Slowly and slowly, there has been a increase of likability toward director and writer Dustin Mills and his hugely creative and widely entertaining horror films. This might sound like a creepy man-crush, but the Kevin Smith like-a-like director has his own production company, he pulls from his own stable of actors, and his movies are not your typical, run-of-the-mill independent boringness trash. The experiences had with Dustin Mills have been in backwards motion where I’ve started Mills recent projects and have worked backwards ending with Zombie A-Hole – so far. Zombie A-Hole involves a hellbent cowboy, a psychic twin brother, and a one-eyed engineer superstar all seeking the same evil – the other twin brother who gave his soul to an evil living inside a medallion that has given the brother unlimited power and has returned him from the grave! This a-hole stalks and kills twin siblings for their brain matter to give him everlasting power making this zombie a-hole the most depraved, the most senseless, and the most hated being on this twisted earth!
What impresses me more about Dustin Mills is his use of effective special effects when compared to a $1,000 budget. The man must be good with a computer because even though I can see the slight mistakes or the slight cheapness of the prosthetics, his special effects can please even the most critical critics. Mills even uses quick editing techniques to create the illusion of twin siblings. Seven “twins” will trick your mind by having the “twins” seem to be in the same scene, but with some quick camera work and some flawless editing the same actor will only seem to be in the same scene with their twin when they’re talking to each other. If that last sentence doesn’t confuse you, then you’re special. Mills can also make Party City skeletons looks like some grade A Sam Raimi Army of Darkness skeletons by brushing them up in makeup and using filter techniques to create his own smart ass undead army.
Two regular actors of Mills’ work turn grueling indie project into a highly entertaining horror film. Brandon Salkil portrays three characters in Zombie A-hole as the twin brothers and the zombie. Jason Eal takes on the rough and tough, zombie asskickin’ cowboy. Both actors feature in Mills’ later films such as Bath Salt Zombies (another great, based on a true story film) and both have had their own starring roles in Mills’ films as well as working behind the scenes on the production crew. Versatile and hardworking, these two actors’ on screen performances are poetic. Salkil’s animated personality homes in on a Jim Carrey while Eal tough guy schtick is well welcomed when dealing with any evil force.
Zombie A-hole markets itself as a zombies are cool and hip while being brutal and deadly. Though Salkil’s zombie is brutal and deadly, the prey could have been more lively. The “twins” are mainly alternative girls who for some reason always get the ax when they’re taking a bath or in the shower…? A pre-shower, during shower, post-shower motif I don’t completely understand. Perhaps to show some gratuitous tits or maybe to show how helpless these victims are with no fight in them when the Zombie A-Hole is cracking open their skulls, ready to eat their brains!
Zombie A-Hole’s all out mentality will leave you with great appreciate for independent filmmaking. Thank you MVDVisual for releasing Dustin Mills work and exposing the writer and director and also his two main actors Brandon Salkil and Josh Eal. MVD’s presentation runs 108 minutes with a standard definition 16×9 widescreen ratio, but Mills purposely grains the film to give the a grindhouse film feel and the standard definition goes right out the window. There are no extras and its a bit of a shame because I would want to see the behind the scenes of Zombie A-Hole, but that shouldn’t come between man and his urges to see blood, boobs, and the zombies!