Pro-Wrestlers vs. Zombies Blu-ray Review
Written by Ron Williams
Blu-ray released by Troma Entertainment
Written and directed by Cody Knotts
2015, 88 minutes, Not Rated
Blu-ray released on October 13th, 2015
When I was given the opportunity to review a Roddy Piper film, I jumped at it. The late Rowdy Roddy's been a personal fave since I was a wee lad in the '80s watching the kilted wonder bust heads in the squared ring. And of course, who doesn't love him in 1988's cult classic They Live? That movie made him a bona fide action hero. Now he's taking on zombies. I was excited.
The movie is straightforward. Shane Douglas kills a wrestler in the ring. That wrestler's brother seeks revenge by raising an army of the undead for Shane Douglas and his pals to wrestle in an abandoned prison. Spoiler alert: That's it right there in a nutshell.
NOTE: If you are a 16 year old hardcore wrestling or Troma fan, stop reading. Don't waste your time going any farther. You will likely watch this movie no matter what any review says, and you will likely enjoy the experience. If you're not, please read on.
While I wasn't hoping for the magic of They Live, I was hoping for a funny, decent, action-packed zombie movie with a unique twist. All of those hopes were dashed the minute I got the disc in the mail and realized this was distributed by Troma. Troma was a one-of-a-kind studio back in the '80's and '90's, pushing out classics like The Toxic Avenger, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD and Class of Nuke 'Em High. And honestly, that's where they should have stopped. While Troma has always been known for putting out low-budget thrills, even in the digital age their films look like a high school project shot with a handycam. The shine on Troma's apple wore off a long time ago, and what we've been left with is an endless parade of softcore porn and gore porn. Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies is no exception.
There is a lot of top-notch wrestling action here, but not much else. If you're the aforementioned 16-year-old, I really do think you'd love this film. It's gratuitous, it's violent, it's got action, gore, wrestling, zombies and a hardcore soundtrack. That's a pretty good recipe, just not one that I appreciate. If you're an average viewer looking for a new take on the now overplayed zombie genre, you're not going to find much satisfaction here. The effects are '70s era backyard movie making, the acting is non-existent, and the plot shoots its wad at the 10-minute mark. If you're an average movie viewer, you're going to feel like you're in a cage match with your TV, and the TV's winning.
Video and Audio:
The video is competent, but soft and blurry. As most of the action takes place in low lighting, it can make it difficult to see what's going on. I think this has more to do with the technical process used to remaster this for Blu-ray, but that's more of an explanation than an excuse.
Audio is all over the place on this. At times you have to crank it up to hear whisper quiet dialog while heavy metal music blares from your speakers at the lowest setting.
The disc contains a commentary you'll never listen to because it would mean watching the movie a second time, a trailer for this film, and some Troma marketing material that you've either already seen or hope to never see.