Mourning Wood. The good ole nocturnal penile tumescence. The morning bugle has sounded and the soldier is at full salute. The sun has risen, a chorus of robins have begun to sing in the trees, and you have pitched a tent. In more blatant terms, a boner. It’s also the title of Ryan Convery’s 2010 gross-out, spunk-filled, zombie film. If you don’t like farts or anatomical humor or fake mustaches on men named Texas, this film might not be the one for you and you obviously don’t know good comedy.
The film starts off by explaining one of the great mysteries of the small town of Slutton – the disappearance of Texas John Wood (Jason Taylor). Before his disappearance, Wood and his business partner Texas Jim Callahan (Erik Johnson) owned a used car dealership known for their great deals (“This car was originally $1,200, but I will sell it to you for just $12.00!” What a steal!). Seeking to expand their business (apparently selling cars for $12.00 isn’t giving them the profits they expected) the two Texas’s teamed up with the infamous Dr. Jacob Pendleton (Ed Gutierrez), an infomercial extraordinaire who made his fortune developing and selling products like Fart-X and Stiff Again – not going to explain their desired effects. However, during this business deal, that crafty rascal Dr. Jacob Pendleton managed to steal the plot of land which Texas 1 and Texas 2 planned to build their car dealership upon. #SHADY. Peeved to the max, Texas John Wood decided to give that nerdy scientist a piece of his mind, but he is never seen again…
With his car dealership in the crapper, Texas Jim Callahan is still mourning the disappearance of his close friend Texas John Wood. He is mourning Wood (see boner discussion above). I know. It’s bad. But go with it. However, this is not about Texas Jim Callahan’s journey through the seven stages of the grief cycle. Instead, this is a movie about zombies which start to appear in the good ole American town of Slutton when Dr. Pendleton comes out with a new product called ShamPube (I’m so sorry) that seems to be turning all of the townspeople into sexually charged zombies with uncontrollable projectile vomit and projectile uuuhhh love juice? Yes, love juice is the term I’m going with. Now it’s up to Pendleton, Callahan, and four weed-smoking indie filmmakers to stop the invasion of the pelvic-thrusting undead! What is going on! I’m so confused!
I’ve seen a lot of zombie movies but this is hands down one of my favorite. It’s like everyone involved thought up the most absurd movie that they could and then committed 1000% to it. Of course it’s filled with fart jokes, weed jokes, and buckets of zombie love juice (this movie would have been a crowd favorite if it were shown to my 8th grade gym class). But there’s so much genuinely funny and smart dialogue, that the anatomical humor never gets old. Mourning Wood is like the low-budget baby of Shawn of the Dead and Adult Swim’s Tim & Eric with a little bit of Harold & Kumar thrown in. All of the actors’ performances are spot on, successfully walking the fine line between being committed to a role and being comedically self-aware. Similarly, despite being filmed on a tiny budget, the sound, editing, and camerawork is all professional grade. Also, there’s a badass claymation clip in the beginning which is simply brilliant. Going into a film called Mourning Wood, you can pretty much expect what you’re gonna get. But, you will not be expecting how much fun you will have and just how good this film is. It’s a goodie!
Review by: Alex Schultz