The Recent Wild Eye Releasing, which offers the best in low-budget slasher movies, DVD of the zombie slasher flick "Jonah Lives" is notable both for being filmed in Fall River Massachusetts, which is the home of axe-wielding Lizzie Borden, and for wonderfully placing parallel universe versions of the "That '70s Show" sitcom teens in mortal danger. The "Jonah" tagline "a rude spiritual awakening" is another fun element.
Our flock of zombie bait is six middle-class teens who seemingly spend most of their time hanging together and use the quasi-finished basement in the home of Francis, who roughly is the Kelso of the group, as a club house. Further Francis and the Eric of the group date the Jackie and the Jackie 2 of their gang.
As an aside, endearing Francis portrayor Ryan Boudreau has potential to follow in the footsteps of Kelso actor Ashton Kutcher at least to the extent of making popular but not-so-great films.
The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the "Jonah" trailer provides a good sense of the gory goodness of the film.
As is typical in horror flicks, the mayhem begins ensuing roughly 45 minutes into "Jonah." The girls expressing intense boredom watching the boys play their usual Friday night poker game in the basement first leads to rejecting the impassioned pleas of Tony, who is a mix of Fez from "'70s" and Michael Anthony Hall of the real '80s, to play strip poker.
The solution of Francis to stop the whining is to pull out a Ouija board; his "Captain Planet" style logic is that the combined energy from all six teens is enough to contact the spirit world. Six becomes five when wimpy Tony begs off.
Things then turn hilariously dark when the (soon convulsing) participants in the game contact the titular zombie, provide him the juice to climb out of this grave, and become his meat suits. This leads to plenty of basement-centered blood and gore that proves the adage that it is fun until someone loses an arm.
Meanwhile upstairs, the parents of Francis are hosting a swinging '70s style key party that would send "Red" Foreman of "'70s" out to his garage (if not a divorce attorney). The star of that event Zora Matthias is a very proud gold digger/cougar with a voracious appetite. Seeing Zora pounce on a delighted Francis and watching her dish with her trans-sexual friend/fellow outcast are highlights of "Jonah."
Other humor that is funny because it is true relates to the repentant teens figuratively trying to put the genie back in the bottle in the form of regathering around the Ouija board to vehemently apologize in an effort to get Jonah to return to this grave. This reflects the modern parenting style/Roman Catholic philosophy that no sin is not so great that a sincere confession cannot absolve you of the harm. The harsh life lesson that our gang experiences regarding this is a "must-see" scene in the film.
Although much of the publicity regarding "Jonah" spoils the central premise of the film, learning that in advance ruins the fun of the film. Suffice it to say that the "Honey; I'm home" aspect of the film is not coincidental.
The bottom line is that "Jonah" will appeal to tween and teen boys who enjoy this type of film and their older counterparts who still find them entertaining.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Jonah" is welcome to either email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.