From Dusk Till Bong
Dir. James Balasamo (2022)
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
What a delightfully weird little movie. It opens immediately into the plot, which involves a witch doctor (Charles Wright, essentially conjuring his Papa Shango WWE character) and a priest who have to hunt down the witch doctor’s girlfriend who apparently has been kidnapped to hell by vampires. The film also is about an ex-vampire who is trying to rectify his life as a half human/ half vampire. There are also random zombies who may also be vampires. The plot makes no sense, is what I’m saying. While it’s definitely not the highest production values I’ve seen, some of the film is legitimately funny, especially because we have zero idea what the fuck is going on through most of the film. Tony, the ex-vampire, and Spat, who is basically a bat muppet, have a hugely entertaining conversation about how he needs to eat now that he’s no longer a vampire. The humor is juvenile, but is leaps above what Chris Seaver accomplishes in his comparable films. The effects are iPhone-level, with explosions that are clearly digital effects, and the audio is balanced incorrectly through a good portion of the movie, but the movie is legitimately hilarious.
This is a bad movie, there’s no denying that. This is not gonna be a film that most people are going to appreciate it, but, to be honest, this film isn’t made for most people. It is far from the worst horror movie I’ve ever seen, though it’s hardly horror. It’s much more a comedy with horror movie elements that are not even slightly intended to be frightening. Some of the makeup effects, however, are actually really good. James Balsamo, the director, has done a decent job of making a movie that has zero right to be entertaining but somehow manages to cross that threshold.
James Balsamo is a cut above other indie directors. Cut above. See what I did there?
With seemingly random cameos from Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Eric Roberts, the movie plods along with random scenes that don’t all fit together. It jumps back and forth through time, with certain scenes apparently taking place before others with no reason for the changes. To be honest, the plot parts with the witch doctor aren’t really necessary; I’d watch an entire movie with just Tony and Spat riffing off of one another. But, between the nudity, the humor, and the random spouts of gore, this one is worth the watch for fans of extreme low-budget B-horror.
Who this movie is for: People who like this brand of horror comedy, Fans of low budget schlocky fun, People with Vimeo and a $10 gift card that they need to get rid of
Bottom line: Let’s be honest, you’re not watching From Dusk Till Bong because you want to see a good movie. In fact, if you’re not already a fan of James Balsamo, you probably have never even heard of the film. That doesn’t make it not worth a watch, and this brand of neo-horror films have legions of undying (or undead?) fans for a reason. They’re entertaining, even if you’re only watching because it’s a “bad” movie, but with the jokes coming at frequent interval, and most of them landing, you could do a lot worse than watching From Dusk Till Bong.
Thanks to Mr. Balsamo for giving me the chance to partake in his unique brand of horror comedy!