The Zero Boys
directed by Nico Mastorakis
starring Daniel Hirsch, Kelli Maroney, Nicole Rio, and Tom Shell
I give this 1986 action-adventure film points for style and videography; but the plot is pure teenage spam in a cabin. Steve (Hirsch) and his buds go to some sort of pre-paintball fighting grounds to play Doom with not-quite real slugs. Steve wins, Nazi Casey (John Michaels) loses, and the settlement is a weekend with bra-fee bimbo Kelly (Maroney). She’s from Minnesota, studies large hair, and despises both Casey and Steve. But this a teen sex comes where the guys are pushing 40 and the babes are, well, easy airheads that ought to die early in the film. After the paintball battle, they head off to the increasingly scary mountain territory where they discover The Creepy House. They move in, start a fire in the fire place and have sex until one of the girls notices a voyeur hole in the ceiling. Then all the real fun starts: kids die; cars won’t start, it rains dramatically, and next thing you know, guys are dying on punji sticks.
So where did all the live ammo come from, the automatic weapons, and the amazing ability of the cast to spray infinite bullets around and not kill anyone? It’s all in the mind of director Mastorakis who carefully interviews himself in a special feature. This, alone makes the move worthwhile. But every teen horror trope appears. The guys are douche bags, the girls are slutty, the creepy guy rarely appears, and it rains. A lot. The best dialog comes from Steve: “Can we talk? Kelly replies “I’ll listen.” Now THAT’S fantasy. The film is self-indulgent, unintentionally funny, and one of the most brilliant director interviews ever. It’s never clear if Mastorakis is joking us, or seriously thinks this was a great film.
There’s plenty of action, plenty of implicit sex, and a cringe worthy plot that takes the worst element s teen sex comedy and 1980s horror slashed films and makes movie that’s predictable yet endearing. Violent and anti-erotic, and packed with all the stereotypes of 1986 without any of the cool music videos or the synth laden sound tracks. I loved the acting and applaud the Stockholm’s Syndrome cast, but go in thinking you’ll hate it and you come out pleasantly converted.