Evil Bong: The Official Nerfed Llamas Review – Play With My Hot Wheels… And As Always, “Dry Hair Is For Squids!”
This day was bound to happen. When I dedicated my blog to celebrating Full Moon Features all month long, I knew that I would have to mix the modern with the classics. Inevitably that would mean watching their most popular new franchise, which has spawned 4 sequels to date, Evil Bong. Full Disclosure: I’m not a huge fan of stoner comedies and/or films that glorify recreational drug use. If that makes me a prude or a stick in the mud, so be it. Drug use is just not my bag and really never has been. I just want to put that out there on the front end, so that it is known that I walked into the Evil Bong experience with some trepidation. My preferences against the core subject matter doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate a well made comedy or any other type of movie about drug users, as I am an avid fan of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Trainspotting, and of course Half-Baked. Now that we’ve covered that, let’s load the bong and see what we’ve got here.
What is Evil Bong: Evil Bong is a horror/comedy film about a group of college roommates who buy a special bong that is said to be cursed, which they believe is a tall tale. Upon receiving their newly purchased drug paraphernalia, they pack in the buds and light up for high times o’ plenty! One by one, the evil bong, Eebee, takes the stoners and transports them to an alternate world to claim their souls. Will they be able to escape? Could there also be someone trying to locate and destroy Eebee? Will there be any pot left at the end of the adventure? All of this and more will be answered after you satisfy your munchies! From an original idea by Charles Band (creator of Full Moon Features and many of its franchises), who also directed it, from a script by Domonic Muir (Critters, Decadent Evil), Evil Bong stars: David Weidoff (Altergeist, Roommates), John Patrick Jordan (American Pie Book of Love, Evil Bong series), Mitch Eakins (Glory Road, Tunnel Rats), Brian Lloyd (Candy Stripers, Doll Graveyard), Robin Sydney (Gingerdead Man, The Lost), Kristyn Green (Carver, 21 and a Wake Up), Michelle Mais (Trading Places, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead), and Tommy Chong (Cheech & Chong, That 70’s Show). With special cameo appearances by Phil Fondacaro (Meridian, Willow), Bill Moseley (House of 1,000 Corpses, Army of Darkness), Sonny Carl Davis (Trancers II, Bad Channels) and the eternal b-movie legend Tim Thomerson (Trancers, Dollman).
What I Liked: Evil Bong has a solid foundation for a franchise series. It’s goofy, fun, kinda stupid, but with enough heart in the acting and production that it is fun to watch. I won’t lie, it starts off pretty slow, but once you hit the second and third act the pace picks up nicely. By the time you’ve made it to the final scene (Hot Wheels, man) and the trailer for the second movie starts while the credits are rolling, you could see why they chose to make more in this series. It’s a fun universe with a lot of potential and hardly any rules to hold it back. Evil Bong, the franchise, can be just about any kind of horror/comedy that it wants to be and it would make sense. The sky is the limit.
The cameos were an incredible touch. Jack Deth from Trancers is walking around looking for an exit. Ivan Burroughs from Decadent Evil is enjoying himself thoroughly in the “Bong World”. Ooga Booga and the Gingerdead Man apparently love nothing more than to masturbate to strippers while young stoners get murdered at the same time. Bill Moseley even has a go as crazed patron just trying to find a way out of the “Bong World”. Even ‘ol Rabbit from multiple Full Moon films make’s a quick appearance as a delivery man. They happen frequently, and in the context of the film they make absolute sense. The cameos are a fun way to call back to other Full Moon Features and also a subtle way to advertise their other films.
Tommy freaking Chong, man! Seriously though, Tommy Chong kills it in Evil Bong. I know he’s well known for his pot humor and his comedy with his funny man partner-in-comedy, Cheech Marin, but that doesn’t mean that Chong can’t steal every scene in Evil Bong by using a bit of what always works for him. And that is exactly what he does. Chong plays up the proto-typical hippie stoner and it works on every level. He’s almost sage like in how he knows it all about the weed, the bong, and the way the highs work, but yet he’s still like a teenager because he’s always aching for a bit of the “good shit”. It’s fun, and frankly it’s a blast to see him in a film as absurd as Evil Bong. Kudos to Tommy Chong for taking this role.
What I Didn’t Like: The music is all over the place, ranging from rap, rock, reggae, pop, and more. I don’t mind the diversity, and some of the cues were spot on, but with so much range it made the film feel like it was at odds with itself. Most of the songs had lyrics, which made the dialogue from the actors more difficult to follow. the tracks used were serviceable, so it wasn’t like they were not decent enough to listen to, it’s more about the frequency in which they were used and the times were the music didn’t necessarily match the scene. More score music, which still could have been subtle reggae or rap beats without lyrics, might have been a better match for some of the scenes as opposed to the tracks used in the film.
The “Bong World” seemed a little vacuous. It’s essentially a trippy strip club, and that’s about it. I would have loved to have seen a more imaginative world, which could have easily included stripper poles, but also with more color, perhaps some bizarre creatures, or even Muppet like talking puppets. The “Bong World” felt oddly tangible, and I think that it would have been more effective to make it feel more bizarre and whimsical. If you’re going to be stoned in a dream like world, it should feel more dreamy and esoteric.
My only other major complaint would be that Eebee was too sparsely animated. The voice actress, Michelle Mais, does a wonderful job playing the vindictive evil bong that slowly wants to rule the world, unfortunately the bong itself is a bit lifeless. The eyes move a bit, and the mouth could move a smidgen as well, but nothing like lip synching. Since most of the shots of Eebee were static, perhaps using the face of the actor would have been the way to go. Kind of like how they filmed Myron, the big headed leader of the mutants in Head of the Family. Hopefully, the animation/animatronics on Eebee gets better throughout the sequels.
Bottom Line: This flick is a fun way to spend 83 minutes. Evil Bong is a depraved piece of pop trash that is 100% comfortable being a movie about a bunch of stupid stoners too obtuse to even realize that they are caught in a life or death situation. It has the kind of story that lends itself exceptionally well to sequels (which is good considering it has 4 so far), and it is just absurd enough that it each film can be whatever the hell it wants to be. Evil Bong is not shackled to any rules of reality or believability, which is a super fun way to launch a franchise so heavily steeped in the stoner genre. For what it is, it entertains thoroughly enough. Evil Bong is available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and via the Full Moon Streaming service.
Check out the trailer for Evil Bong, and see if this is one cursed high you could see yourself toking up for: