Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill (2004)

(Release Date: October 26, 2004)

Who da fuck da real zombie is?Who da fuck da real zombie is?

I hate to say it: I didn't hate it!

This fucker has the Recipe for the Zombie!
J.C. Maçek III
The World's Greatest Critic!

A drug-smuggling drifter with car trouble finds himself in a small desert town filled with hostile citizens. A van full of Teenagers picks up a hitchhiker who leads them to a backwoods Southern family who dines heartily on the flesh of just such human travelers. What is tres certainment another rip-off of the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre blended with the opening scene from U-Turn and a verbatim recreation of the villain from Bubba Ho-Tep quickly becomes yet another silly Zombie film in this early 2K's resurgence of Walking Dead horror flicks. It would be hard to tell you how many and how much Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill rips off other films (the only real surprises here are found in the game of which Horror flick director Byron Werner and his writing cronies John and Matt Yuan are going to gank next), but I can say that as far as derivative zombie horror flicks go, this one is at least as funny and fun as the best of the bad. What's more, as silly as this whole thing is, it's interesting to note that there are some sparkles of originality here, and, though the characters are paper thin, some pretty decent acting.

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Leatherface dressed like Bubba Ho-Tep

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The originality here (which is as minimal as most David Michael Latt produced fare) comes in the form of an old Western ghost town that is inhabited less by Ghosts than Zombies. Back in the days of the American Civil War a deeply Racist and devoutly Satanist (!) Confederate raider named William "Bloody Bill" Anderson (Jeremy Bouvet) lays a pig-butt-nasty-ass curse upon the sleepy Auld Ouest town of Sunset Valley upon his lynching and brings forth the dead into a waking life of powder-dry zombification. Then, they Purina Prey arrives in the form of the two aforementioned automobiles filled with Zombie chow.

The rest of this film you've pretty much seen before, just substitute "Ghost Town" for "Mall", "Farm House" or "Creepy Island". Plot points and contrivances fizzle like day-old Alka Seltzer in this movie, as a scattered montage of quick-cut scenes reveals the Legend of Bloody Bill, his ways, his hungers and his adoration for Topps Western Wear. The kids quickly reveal what Uma Thurman never had to find out: It's damned hard to Kill Bill if Bill's already a Zombie! What nobody and nothing reveals is why every Zombie in this movie, man, woman, boy-child, sounds exactly like Mario Van Peebles' character in Highlander the Final Dimension!

Still, one can neither deplore, nor pity the cast and crew of this Zombie film. They've infused as much originality and fun as zombily possible into this film, and while it's not easy to simply say "they mean well", it's very easy to point out that this whole thing is all in good fun. There is enough comedy, likeability and creepy gore effects to keep you watching to see what happens next... even if you already know what's happening next, thanks to other and better movies. Let's face facts, though kids... Were these folks trying to make Citizen Kane? Nope! But they have made a pretty decent little Zombie Flick that you can watch on Halloween and goof with your buddies about.

Like I said, the acting isn't too bad either, the cliché "last female standing" is the likeable Chelsea Jean, and the crap-bag mess maker of the whole thing is often hilariously portrayed by Gregory Bastien.

Folks, without Cheese you couldn't make a Pizza, and Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill is Cheesier than Kraft, it's got just as many empty calories, and you feel just about the same way after consuming a VHS-Sized chunk of it. I'm gonna throw Two Sherriff Badge Stars out of Five on it, just for bloods and giggles. Even at its worst, and most borrowed, this isn't a complete dog, and if you're interested in a simply schlocky, heavy-metal infused picture with plenty of running zombie cowboys, wacky lines and a photo finish, then grab that on-demand remote and shout "GIMME A B! GIMME A B! GIMME A B!". Meanwhile, I'll be dressing up in an old duster and ten gallon hat to scare the townies. Fat Zombies aren't quite a dime-a-dozen, now are they? That's J.C. Maçek III, signing off and headin' for the Tub!

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Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill (2004) Reviewed by JCM3, the dude with the beautiful skin due to ten glasses of water a day.
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