This week my zombie movie review meets #WineWednesday, which is why I posted it today instead of yesterday. While looking for bad zombie movies I found The Vineyard, written, directed, and staring James Hong. You know . . . the host at the Chinese restaurant in Seinfeld. If you don’t know him by that role, just look at his face and some movie will pop into your mind if not 10 or 20. I bet you can even hear his voice.
I’m a HUGE fan and think Hong’s one of the all time best character actors ever, so I was excited to watch this one. Throw in that it was released in 1989 . . . . Who doesn’t love a B movie from the 80s with all the big hair, right. Well, this movie was not at all disappointing. Here’s what it’s about:
“Dr. Elson Po is one of the world’s most famous wine growers. He has a magic potion which has kept him handsome and alive during the centuries. However, lately the magic which rejuvenates him seem to be less and less effective. As a side project he make movies and invites a group of young, aspiring actors to his private island for a party, believing that the young, handsome actress Jezebel can be his new source of life.” —IMDB
There was a storyline in this one. Yes, a storyline, and it was pretty good. Hong plays Dr. Po with his usual villainous charm, and he’s even a little sexy. Lots of fun characters including Karen Lorre who plays Jezebel, cast perfectly considering she’s a 1982 Playboy Playmate.
I appreciated that they went more provocative than trashy with the sex, more like a 60s horror film. I was reminded of Christopher Lee’s sexy vampire films. In this case, girls chained from the ceiling in the dungeon in ripped clothing, but tastefully done with all the good parts partially exposed. And lots of sexy girls running around in the 80s style lingerie before bedtime.
The setting is an interesting location and I loved the atmosphere. In fact, I was impressed by how well it was filmed. I particularly loved Dr. Po’s laboratory/magic room, and when he was in there, watch out.
The Vineyard has endless cliche victims that will keep you laughing rather than make you want to turn off the TV. The zombies are one of my favorites, some buried and some roaming the vineyard. And there’s a spider scene you shouldn’t miss.
Since I like to keep my reviews short, I’ll close by saying there’s nothing in this film I didn’t like. I will watch this movie over and over again—already watched it twice. The only reason The Vineyard is rated poorly is because us cheesy horror movie lovers have not given it the attention it deserves. Get out there, guys! Watch it! Spread the word!
4.5 OUT OF 5 BLOODY BRAINS & A 92 WINE RATING 😉
(Added to my FAV bad zombie movie list.)