by Patrick Bromley
Evil Bong in which I called it Full Moon's first sitcom. Well, now they've called my bluff and released a feature that's only slightly longer than the average TV show.
At 53 minutes (including opening and closing credits), Evil Bong 420 is barely a movie. The content doesn't help, either. It's basically a couple of people hanging out in a bowling alley and talking about weed. The Evil Bong -- or E.B. as she has come to be known -- barely shows up, and when she does it's not to do anything that matters. More screen time is given over to The Gingerdead Man, as their continuities have mixed since 2013's Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong. So not only is it barely a movie, but with what little of it there is it's barely an Evil Bong movie.
Gingerdead Man series and not the previous Evil Bong films) for a visit and gets caught up in something of a love triangle with his ex, Velicity (Amy Paffrath). And, of course, E.B. returns from the bong world to get Rabbit back, bringing along The Gingerdead Man, who's mostly along because he wants to get laid.
Very close to nothing happens in this movie. There is a great deal of female nudity, which has become more and more a part of Full Moon's movies in recent years. There's one sort-of inspired but gross gag involving the Gingerdead Man having sex, which is the closest the movie comes to a spark of life. Ooga Booga shows up for no real reason, but I'm not complaining because I get a kick out of the "shared universe" bits that Full Moon does. In fact, Ooga Booga is the only "creature" in the movie that actually does anything, and even that's just shooting an arrow into the eye of a redneck. It's the single moment of horror in this horror comedy. The performances are all ok; Mindy Robinson seems to be having fun and Sonny Carl Davis is believably crazy. The movie could use a whole lot more Robin Sydney and Amy Paffrath, though, and not just because they kiss. Both are natural and comfortable in their roles in a way that not everyone is, and it lends Evil Bong 420 a certain respectability it might otherwise be missing.
It's been building to this for quite some time, as more and more of Full Moon's recent output has followed the same small cast/single location/very little plot template. While it has resulted in some movies I haven't loved, I understand what's going on. The business has changed so much -- particularly the video rental market, where Full Moon used to do a lot of its business -- and the bottom has fallen out in such a big way that it's hard to finance movies anymore, especially when you're a total independent. I have never begrudged Full Moon that fact. But Evil Bong 420 makes me wonder if it's still worth it.
Trophy Heads accomplished exactly what I'm talking about. It's clever and creative and feels bigger than it is and works around every one of its limitations. I know that's not possible with every new movie and I don't expect Evil Bong 420 to be as good as Trophy Heads, but I at least want to feel like their giving it their best effort.
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