A few years ago, as I wandered my first ever Cinema Wasteland convention (if you've never been to one of these, you REALLY need to...), I walked past a table, manned by an indie film maker plying his wares, and was handed a promo card featuring a still photo of a nun, nude from the waist down, in the process of being mounted by a desiccated corpse. As if this wasn't disturbing enough, I had an old friend with me, who happens to be a devout Catholic, his reaction to the card was priceless!
The film maker in question was Bill Zebub, the promo card was for his film "Zombiechrist". I was intrigued to say the least...
Fast forward to few Wastelands later, I managed to pick up "Zombiechrist" from the man himself (who, by the way, was wearing a most excellent King Diamond tee shirt--how can you NOT like a guy wearing that?). This, friends, started me down a slippery slope of depravity and laughs from Mr. Zebub--who, it turns out, is made up of equal parts: Bill Hicks, Kenneth Anger, and Sam Raimi, all wrapped up in one big, fucked up, package. Below are a few words on each of the films in this indie renegade's canon that I've witnessed thus far.
"Zombiechrist"--My trial by fire, so to speak. A completely over-the-top, blasphemous tale of Christ as a re-animated corpse. Rife with: laughs, cheesy effects, and the trampling of Christian mythology (and let's not forget Jordana Leigh). Genius!
"Forgive Me For Raping You"--Frequent Zebub co-conspirator, Steve Nebesni, practically wallows in the depravity in this one. Contains a few genuinely disturbing set pieces.
"Disgruntled Employee"--A copy of this was sent to me by the impossibly hot (and NerdRemix Horror Hottie) Angelina Leigh. Angelina really shines in this as the bitchy object (along with plenty of other hot ladies) of loser janitor Nebesni's revenge. Truly un-nerving and cringe inducing to watch at times, this film almost makes you feel like a sick fuck for liking it.
"Breaking Her Will"--A tribute to fetish films, this film is all the more topical in the wake of that Castro guy with his basement captives. A ripe, misogynistic plot is brought to creepy life by a really good cast, and great set pieces.
"Jesus, The Daughter of God"--Laugh out loud moments in this tale of a "quantum leaping" stripper, ported into the body of the messiah. A great comedic turn by Scarlett Storm (who is sexy as Hell) make this a sacrilegious good time! Bonus points for including Mike O'Mahoney as a ball sack punching bag!
"Jesus-The Total Douchebag"--More iconoclastic skewering of religious themes, this is Bill at his finger-in-the-eye best! If you're not already, you'll definitely be smoking turds in Hell for viewing this period piece.
"Surreal Sicko"--My least favorite of Zebub's work. I'm not sure if he was aiming too high on the "art" scale, or just playing with different styles. Plenty of naked females and quasi-psychedelic images are included, just doesn't seem to have a focus.
I still have a lot to go through in this prolific bastard's body of work. But, rest assured, if you dare to pick up one of this man's films, you'll definitely get: hot metal chicks, loud metal music, scathing socio-political commentary, the trampling of the most sacred religious beliefs, naked girls tied to trees, and lots of laughs and cringes!! Bill Zebub is truly an "artist" by the very definition of the word and accomplishes more with 30 minutes of film than 90% of the so called "mavericks" of indie film--this ain't "controversy for controversy's sake" people, this is the real shit!
So, if you find yourself wandering around Cinema Wasteland any time soon, and you spy a wild eyed, frizzy-haired guy in an old school metal tee shirt, pick up one of his DVDs---you'll possibly be sacrificing you immortal soul to an eternity of torment, but, fuck it, you'll do it with a smile on your face!
I'm Tom, and I'll swallow your soul--send it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org