(Weird) Watching with Alex, Episode 13: Beer Garden of the Dead

Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies [2016]
Directed by: Dominik Hartl
Written by: Armin Prediger & Dominik Hartl
Featuring: Laurie Calvert, Gabriela Marcinková & Oscar Dyekjær Giese
Produced by: Markus Fischer
(Fischer Films, good luck finding a solid web source because I couldn’t)
Category: Zombie Comedy

Catching a movie right at the beginning on cable TV is tough enough without being a person who doesn’t watch much TV, so when I was scrolling through channels and saw the title “Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies” with a show time of “right now” I took the hook immediately. How could anyone resist a title like that? Now as the opening scene plays out, one of two things is going to happen: either you will immediately break out into raucous belly laughter or you will scoff at the every idea of what you have just seen. For the percentage who scoffed, the door’s to your left.

If that seemed vague it’s due to the fact that this one is going to be tricky right from the start because I can’t really talk about many of the best things about this movie without completely ruining the spectacular W-T-F factor they slap you in the face with, but there’s still plenty of general plot stuff inherent to any zombie flick that we can cover together.

The source of the zombie outbreak in this instance is sublime. We see a scientist, Franz, and his assistant Knaup working in a sinister-looking laboratory built deep inside a peak within the Alps. His project involves a vile looking green fluid and a strange machine. So what’s he up to? He’s trying to develop a more efficient artificial snow for ski slopes. That is the most benevolent Mad Science that I have ever seen, and although it works well enough the machine that produces the snow is quite jittery and blasts the pair’s investor, a man named Chekov, in the face with a puff of exhaust, at which point he starts vomiting chunky green slime. Thought the assistant is understandably insistent that he get to a hospital as quickly as possible, his boss insists that their investor needs to stay until he’s signed off on their project.

It’s at this point that our main characters are literally air-dropped into the film over some fine yodeling, for our trio are snowboarders who have come to the region to perform for a potential sponsor. If Steve, Josh (Steve’s best bud), and Branka (Steve’s girlfriend) can nail this descent, they’ll be set with a well-paying gig. Josh is the first out of the helicopter and down the slope, no problem-o. They have it in the bag so now’s a good time to drop the knowledge that Steve has a penchant for being spontaneous. The decision he makes on this particular day proves to be exceedingly poor as it not only costs them all the sponsorship but said sponsor also takes off with the ‘copter, leaving them stranded on the mountain. Go big or go home, bro!

To say that Josh is annoyed with Steve is expected. To say that Branka is mad at Steve is a massive understatement, but there’s nothing the trio can do but return to Rita’s, the aprés-ski tavern that serves as the base of operations for the ski lift and tourist base on the mountain. Unfortunately, the lift is about to close for the season, meaning that the friends are going to have to wait until tomorrow morning to find alternative transportation down the mountain. Rita does invite them all to stay the night and join in the festivities at the all-night party she’s hosting to celebrate the end of the season.

I did some research into what exactly an “aprés-ski” is and got a definition of “the social activities and entertainment following a day’s skiing” and “the aprés-ski disco” as an example. I don’t know why they didn’t say that because that’s exactly what Rita’s is, a boisterous tavern and inn with music and a dance floor. And wouldn’t you know it, Rita’s is also where our two entrepreneurs have brought Chekov in the hopes of showing him a good time with the hope that he’ll be quick about signing on as an investor. 

Chekov isn’t doing any better though, in fact his situation appears to have gone downhill (Ooooo!) since arriving. He’s now constantly dribbling green slime, his eyes are bloodshot, and Franz can’t get him to focus on anything for more than a moment or two. He eventually shambles onto the dance floor and despite his current condition just starts to bust out the groove. Then other people start dancing with him and it soon becomes clear that Chekov is most definitely not feeling social. All too soon, a good portion of the locals and tourists won’t be feeling social, either. Will our little band of friends make it through the night, or will they become tavern snacks for this out-of-control zombie dance-fest?

Favored Ability: INT/WIS. It takes true dedication to back up a title as zany as this and the folks behind the scenes are nobody’s fools, using both technique and love of the genre to create something I’ve never seen before.

Rating: 4/5 (Above Average)[+1 Visual Gags, +1 Horror Humor, +1 Dancing Zombies, +1 Big Finish]
It really irks me that I can’t discuss my favorite things, scenes or lines of dialogue but I stand by my belief that they should be experienced completely blind just as I experienced them. Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies does not stop once it starts the ball rolling, it’s campy and clever and I can’t recommend it enough. If you enjoy movies like Shawn of the Dead or Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, you’ve already purchased your lift ticket.

Damn, now I really want to cover Wyrmwood, that flick is a trip. 😀

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