like a take on the Firefly clan, or what’s left of them in The Devil’s Rejects, and by now most people are well over it and the whole franchise and the grungy, white trash horror genre in general.
The film’s effects are fairly standard for a no-budget film. There are a couple of good bits of practical gore scattered throughout the film but there is a lot more CGI, from obvious blood spray to terrible explosions. I’d like to believe they were intentionally bad, parodying low-budget films along with the deliberately unrealistic violence. But chances the film’s own low budget was as much to blame as anything.
In the end, while Zombie Frat House isn’t the over-the-top splatstick I was expecting but there is enough in the way of blood, boobs and jokes to hold it together. Especially if you stay as high as some of the characters.