Not Your Typical Victims – The Zero Boys (1986)

Though it might take a little while to get going, which is not an exaggeration as nearly half the movie passes without anything of note happening other than a few hijinks and lustful advances, The Zero Boys picks up during the latter half as the guys and gals who star within run into a bunch of killers who aim to murder them all in the most unpleasant of ways. Thankfully the boys are armed to the teeth in what has to be a first for a slasher and they mean to fight back.

While the film ends up being of the horror genre, it is hard to quantify when it begins as it feels like any number of movies from the ’80s with that light-hearted sheen about it all, attempts at cheap humour and a bit of drama – that 80’s teen-type that one knows immediately when it comes on. Thankfully, that does not last as it becomes a spooky cabin in the woods deal that gives the players in this game a very uneasy feeling but not bad enough to actually leave said cabin before the owners come home. Soon enough, the guys and gals start being stalked and eventually hunted after they notice that everything is not right in the world at this out-of-the-way place and that they will need to overcome their reputation as The Zero Boys and actually pull out a win or die in the doing of it.

As for that horror, there is a bit of blood and some general creepiness that manifests from the killer’s barn and a camcorder that is set up to detail the torture and deaths of those they end up catching. There is a dead body, a ton of bones and even a frightening little doll in one shot that really sets the atmosphere and one cannot say that the makers of this picture did not set the mood properly, at least that is, during the latter half of the film. Even better is the fact that all of it, even when it seems like the good guys have pulled out a win, is left on a note of doubt as a monster still stands and it leaves the audience wondering as to what will happen next as it fades to black.

Surprisingly, when it is all said and done, the film ends up being quite all right. It is not the typical slasher one would end up seeing throughout the decade and that is a good thing as there is always room to grow and experiment. It might have started off a little bit slow but it would soon pick up and the rest of the film would play out differently than one might have expected which is also a good thing as it would exceed expectations. All in all, The Zero Boys is definitely worth a glance for those looking to see something a little out of the norm than a regular slasher.

3 out of 5

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