Starring: Rick Carrillo, Alicia Shaddeau
Directed By: Bryan Ortiz
Written By: Bryan Ortiz, James Harz
Doctor S Battles the Sex Crazed Reefer Zombies: The Movie is a hilarious and highly stylistic horror comedy. With a title like that would you expect anything less? It’s a film that has a ton of fun with itself, which is completely contagious to the audience. Writer/ director, Bryan Ortiz, sites Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez as influences, which really comes through in his technique and direction. He combines this with the horror element. “Doctor S” takes us in to the spirit of the 1950’s with mockingly snappy characterizations and plenty of danger and destruction.
Mary Jane (Shaddeau) goes up to Make-Out Hill one night with her handsome boyfriend, Billy. They are having a good time until Billy takes out some marijuana and tries to get Mary Jane to have some too. She is so appalled and shocked by this, but she is in for an even bigger surprise. Just moments later, Billy turns in to a monstrous, lusting zombie hungry for her flesh. Mary Jane only barely manages to escape thanks to Dr. S, who suddenly comes to her rescue. Dr. S is a scientist turned zombie hunter when his marijuana experiment turned all of his colleagues and friends in to the living dead. Dr. S tells Mary Jane that everyone she knows is most likely either dead or infected. Mary Jane is panicked and has no idea what to do. In just minutes her entire world has seemed to come crashing down and Dr. S may be her only chance at survival.
There are really only two non-zombie characters and the actors both do an incredible job in bringing them out. Rick Carrillo fuels great energy and style in to the film through his portrayal as Dr. S. He is laid back, cool, and has plenty of attitude. As Dr. S, he so effortlessly battles zombies as if they are just a mild annoyance. Yet at the same time, they are his entire purpose now; to rid what’s left of the world from their evil. Alicia Shaddeau also does very well as the proper and sheltered Mary Jane. Shaddeau has a ton of fun with her character, poking fun at her while still making Mary Jane very likeable and easy to relate to.
The black and white style fits with the nostalgic element both with the time period that the film takes place in and as homage to the classic zombie films. The entire movie is filled with great zombie chase scenes. The zombies just flood in, trapping Dr. S to what seems like his inevitable demise. Of course, he always so swiftly seems to get out of this situation and slay the zombie masses effortlessly. There’s suspense in the chase as the infected quickly close in on the living, followed by sheer humor at how quickly Dr. S takes them down. There are a number of flashbacks to Dr. S’s experiment and the first zombie transformations. It projects a mad scientist image as they are the memories obsessively harboring inside of Dr. S’ mind.
I also loved the intro to the film. The classic high school sweethearts situation; the good looking guy trying to get a little farther with his prudish girlfriend. Instead of sex being the evil temptation it’s reefer; zombie inducing reefer at that. The dialogue is hilarious all throughout the film, but there is one moment in particular where reactions are exaggerated at least by today’s standards to really make the comedic element stronger while in turn increasing the horror of what’s happening around them.
Doctor S is clearly mocking the 1930’s propaganda film, Reefer Madness, which was an exaggerated account of what monsters kids could turn in to if they took the drug. 2005’s Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical took the ridiculous element involved in this and had plenty of fun with the theme that smoking reefer leads to crazy behavior such as renouncing God and becoming a sex crazed killer. Doctor S Battles the Sex Crazed Reefer Zombies makes a point by taking an even more literal approach to how the original source material used to scare its audience. It has the same spark and comedy, but goes even farther to bring out the ‘monster’ comparison. That’s pretty much a recipe for excellence in my book. There are obvious inspirations and parallels between these movies, but of course, Doctor S had a lot of inspirations and this just happened to be one that stood out in particular to me. It’s a highly creative film with fun characters, exciting zombie chase scenes, and fun-filled turns throughout.