Enter… Zombie King (a.k.a. Zombie Beach Party) is a 2004 independent Canadian film set in a world where zombies are real and Mexican wrestlers are the new superheroes. The protagonist (Ulysses) is a masked wrestler who is spurred into action when another wrestler (Tiki), who wrestles zombies professionally in a travelling show, is wrongfully accused of having one of his zombies kill a human. On the hunt for the truth, Ulysses then learns of a rogue wrestler named the Zombie King, who has apparently gone insane and intends to turn everyone into zombies.
It’s a B-movie, sure, but it gets a lot of things right. I’ve watched a lot of B-movies that really struggle with the constraints of the format. Here’s a list of the B-movie rules that Enter… Zombie King gets 100% right:
- Be short. Nobody sits down with a B-zombie movie to lose themselves in a LOTR-type 3.5-hour immersion. Enter… Zombie King gets it right and clocks in at 76 minutes.
- Don’t take yourself seriously. E… ZK keeps it light and funny, with wrestling and self-referential humor throughout.
- Have funny nudity. The nudity in E… ZK is frequently crazy and makes no sense, but it puts a smile on your face and doesn’t seem porny or tasteless.
- Have funny fight scenes. Fighting is cool–whether it’s zombie fighting or wrestlers wrestling–but nobody is watching this so you can do the sensitive death scene from Saving Private Ryan. Just get on with the consequence-free violence, smart-guy.
- Don’t explain every damn thing. One error way too many bad B-movies make (especially horror/zombie B-movies) is to have lengthy explanations for everything. How many times have you watched a great monster movie that was weighed down with tedious “science” explanations delivered by labcoated eggheads? These dissertations are boring and unnecessary and they usually don’t help the movie. E… ZK could have gone out of its way to explain why Mexican professional wrestlers are so prominent in this alternate-universe, or why zombies came to be reanimated. But they resisted this temptation, and instead the characters just get on with the wrestling and zombie-fighting.
- End with (implied) inter-species zombie/human lesbian sex. You heard me, Mr. Screenwriter-guy. Now make it happen.
Another interesting thing about E… ZK is that everyone in the movie (even the non-wrestlers) just seems to know wrestling moves. In this respect, the movie reminded me of They Live.
Overall, I liked this film very much. It’s definitely a low-budget B-movie, but it knows how to do it right.