Freaks of Nature is a movie that slipped under a lot of people's radar and probably was most likely to be encountered in your local Walmart's Direct-to-DVD shelf. Certainly, I completely missed it and am kicking myself for not watching it immediately. It's such a delightfully messed up premise and humorous from beginning to end.
|Petra is a lovely woman. It's hard to buy her as an outcast.|
Zombies go to school with the regular humans, wearing shock collars to keep them from eating people, and also serve as cheap labor. Vampires, as always, are sexy badasses everyone loves--except for the teacher at the school who can't get a date on Tinder. It's these kind of hilarious twists and turns in the world-building that makes it such a bizarre yet believable setting.
The town's idyllic facade is just that, though, a facade. An alien "invasion", that doesn't initially involve any actual invasion, results in the carefully maintained barriers between the citizenry falling apart. Soon, the zombies, vampires, and humans are tearing each other apart in a race riot that leaves our protagonists caught in-between the three major factions.
|Being a zombie on brains is like being on drugs. Kinda.|
The movie is tremendous from beginning to end with a lot of excellent horror, horror comedy, and just plain comedic scenes. It takes the Buffy the Vampire Slayer-esque concept of "high school is hell" and applies it to the teens struggling with their all-too-relatable problems. I like the love triangle between Dag, Lorelei, and Petra even though it's not terribly difficult to see how it's going to turn out.
A lot of the movie's humor comes from the fact that its mood can turn on a dime. At one point there may be a sweet bonding between a human and a vampire, then the vampire might end up eating his girlfriend only to have her feel really bad about it (well, sort of). The fake gore and over-the-top violence makes the sappy melodrama even more awesome to watch. I also appreciate the many unexpected cameos like Patton Oswalt and Keegan Michael Key. I about died when Werner Hezrog turned out to be the voice of the Head AlienTM.
|The gore reaches Evil Dead levels.|
People expecting a coherent plot will be disappointed as everything very loosely hangs together. Why are the aliens here? What drove all of the townsfolk to rioting? How do they get over all the murders so quickly? What is the reason a character is a supernatural type we haven't seen before? Doesn't matter. Why do the cast have to get naked to evade the aliens (yet remain within the bounds of PG-13 despite its R-rating)? Mostly to show off the attractive cast. It's all loosely explained but the scenes carry from one insane situation to the next and never slow down. That's deliberate on the part of this movie.
The only part of the movie I really wasn't a fan of is Denis Leary's Rick Wilson. Basically, a Trump parody before his 2016 upset election to the Presidency, he's an arrogant blowhard who owns the town due to being the Riblet manufacturing plant owner. He's not particularly funny and whenever he's a jerk to our protagonists, it's usually justified (like killing his mistress). As such, he just brings down whatever scene he's in.
In conclusion, this may not be the greatest film in the world but I very much enjoyed it and recommend it to people who want something fun and brainless to watch. Mostly because the zombies ate them. Is it self-promotion to state this kind of reminds me of my Bright Falls Mysteries novels or The United States of Monsters? Maybe, but maybe that's why I like it.