Who says all Horror has to be live action? Also, can we give kudos to the selection committee at Salem Horror Fest for giving fans such a diverse line up of films that celebrate and represent our most favorite holiday… and in April, no less! Written, Directed, and Animated by Zach Passero (Who also did Wicked Lake featuring one of the most kick ass Ministry B-sides ever cuz Music!), The Weird Kidz is an incredibly, ahem, weird film but is truly wonderful to behold.
Big on gags and big on gross but exuding so much heart throughout, The Weird Kidz is like The Monster Squad meets Stranger Things (Especially with its’ spooky/synthy score by Sean Spillane) in the style of Dr. Katz that singlehandedly manages to encapsulate the absurdity of all your favorite ’80’s coming of age Sci-Fi/Comedy/Horror flicks into one complete, cohesive story.
The action mostly takes place on an overnight camping trip to Jerusalem Park where we find our mullet-sporting hero Dug (Tess Passero), his two best buds Mel (Glenn Bolton) and Fatt (Brian Ceely), along with older brother/wannabe Rawk God Wyatt (Ellar Coltrane) and his lady friend Mary (Sydney Wharton). Oh, and let’s not forget Grumbles the perennially turned on dog! After some on-the-road hijinx on the way to their (final?) destination, which includes a convenience store encounter where Dug learns about the legend of the NIght Child which may or may not be complete BS, the fun begins. And by fun we mean a trio of awkward pre-teens smoking cigars, drinking beers, and dancing around a campfire in a bid to impress the older Mary. When Mary and Wyatt head to their tent for the evening, Mel and Fatt plot to sneak a peep of the tent action while Dug goes off to play with fireworks. You read that right, Horror lovers: They split up!
From there viewers get plenty of twists, turns, terror, and turmoil with the group splintering while dealing with whatever lurks in Jerusalem Park thus creating some super cool narratives until making their way back around towards an explosively satisfying conclusion. Complete with an ear worm of a song from Wyatt that plays one too many times throughout and will linger in your head long after the action is over.
The Weird Kidz has its’ Massachusetts premiere, featuring a director Q & A, at Cinema Salem as part of the Salem Horror Fest on April 29th at 230 PM EST. For tickets and more info head here or here and for the rest of this year’s SHF program head here.
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