The mentally handicapped have really been getting the s**t end of the stick for the past couple of years what with the release of zombie flick Special Dead and the whole Tropic Thunder debacle that has managed to piss off the special olympics by using the word “retard” quite a bit in connection with a character who can be described as “simple.” And here we are again with “Retardead,” another zombie movie attempting to gain notoriety by wiping its a*s with the banner of political correctness. For the sake of these filmmakers, let’s hope that karma is bullshit.
In this splatter comedy that serves as somewhat of a sequel to fecal feature Monsturd, a mad doctor experiments on a group of mentally disbaled kids by injecting them with an intelligence serum and watching them turn into geniuses. But their transformation goes south as they soon become flesh hungry zombies that end up infecting the entire city and turning its citizens into the living dead, leaving a few bumbling cops, a pud-pulling janitor and an FBI agent to save the day.
To its credit, scenes featuring the mentally disabled (played by non-disabled actors) are fairly minimal and when they do appear, they’re no more offensive than anything you’d see in a Troma movie. Remember “Take a Mexican to Lunch Day” from Citizen Toxie? The handicapped kids in “Retardead” are depicted in very much the same cartoony way – certainly not very complimentary, but not with any sort of hate fueled disrespect either. And once the zombie outbreak is underway, any and all references to the handicapped are washed away in a flood of gore as the film switches gears to a near non-stop splatter fest…which brings me to a very huge problem with “Retardead”…
Much of what takes place in the first half of “Retardead” has very little bearing on what happens in the latter half. For instance, there’s a whole serial masturbator side story that is rendered completely pointless by the halfway mark, as well as plenty of other meanderings that will put one’s patience to the test. It’s the zombie outbreak that marks this halfway mark and it’s actually quite impressive, but by this time you’re bound to be at least a little miffed that you just spent about 50 minutes watching a bunch of goofy bullshit that had very little to do with anything – there’s a whole scene where a cop mistakes hits of acid for postage stamps and has a total acid freakout. Why?
I know I’ve included the word “goofy” here a few times already, but that’s the best word to describe the humor found in “Retardead.” I didn’t find anything here very funny, but I know that someone out there will. However, while the jokes failed to impressive, the gore was most always highly amusing. This one does get really wild and wet once it gets going, so there’s plenty of eye candy in that respect. It’s just disappointing that this film lacks focus.