She Kills creator Ron Bonk returns with another 80s Grindhouse style schlock horror film with “Night Of Something Strange”
However, Bigger Budget Doesn’t Mean Better
Night of Something Strange review
by TS Alan
Five teenage friends set out for the beach on their Spring Break vacation. Good times are cut short when one of the group, Carrie, contracts a deadly sexual transmitted disease during a bathroom stop. When they stop for the night at an isolated motel, the real terror begins when the STD virus starts running rampant, turning those infected into the living dead. However, there’s more going on at the motel than meets the eye.
I love a good schlock horror film; one that is campy and bloody with a lot of cheap thrills. Some of my favorites are Motel Hell (1980), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), One-eyed Monster (2008), Tucker and Dale Vs Evil (2010) Tromeo & Juliet (1996), and Bonk’s She Kills (2016). Unfortunately, Night of Something Strange is not like any of these, nor doesn’t even come close to the campy horror fun of his She Kills.
Bonk’s recent release of She Kills, which he wrote and directed, is a hilarious, over-the-top ride into insanity and sex. It is camp and trash cinema at it’s finest. It’s gory, gross, and bloody. The practical effects were cheap but effective, harking back to those 80s Grindhouse horror films. Yes, schlock cinema at its best, and made on an estimated $8,000.
However that was then and this is now, and with a bigger budget (an estimated $40,000) one would have hoped that this new endeavor would kick it up a few more notches. It does in fact have some excellent makeup and practical effects, but the film is neither evenly satirical or serious, and the gross out and gore is not effectively scary or campy.
I can’t blame Bonk entirely for this debacle known as Night of Something Strange. Two other writers (Jonathan Straiton & Mean Gene) along with Straiton’s bad direction are also part of the problem. It appears each of them had their own vision of what the film should incorporate, attempting to mix zombies, monsters, and cannibals into a cohesive mash up. Unfortunately it doesn’t work and what viewers get is a disjointed film that feels lost in direction, and never comes to fruition as the 80s Grindouse style horror it was intended to be.
The film isn’t horrible, but its just not particularly entertaining. I hope Ron Bonk’s next film endeavor is solo. He certainly can make a film when he has creative control over it.
Night of Something Strange
Directed by Jonathan Straiton
Written by Jonathan Straiton, Ron Bonk, Mean Gene
Cast: Rebecca C. Kasek, Trey Harrison, Wayne W Johnson, Toni Ann Gambale, Michael Merchant, John Walsh, Tarrence Taylor, Nicola Fiore, Janet Mayson, Kirk LaSalle, Billy Garberina, Wes Reid, Brinke Stevens
Run Time: 94 minutes
Release Date: November 22, 2016 (VOD)