Review: Ozone


Here’s a movie that offers a ton of pleasures for anyone seeking movies that are so-bad-they’re-good.

With Ozone, writer/Director J.R. Bookwalter proves himself to be a cross between Ed Wood and Sam Raimi with this cartoonish and outrageously dumb gross out flick. Not content to stop there, he even throws some John Carpenter and Peter Jackson into the mix. Now those are some big names to evoke and I’m not saying this movie comes anywhere close to those heights, but Bookwalter definitely deserves points for enthusiasm and a sense of fun.

What little storyline there is involves cop Eddie Boone trying to track down his missing partner and find out what’s going on with the mystery drug Ozone, a drug that he just happened to be injected with on a drug bust gone wrong. It’s never clear exactly what this drug does – sometimes it makes heads explode, sometimes veins bulges, sometimes the user transforms into an icky creature, sometimes the drug kicks in right away, other times not for days. Of course none of that really matters. It’s all just an excuse to show off the FX budget, which was clearly of a pretty decent size (the sawblade mohawk is a very nice touch).

The dialog is a hilarious compendium of cop clichés, such as “You’re on the ragged edge and you’re making mistakes!” or “Every time you get out on the street you become dangerous!” This is made even funnier by the fact that Boone seems to be the worst cop in history, not to mention a bit of a coward (it’s also the kind of movie where the cops look like they’ve never held a gun before). He’s almost completely passive, unless he’s running away, and he just blunders into one random situation after another, none of which really lead anywhere. I found myself wishing the makers had explored the blacksploitation possibilities here, making him a real badass, but instead we watch him wake up and grab a wine cooler from the fridge, then go out and jump into his tiny Toyota, only to head to a bar and order a shot of gin.

But there’s really no point in griping, and at least Ozone is never quite boring. On the plus side, the lighting is good, the musical score is actually great, and the FX are above par. Bookwalter seems to have ideas to spare, and if he had a good script, it’s not hard to imagine him actually staging a decent movie. As it is, though, just kick back with some friends and laugh it up.



Review by: Baron Von Marte

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