I am not a huge wrestling fan. I have nothing against it, really, but I never really got into the whole mano a mano throw down in the ring thing. But wrestling has been the centerpiece of several good films/documentaries, and there have been a handful of wrestlers who have proven their mettle as great talents in front of the camera as well as in the ring. All that to say that hardcore wrestling fans will find a lot to like in The Manson Brothers Midnight Zombie Massacre, as it is steeped in the behind-the-scenes complexities of pulling off a bout. So the question then is this: does the movie, directed by Max Martini and written by Mike Carey and Chris Margetis, appeal to non-sports aficionados as well?
The action-comedy opens in a small house wherein a boy finds a comic book and asks his redneck father about it. The comic is about the adventures of the Manson Brothers, and the dad is just all too excited to dive into it and tell the story to his child. Segments involving this family bookend the film and pop up here and there throughout. And this is the weakest part of the production. The family dynamic is not all that funny, often resorting to juvenile humor without any heart or much context to balance it out. The Manson Brothers Midnight Zombie Massacre runs 100-minutes long, give or take, so excising these moments would only tighten up the picture, ensuring a better-flowing narrative and more sustained tension.
“…the wrestlers…must put their rivalries aside and work together to prevent a full-on zombie outbreak.”
The plot kicks underway with Skull and Stone Manson (Mike Carey and Chris Margetis, respectively) prepping for a tag team match between two younger competitors. The fight ends in a double elimination, so a rematch is scheduled for midnight on Halloween (whether that is 10/30 becoming 10/31 or 10/31 switching to the new month is unclear). This promotion sends the Mansons’ manager, Vic Quickbuck (D.B. Sweeney), into a tizzy with all the marketing opportunities.
Well, the big day arrives, and the clever Stone and the doofus Skull feel prepared. That is until their challengers cancel due to being sick. So now, they will go up against longtime rival Carson “The Crippler” Murdock (David B. Meadows), who Stone feels is something of poser in the wrestling world, despite his success. But, those plans get waylaid again, as the people in the arena turn into ravenous zombies. So now, all the wrestlers, including Thump Hanson (Randy Couture), Doctor Dudembrü (Adrian Pasdar), and Captain Marvelous (Jayden Lund), must put their rivalries aside and work together to prevent a full-on zombie outbreak.
"…hardcore wrestling fans will find a lot to like..."