"Evil Bong" (2006) Movie Review
EVIL BONG (2006) - Directed by Charles Band
Even when you watch as many movies as I do, occasionally a film still comes along that simply defies description. Whether the film is good or bad, emotionally moving or horribly scarring to my psyche, I find myself at a loss for words when attempting to convey what the viewing experience was like to others. Eventually I just give up trying and say, "Aw, hell...you have to see it to believe it." Case in point: Evil Bong, an ultra-stupid, ultra-low-budget stoner/horror/comedy that definitely ranks as the most bizarre viewing experience I've had in a very long time. It may be tough to put this film into words but I shall do my best.
Evil Bong is a production of Charles Band's legendary Full Moon Pictures. Any cult-movie fan worth his or her salt should have at least a passing familiarity with Band's body of work, which dates back to the hallowed grindhouse days of the 1970s. Band specializes in low budget horror, science fiction, and fantasy flicks, many of which showcase his apparent fascination with all things small. He's produced or directed dozens of films in which humanity is threatened by tiny creatures (the Ghoulies series), toys and dolls (Demonic Toys, Dolls, the Puppet Master series) and even evil edibles (The Gingerdead Man series)! Full Moon's films are mainly known for their overall cheap look, old fashioned special effects and bizarre, tasteless humor. Evil Bong definitely hits all the marks on the Full Moon checklist.
From the start, Evil Bong has the look and feel of a low-rent sitcom (or a porn flick), resembling a twisted episode of "That '70s Show." It opens with a montage of animated marijuana leaves spinning around the opening credits while a reggae song touts the joys of The Weed. Such images reappear frequently throughout the film to mark scene changes. We're then introduced to the nerdy Alastair (David Weidoff), who knocks at the apartment door of three college stoners - trust fund baby Larnell (John Patrick Jordan), former jock Brett (Brian Lloyd, who resembles a young Denis Leary) and surfer dude Bachman (Mitch Eakins) - in response to their classified ad seeking a new roommate. The straight-arrow, brainiac Alastair is initially horrified by the prospect of sharing a space with these three perpetually-stoned slobs, but out of desperation he agrees to "rent" a mattress on the floor of the shared living room (!) which is one of only two sets/locations in the entire film. (We'll get to the other one in a minute.)
Shortly after Alastair moves in, Larnell receives a package containing a "monster f**king bong" that he ordered through an ad in High Times magazine. The ad warned that the bong was "possessed" and therefore the seller was not responsible for any bad vibes or other side effects. You'd think that would be reason enough to put it back in its box and stamp it "RETURN TO SENDER," but Larnell and the boys are so entranced by the bong's sheer awesomeness and feminine shape that they display it in a place of honor in their apartment and begin to toke heavily from it on a regular basis. (Alastair steadfastly refuses to partake, saying he "needs all of his brain cells in tip-top shape" for his studies). The boys are too stoned to notice, but every time they smoke from the Bong, an eerie green glow appears inside it and a breathy female voice whispers that it needs "more!" Eventually poor Bachman discovers the Bong's true nature after a particularly huge smoke session, when his soul is sucked out of his body and into the bong.. where he finds himself inside an otherworldly strip club. (?) Naturally, he is "stoked" by the attractive scenery at first, but while receiving a lap dance from one of the comely maidens, he learns that these strippers wear bras that are carnivorous (I swear, I am not making this up!).
Back in the "real world," the boys discover Bachman's lifeless body and in a fit of panic, stash him in the basement so his passing won't derail the "epic party" they have planned for that evening. They don't connect his death to The Bong, so naturally they continue to smoke from it (except for Alastair) till one by one all of the roomies and their girlfriends have been drawn into the "Bong World" to meet grisly fates. By now the film has gotten so ridiculous that when a crazed-looking Tommy Chong crashes into the apartment, rushes up to the Bong and says "I've been lookin' all over for you, maaaaan!" we're not even surprised. Chong explains that he's the former owner of "Eebee" (yes, the Bong has a name!), that it does indeed have a Voodoo Curse placed upon it, and he's been trying to track it down ever since it was sold off by his vengeful wife. Alastair quickly fills Chong in and states that he's "going in" after his friends. Thus, Alastair takes his first ever hit of weed and enters Bong World on a rescue mission, while Chong attempts to destroy "Eebee" back in the real world. The scenes of Chong carrying on a running conversation with "Eebee" ("I'm takin' you out, b*tch!") while trying to destroy it with a hammer, then a chainsaw, are the film's funniest bits. Seriously, folks, if the fate of the world ever rests in the hands of a Chainsaw Wielding Tommy Chong, we're totally screwed. I won't reveal how the film ends, but I will mention that a trailer for Evil Bong 2: King Bong runs over the end credits of this film (I assume both films must've been shot at the same time?) in an absolutely shameless display of self promotion that made me laugh louder than anything else in the movie.
Chong Vs. Bong!
How do I possibly sum this one up?
In case the preceding review hasn't made it abundantly clear, Evil Bong is not for everybody. Obviously, cult followers of Band's Full Moon Studios output and fans of stoner cinema in general can pick this one up with confidence (hell, they probably already own the DVD and can quote from it chapter and verse). As for the rest of us, well...if stupid-on-purpose moron comedies like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes or anything starring Pauly Shore trips your humor trigger, Evil Bong should be right up your alley. "Serious" horror-film fans can safely skip this one as the "horror" content is limited to a few gory bits when the boys run afoul of those flesh-eating stripper bras, and quick cameos by creatures/characters from other Full Moon features during the "Bong World" sequences. Needless to say, Evil Bong comes nowhere near the stoner-comedy classics that Chong made with his partner Cheech Marin in the late '70s and early '80s, either, but it's still fun to see him again, even if his role is not much more than an extended cameo -- Chong gets top billing and his picture is on the DVD cover, but he doesn't show up in the movie till it's nearly over. I found myself wondering if the recent Cheech & Chong reunion might have come about after Cheech saw his former partner appearing in this film and gave him a phone call out of pity.
As a final added note, I feel compelled to mention that the author of this Hub doesn't smoke weed, therefore I can't offer any advice as to whether or not the film is more enjoyable if it's experienced in a, shall we say, "altered state." It did give me a great idea for a drinking game, though: every time one of the characters calls someone "bro," take a drink. I guarantee that you'll be utterly schnockered by the 15 minute mark.
If you must own this one...
Evil Bong is available on DVD in a dizzying array of packages, including a double feature with its sequel Evil Bong 2: King Bong, in a box set containing the entire "trilogy," and an individual stand-alone disc. It's also included in an 8-film pack from Echo Bridge Entertainment called the "Midnight Horror Collection," which is how I acquired it. Evil Bong is certainly not the best film I've ever seen, but it had more than enough stupid humor, sleazy T&A, and gore to keep me entertained (mind you, I'm easily amused), and for that it scores higher than the previous film from the "Midnight Horror" set that I've reviewed here, 1980's Prom Night. Who knows what other horrors await me as I work through the rest of the films in this collection? Stay tuned for further adventures from the Bargain Bin!!