Evil Bong 3
Director - Charles Band
Cast - Peter Stickles, John Patrick Jordan, Irwin Keyes
Country of Origin - U.S.
Discs - 1
MSRP - $19.95
Distributor - Full Moon
Reviewer - Bobby Morgan
The Film: 2/5
Leave it to Charles Band, Z-movie producer/director extraordinare, to turn even his most minor of modestly successful movie ventures into a full-blown franchise in order to keep the lights on at Full Moon Pictures. Back in 2006 Band cooked up a sordid little effort about a group of ordinary stoners battling an intergalactic hookah with designs on world conquest and getting anyone who comes in contact with it as high as a motherfucker. The original Evil Bong did so well on DVD that it spawned two sequels - 2009’s Evil Bong 2: King Bong, and the latest in the series, Evil Bong 3: The Wrath of Bong! (Exclamation point not my idea)
Since the events of King Bong our four intrepid heroes - Alistair (Peter Stickles), Larnell (John Patrick Jordan), Brett (Brian Lloyd), and Bachman (Mitch Eakins) - have opened a head shop in Venice Beach and returned to life as normal as they can make it. One day a meteorite comes crashing to Earth and gets noticed by a man nearby (the great Irwin Keyes) burying the wife he just murdered passenger. Inside the smoldering chunk of space rock is yet another alien bong (voiced by Circus-Szalewski) with plans to take over our world with the sweetest weed anyone has ever smoked. The killer takes the alien bong and sells it to Brett and Bachman for a few bucks but not before noticing that some mysterious green goo inside the meteorite got on his skin and is starting to turn him into a walking cannabis plant, but that subplot is dropped faster than you can “Tommy Chong” (who appeared in the first Evil Bong). This new Evil Bong, while having a nasty and rude temperament, has a tasty surprise in store for its victims - whoever partakes of its tasty marijuana treasure is instantly transported to the Bong’s homeworld (represented by a soundstage filled with fog machines and draped black curtains) and seduced by a bevy of naked, red and green body-painted alien babes while slowly being milked of their “essence” and turned into living specimens of plant life. When their friends start getting whisked off to the Bongworld Al, Larnell, Brett, and Bachman must once again team up with Larnell’s pot-conoisseur grandfather Dr. Weed (Jacob Witkin), his silent but voluptuous companion Nurse Hookah (Christina DeRosa), spacey priest Rabbit (Sonny Carl Davis), and the original Evil Bong (voiced by Michelle Mais) to destroy the new Evil Bong and save the world….if they can all stop getting high in time to do it.
Before I get into this review let me just start out by saying that I have always been a sucker for a good stoner comedy. Pineapple Express is one of my favorite movies of all time. I also enjoy freaky sci-fi flicks with interesting monsters, gratuitous female nudity, and the occasional joint or bong hit. Thus I’m not prejudiced towards movies that attempt to bring these disparate elements together in the hope that it will produce good art, or at the very least halfway-decent cinema. Evil Bong 3 does not accomplish either of those goals and most of the time doesn’t appear to be even trying. It’s slow, boring, and not very funny. Not at all. The movie’s cause is not helped by having all of the characters spend too much time reminiscing about events from the first two Evil Bong movies, which I would have appreciated had I ever seen them before.
Most of the movie’s so-called “humor” comes off more as cringe-inducing, no more so than having the voice of the original Evil Bong sound like a racist stereotype, or a cast-off from a bad Tyler Perry movie. Whatever works best. I hated it every time the E.B. spoke because with every word it uttered the civil rights movement got pushed back a little bit more. Seriously, Evil Bong 3’s pitiful attempts at hilarity make the movies of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer look like Blazing Saddles in comparison. The only legitimately amusing character in the entire movie is Larnell; actor Jordan gets to occasionally utter a funny line dialogue, such as his character’s theory that James Cameron is an alien and Avatar is “a five hour love letter to his home planet”. But in the end the Larnell character is funniest in his appearance and nothing else, even if that character reminded me of someone from a better movie - like Matt Stone from Orgazmo or Dave Sheridan from Ghost World, right down to the wispy child molester mustache. Besides Jordan the only member of the cast who seems to be having fun is Sonny Carl Davis, the closest this movie has to an actor with genuine talent. Davis is probably best known to movie fans for playing the asshole businessman who got Judge Reinhold fired in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but I remember him best from the independently-produced naturalistic slice-of-life dramas of the late Texas filmmaker Eagle Pennell like The Whole Shootin’ Match and the long out-of-print Last Night at the Alamo. Davis plays his goofy character with a perpetual stoned smile on his face and never seems to be taking anything seriously, which is exactly how it should be played. At the very least he’s giving an actual performance and enjoying himself immensely.
The film was designed to be shown in 3-D and has some interesting hallucinatory visuals that pop out at the screen every so often but the presentation falls flat when shown in 2-D. Evil Bong 3 has twenty credited executive producers. Could one of them have not doubled as an acting coach? The final scenes set things up for the inevitable sequel, already titled Evil Bong Vs. The Killa Crack Pipe. Count me out.
The film is presented in widescreen format and I believe the aspect ratio is 1.77: 1 but the package doesn’t list it and I can’t find it listed anywhere. Picture is solid and the under-funded set design and cinematography are rich in bright reds and dark greens that comes through well on the DVD. The audio track is a below standard two-channel mono that makes the dialogue barely discernible at times but gives the music and sound effects a much-needed boost.
The review disc I received only has a trailer. Plus the main feature, which was screened around the country earlier this year in 3-D, is presented in 2-D, but you can order the “Ultimate Stoner Edition” containing 3-D glasses, scratch-and-sniff cards, and a slew of additional bonus features through Full Moon Direct.
Watching Evil Bong 3 was one of the longest ninety minutes I have ever endured in my life. The experience of viewing this flick is akin to listening to someone who’s been toking for 24 hours straight try to recount the plot of a much superior film as best as their THC-soaked memory will allow. Outside of some better-than-average cheese ball visual effects and a few giggle-worthy lines here and there this movie has practically nothing to recommend about it. It’s a listless and uninspired flick that squeezes out every ounce of potential fun from each frame and then evaporates them under a heating lamp. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I was high off my ass, which I’ve been many times, but I kind of doubt it.