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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 05.09.16] horror

Year: 1986
Directors: Nico Mastorakis
Writers: Robert Gilliam, Nico Mastorakis
IMDB: link
Amazon: link
Review by: Christopher Webster
Movie Rating: 6 out of 10
Blu-ray Rating: 8.5 out of 10

80's master of sleaze, Nico Mastorakis (Island of Death), directs this lost backwoods slasher about a trio of paint balling bros who take up arms against a vicious and lascivious gang of hillbillies (who appear to live in a luxurious vacation home).

I had a blast with Arrow Video's The Zero Boys blu-ray, but mostly due to the novelty of it being a somewhat well established horror film that I hadn't heard of at all. Upon reflection however, I can see why it hasn't remained a go-to slasher for genre cinephiles. Besides the concept, which is like Rambo meets Deliverance, it's not the most original horror outing. Hilariously enough, it might even be one of the most tropey cabin in the woods movies I've ever seen - so much so, that a few times I wondered if Wheddon and Drew Goddard were secretly fans of The Zero Boys as everything from two-way mirrors and stuffed wolf heads make an appearance.

I can only think Mastorakis was angling for The Zero Boys to be a more commercial venture than his previous films as the film is oddly bloodless considering how nasty some of the reveals are. There is also less nudity than you'd expect from a video store nasty, but the fouled-mouthed screenplay is thankfully laugh-out-loud cheesy with countless politically incorrect one liners you'd never get away with today.

Despite being a lower budget affair, the cinematography here is rich, textured and diverse with Arrow's Blu-ray bringing it wonderfully to life. Hans Zimmer even provides a knock-you-on-you-ass synth score (the composer would take on Rain Man only two years later) which will excite retro slaves looking for the next excuse to bathe in that kind of thing.

all said, I have no doubt that fans of direct-to-video 80's horror will love this release.

Director-approved Features:
- Brand new 2K restoration of the film, approved by writer-director Nico Mastorakis
- Original Stereo audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
- Audio Commentary with star Kelli Maroney, moderated by Shock Till You Drop’s Chris Alexander
- Nico Mastorakis on... Nico Mastorakis – brand new interview with Mastorakis on the making of The Zero Boys
- Brand new interview with star Kelli Maroney
- Brand new interview with star Nicole Rio
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Stills Gallery
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
- Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by critic James Oliver

Recommended Release: The Zero Boys

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