Look, we’re not going to sugar coat: the reviews on this one ain’t good. But when you have a film with a cast headlined by Malcolm McDowell and Sid Haig, with Corey Feldman along for the ride, and Slayer’s Tom Araya and X’s John Doe in tow, you cut generous amounts of CGI-slack for this, the writing and directing debut of musician Jesse Dayton. Dayton is a Texas musician best known for his soundtrack collaborations with Rob Zombie (Halloween II ’09 and The Haunted World of El Superbeasto).
How can you not want to at least try to watch a film with this cast—regardless of the fact that there’s no in-camera effects and all of the gun fire and headshots (to kill the zoms) are cheap CGI-boondoggles? Malcolm McDowell, as always, is good in his role and giving it his all, but we sure wish Zombex gave us more of him, Sid Haig, John Doe, and Tom Araya. Also stepping up to the plate is Lew Temple (the real star of these proceedings)—who we all know as Axl from The Walking Dead—as a conspiracy-spouting talk radio DJ out to expose the cover up.
Dayton gets bonus points for injecting a sense of reality into the undead tomfoolery with a zombie outbreak infecting a post-Karina Louisiana. Ol’ Mal is, of course, the greedy pharmaceutical boss distributing a new anti-stress drug that triggers the outbreak.
You can watch Zombex on Amazon Prime and Vudu as a VOD, but we found a free stream (without an account sign up) on Roku Online. The film’s Facebook page is still active, so you can check out stills from the film.
You can learn more about the life, career, and discography of Jesse Dayton at his official website. Fans of HBO’s True Blood also know Jesse for his songs “Coming Down” and “One of Them Days” appearing in the series. And I really dig Dayton’s countrified take on the Cars’ “Just Want I Needed,” complete with lap steels and mandolins. Give it a listen.