If the pot pun in the title doesn’t scare you away, and you somehow also brave the movie’s crudely (i.e. poorly) drawn flash animation credit sequence, Halloweed gives you one more chance to back away within the first ten minutes.
We open on the Bridgeport Butcher’s execution day (another notch on Tom Sizemore’s growing list of B-movies). Vincent Modine is the kind of man that spends his last day on death row masturbating to grisly pictures of his murder victims – just to set the tone for the kind of hilarious black comedy romp we’re in for. At his execution gallery, bloodthirsty onlookers and one chest-clutching super fan attend the serial killer’s electrocution. Here, we’re introduced to Trent Modine (Shannon Brown), the killer’s everyman son, and his weed-addled step-brother, Joey (played by Simon Rex, fresh off a stint of painful Scary Movie sequels no one noticed were shat into theaters a while back.)
The Butcher taunts the crowd and, at the thought of his handiwork, becomes visibly erect. “Shit, he’s got a big ass dick!” Joey observes, scarfing down a bag of popcorn. After a misfire of a joke where the governor calls just to mock Vincent, the switch is thrown. In his death throes, we’re treated to a shot of his stiff member pulsating with electricity.
This, viewers, is your last chance to back the hell away. It does not get better than this. Just go. No one’s putting you through this gauntlet. If I didn’t have this review to write, I would’ve ejected from this garbage fire twenty minutes in and binged a season of Ash vs Evil Dead just to wash my eyes out. You aren’t in for a “So Bad It’s Good” sort of flick. You’re in for regret.
I, however, did make it through the other side of this lazy, unfunny tropical-shit-storm. Like most trauma, my mind tried to excise the memory of Halloweed almost immediately. But here’s what I gleaned so that I may properly warn those brave (or dumb) enough to try to watch this sizzling turd all the way through.
At the goading of an infomercial, Trent and Joey decide to uproot and move to the small town of Mooseheart. What ensues is about thirty minutes of pure meandering. It’s a display of vulgar, tired jokes meant to pad the runtime until the plot rears its head. We’re treated to lame humor the likes of gay jokes, a cavity-search-obsessed cop plunging her gloved hand into people’s rectums repeatedly, and marijuana references so juvenile they’d be ripped out of a Cheech & Chong draft and burned. It’s writing that a middle schooler would be hardpressed to crack a smile at. Some jokes, however, manage to graduate from “stupid” to “offensive.” There’s an entire bit tossed into the second act where Trent placates a manic depressive by agreeing that, yeah, he probably should go kill himself — the payoff amounting to said individual leaping from a balcony but surviving the too-short fall. What an absolute knee-slapper, Halloweed. You’re guaranteed to be the funniest movie at the bottom of Wal-Mart’s $7 DVD bin–if defective copies of A Haunted House 2 aren’t in there.
The movie also features an assortment of cameos by actors paying up, and dearly, for past favors. Danny Trejo guests as the local weed king, Patch, named so for his eye-patch and proximity to a pumpkin patch (because his backstory would be nothing without both). Ray Wise appears as a judge turned mayoral candidate whose scenes most definitely were shot in the same day. Jason Mewes and Andy Milonakis show up as, well, themselves, I guess, to add nothing of value beyond their names to the credits. Of all the shoehorned cameos, though, the liveliest of the bunch is Parks and Recreation’s Jim O’Heir, playing the town’s unctuous mayor. O’Heir ends up being the only respite from this chore of a watch, but that’s like being given a pack of gum while you’re starving.
After a good chunk of the film is wasted on a subplot in which Trent attempts to win the affections of Madison (the girl from the fateful Mooseheart infomercial I neglected to mention because no one on this plane of existence cares), the movie reminds itself that it has something to do with horror. Enter The Candy Corn Killer: a baby-masked serial killer that dances and claps over his victims’ bodies. Naturally, Trent’s connection to a completely unrelated serial killer is outed and he becomes the town’s prime suspect. In order to clear his name, Trent and his step-brother vow to unmask the murderer. Believe it or not, this is the halfway point of the film.
The Candy Corn Killer’s reign of terror is boring and his kills are lazy and uninspired, as if the filmmakers were rushing through them just to get back to filming scene after scene of characters smoking and gnashing on terrible lines. The second verse, as it were, is true to the first. More dim jokes and asinine situations shove an incredibly thin plot forward to a flat finale so hastily written, I’d bet the screenwriter really was paid with a bag of weed. Halloweed plays out like a whippets-fueled 13-year-old’s pitch for a slasher-themed Harold & Kumar. It’s crass and witless, like a drunk guy loudly telling you racist jokes at a bar.
There are far better movies you could watch in the comedy-horror sub-genre. Try Tucker & Dale vs Evil. Give Club Dread a try. Throw on Stitches — reviewers tore it apart, and rightfully so, but it’s far more entertaining, and far more competent, than this heap. Hell, dust off your Scary Movie DVDs (when you hit the one with Charlie Sheen, you’ve gone too far). Watch anything but this. This isn’t the next cult guilty pleasure like Killer Bong was. It’s a cringe-inducing slog. Like stumbling into work after a pungent toke session in your car, you’ll want to wash the stench of Halloweed off your body, and fast.
Halloweed releases on VOD and Cable On Demand October 18th, 2016.