Tuesday, July 4, 2006

STOMP! SHOUT! SCREAM!

Among the "other filmmakers doing these kinds of retro B-films," we can add director Jay Wade Edwards. His low budget fright flick STOMP! SHOUT! SCREAM! (2006) is a delightful homage to/entry in the beach party/monster subgenre of Sixties drive-in fare, packed with rock & roll, bouffant hairdos, and cheesy monsters (well, one, anyway).

Set in 1966, STOMP! SHOUT! SCREAM! chronicles the misadventures of an all girl garage rock band, The Violas, whose car breaks down in a small Southern beach community. Short on cash, the girls agree to play at the young garage owner's party in exchange for the necessary repairs. Little do the girls know, however, that a murderous Florida Skunk Ape has made its way to this island community and is racking up quite a body count. Will the hirsute hominid crash the beach party?

While maybe a bit too talky and short on actual on-camera Skunk Ape action (the creature is played by a guy in a Halloween gorilla suit), STOMP! features surprisingly strong performances, slick camera work and lighting, authentic-looking production design and costumes, a cool animated title sequence, and a kickin' soundtrack made up of some great, original Sixties-styled rock & roll songs.

The movie could definitely use a little more action, a few more establishing shots and a slightly brisker pace overall, but it's a genuinely funny flick with plenty of coolness, a bit more polished than its similarly-budgeted contemporary, FRANKENSTEIN VS. THE CREATURE OF BLOOD COVE, and is well worth checking out.

The DVD includes a solid non-anamorphic 1.66:1 widescreen transfer, an amusing, informative group commentary with director Edwards and various cast & crew, over an hour of behind-the-scenes vignettes, deleted scenes and raw footage, as well as a teaser trailer and still gallery.

Recommended.

BUY: Stomp! Shout! Scream!