Tuesday, June 7, 2016

In short: The Zero Boys (1986)

A bunch of survival game mad college idiots going by the moniker of “The Zero Boys” under the leadership of one Steve (Daniel Hirsch) – easily identified by a lack of facial expression that I suspect is supposed to read as cool but doesn’t – their girlfriends, and Jamie (Kelli Maroney), the girl whose presence Steve won from a Nazi regalia wearing Jew (please don’t ask), are invading a backwoods area. Because that’s the kind of people our heroes are, they make themselves at home in an empty house and are more than just a bit surprised when the local crazy backwoods killers – counting among their number Joe Estevez hiding under the nom de plum of “Joe Phelan” - start stalking them.

Alas, the Zero Boys are carrying “perfectly legal” semi-automatic uzis, and the backwoods folk are some of the most incompetent of their kind.

Welcome back to the wondrous world of Nico Mastorakis, where at least half of the lines the characters have to deliver make little sense, and the other half sound utterly ridiculous, where a bunch of stupid teen survivalist assholes are supposed to be our heroes, and where not enough of said assholes die. The last bit is somewhat understandable, for to make more then a half hour epic out of the adventures of our protagonists – such as they are – the killers really had to be written to show as little competence as possible too. Getting through Zero Boys means watching a backwoods slasher where not just the meat are the expected idiots (and by gawd, they are), but where the killers act so incompetently they’re probably temps working the backwoods beat while the more competent cannibals and crazy people are on vacation in Ibiza.

To add insult to injury, Mastorakis doesn’t even bother to give his characters at least slasher character shorthand traits, so it’s difficult to remember anyone apart from Jamie and Steve. In fact, I’m not even sure anymore how many members the Zero Boys had, an hour after watching the thing. I should probably have taken notes like a responsible blogger but the film probably should have had a script beyond some notes scribbled on a napkin, so I’m still good, I believe.

This isn’t too say The Zero Boys isn’t fun to watch. In typical Mastorakis fashion, the bullshit flies hard and fast, with hardly a scene going by that doesn’t contain at least some low level bit of adorable nonsense or a “what the hell were they thinking” moment like when Jamie and Steve have a heart to heart about her boyfriend that’ll have you gasping for air. If that’s not enough for you, apparently this was shot on the same locations and sets as the 3rd Friday the 13th film and definitely contains many a bad Jason reference to really rub our noses in it, so you can really feel at home.

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