This is a special review which I have longed to do for some time, but not in the intended manner that many people would have expected, rather first I needed to find a clean copy to view and thanks to tubitv.com that finally happened. Secondly, it’s the reason behind doing this review, you see upon the day of September 11th, one remembers the horrific act that occurred against our nation, now upon us in 2021, the 20th anniversary of that fateful day, I felt it only proper for this review. The movie isn’t that good, in fact it’s rather wretched, but it’s the only horror flick from filmmaker Charles McCrann, who enjoyed low budget films and those of the drive-in era, he served as director, writer, producer, actor and editor; sadly, he was murdered, a victim of World Trade Center collapse. Toxic Zombies, produced in the 1970s, has gone by other names Bloodeaters, Crying Fields, and Forest of Fear, regardless it found itself banned as a video nasty in UK, when Parker National Distributing gave it a highly limited released, but missed marketing it to a slightly fading eco-horror surge that had some such as movies as The Food of the Gods  and Prophecy . Then in 2021, Massacre Video unleashed a Blu-ray version of film, regardless of the format it’s conceptual cheap design will remind many of The Alien Dead .
In a back country area of the United States is a small lot of entrepreneurial marijuana groups with an estimate crop of $2 million (this is back when this business was highly illegal), two government agents on a tip hunt for the area, in the process they shoot and kill a woman and soon meet a dreadful end at the hands of the dealers. So of course, the government sends in more agents, oops no that’s a different movie, with a logical decision, they instead go for a lunacy plan, that involves hiring a drunken pilot (why, no clue) to drop a chemical over the intended area. However, the secret chemical turns the dealers and friends into a bizarre version of zombies meet cannibalistic creatures, through makeup effects down exactly help to convey this clearly. Meanwhile, a government forestry agent/executive Tom Cole (McCrann) heads into the country to see the effects of the herbicide, to accompany him is his thoroughly racist joking brother Jay (Phillip Garfinkel) and Tom’s wife Polly (Beverly Shapiro) tags along. Soon enough they stumble across two children Amy (Judy Grown (Psychic Killer )) and her brother (Kevin Hanlon), who’s name keeps changing between Jimmy or Timmy, the sound muddles down making this error either audio or continuity issues, regardless this incorporates a bit of Night of the Living Dead , extended family logic. That’s the basic plot opening and then dissolves into rampaging zombies attacking the living how shall they survive, will they all make it, just take the time to watch the film.
When thinking of zombies, most enjoy either horror-comedies or thoroughly gore infested mayhem, however there’s plenty that tend to find themselves a tad boring, this movie falls firmly into that category. In addition, these zombies appear more blood lusting and a bit more interested in cannibalism, rather than simply gut-munching undead creatures. Besides, there a lot of other issues, first it’s definitely not a politically correct movie, as the jokes, flat and highly offensive, actually they’re racist and condensing attitude to a mentally challenged child, who delivers a poor representation. This leads us to the acting and talent, or lack thereof frankly happy not to recognize anyone who starred in the movie, many of the actors portraying younger characters were actually much, much older. As for the effects, cheaply done, while one might point to budget limitations, its truly a subpar cheesy effort. While the cinematography appears very basic, there’re hints of POV which keeps the story from complete boredom, although the body count quickly rises it’s more of sheer randomness, like most of the film, the music and shot-setups done in hurried manner as if a one-take filming style was deployed.
Toxic Zombies might sound like terrible movie but does deliver something that many of the modern audience never got to truly experience which was a drive-in theater. As the zombie subgenre, keeps growing, this film can find its audience, with those willing to sacrifice style-points and a rather mediocre plot in exchange for gruesome killing. McCrann’s passion for these grimy low-budget flicks allows us to remember and what happened to him this fateful day in both the nation history and the horror genre itself.
If you ever visit the World Trade Center memorial, then you would final Charles McCrann’s marker on NORTH POOL: PANEL N-12.
- NOTHING prepared the world for the HORROR …
- They Thought They Were Just Killing Some Weeds. Instead, They Grew A Whole New Kind Of Crop!
- If you hate bloody violence stay at home (titled “Bloodeaters”)
- They are here (titled “Toxic Zombies”)
IMDb Rating: 4.0/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.0/10