Night of Something Strange (2016)

Jonathan Straiton’s “Night of Something Strange” seems to exist only to test the audience’s gag reflexes and nothing more. There is no story, no main character, the narrative is a mess, the pacing is uneven, the zombies that Straiton conceives are so poorly fleshed out, and in the end when Straiton throws out the script to deliver a non-ending, the joke falls flat. To prove how inept the movie is, after the prologue we enter in to the main narrative with character Christine delivering a heaping helping of exposition, narrating the set up for the movie as she writes in her journal. The latter portion of the movie reveals that, no, she’s by no means the central character and final girl. It’s just unfocused badly drawn out dreck that makes the movie such a chore to endure.

“Night of Something Strange” is an absolute waste of time, and it’s a ridiculous exercise in making a zombie movie simply because it’s so easy these days. Meanwhile, Straiton throws in so many disgusting sight gags that the attempts to make the audience cringe felt like a crutch for the film’s major lack of scares or creativity. After a janitor at a morgue breaks in and decides to have sex with one of the female corpses that arrived under mysterious circumstances, he dies from a painful genital injury. He emerges as a sex crazed flesh eating zombie who is prone to raping every woman he can and then devouring their flesh. Meanwhile, a group of bargain basement teenagers are preparing to go on Spring Break, and celebrate the occasion by driving around for a day and stopping at a cheap motel for some reason.

Most of the film’s narrative inexplicably is set in a highway based motel, where the characters seemingly go back and forth and experience a ton of drifting sex crazed flesh eating zombies. Said zombies aren’t scary or even remotely interesting, they’re just badly made up and CGI’d monstrosities that spew acid urine, and have an insane sex drive. Surprisingly, very little is accomplished with that concept and there are simply no stakes or the remotest tension because we never get to know our characters well. Every single character in the movie is one dimensional, despicable, and irritating. There’s the obligatory stoner, the obligatory heavy guy, and there’s even a confusing central sub-plot revolving around a side character who finds out his skanky girlfriend is sleeping with another guy. It becomes imperative that we know, for some reason, that he hasn’t had sex for six months and decides to play a fool to sleep with her.

This is all so we can be lured to the motel for the final painful half of the movie. “Night of Something Strange” is a noxious mess, and it works very hard to disgust us. Straiton even seems to get off on building the most nauseating sight gags imaginable. The primary zombie crashes a gas station bathroom after a female character drops her blood soaked tampon and proceeds to eat it, there’s a wet fart prank pulled on the stoner character for some reason, and even a recurring gag with a bloody used condom. “Night of Something Strange” is absolutely god awful, it exists merely to be as sophomoric and disgusting as possible, while showing no concern with unfolding the least bit interesting story. I’m sure the entire cast had a blast making “Night of Something Strange,” but it’s a movie I never intend to see again.

  • Michael Merchant

    I was going to make a post about the inaccuracies in the review of the film but I’ll just say thank you for taking the time to write about it =)

    • FlixtheCat

      I was going to reply with how people often criticize a film reviewers “inaccuracies” or grammar when they’re angry about getting a bad review, but I’ll just say thank you for taking the time to comment. Der her.

      And to prevent further butt hurt, I’ll go ahead and remind you that a person’s opinion is theirs and does not qualify as gospel. So take a breath.

      • Michael Merchant

        No i really dont care about the grammar or the bad score. Plenty of people enjoy the movie and it definitely isnt for everyone. It was made on 40k and we had a blast making it. But to say things that are simply not true about the movie is not right. Three things stand out. 1. You say Carrie has a long exposition and then turns out to not even be the main character… the character that is speaking in the beginning of the film is Christine who actually is the female lead and lives until the very end. 2. You say horrible CGI zombies… This simply isn’t true. With the 40k budget everything except some blood here and there was all practical effects and a mouth added to the ovaries for about 2 seconds. The vagina monster was all done by puppetry and all the prosthetics. The simply fact that you thought any of that was CGI is concerning. 3) The “side” character your mentioned as the guy who hasnt had sex in 6 montha inexplicibly is the hero of the film not a side character. So his arrival there at the motel isn’t really a subplot. He also explains he just got out of boot camp which would make sense as why he didn’t have sex.

        Trust me we receive plenty of bad reviews but at least they took the time to be accurate. “Der her”

        • FlixtheCat

          1. You say Carrie has a long exposition and then turns out to not even
          be the main character… the character that is speaking in the beginning
          of the film is Christine who actually is the female lead and lives
          until the very end.

          Okay, you’re right there. I am bad with names. That shall be fixed. Point: you.

          2. You say horrible CGI zombies… This simply isn’t
          true. With the 40k budget everything except some blood here and there
          was all practical effects and a mouth added to the ovaries for about 2
          seconds. The vagina monster was all done by puppetry and all the
          prosthetics. The simply fact that you thought any of that was CGI is
          concerning.

          Mine is the opinion that the zombies are awful, and the cgi in the end is terrible, so i think we just disagree there.

          3) The “side” character your mentioned as the guy who hasnt
          had sex in 6 montha inexplicibly is the hero of the film not a side
          character.

          Not really. If you say that was the intent, then hey, nice, but the movie is so badly conceived that it looks like there isn’t an actual main character, and the way the side character dies in the final scene further proves my point he’s not a hero, and there is no main character in the gahdang movie.

          I didn’t read the other reviews, but my opinion isn’t gospel. Sometimes you eat the bar, sometimes the bar eats you. That’s what happens if you put your art out there. I hated the movie but I’d wager some people liked it. Good luck!

          • Michael Merchant

            Thank you for the point on the name haha.

            For the second point you dont say CGI at the end, which I’m assuming you mean Dirk getting hit by the ambulance. BUT you say CGI monstrosities which would appear you mean that the zombies are CGI which they most definitely are not. If you said that the CGI effects like the ambulance or the mouth on the ovaries are bad it would make sense. You can think the practical effects are bad which is in your opinion but they arent CGI.

            Third point about him being a side character. Every character at that point can be considered a side character then as each character is one dimensional and are there to satisfy the main character devices used in the 80s and 90s. Thats why you have the stereotypes in each character.

            Like i said clearly the movie isnt for everyone and I totally respect that, but you can be more accurate in the facts portion of your review so it makes it seem like you actually watched the thing and didnt fast forward through it to get an idea of what was going on and getting a quick review in.

            And by all means, hate it all you want, I hate parts of the movie too. Including some of the scenes im in i cant stand watching lol its all fine which is why i was going to skip all the details and just say thank you for writing about it but you then made it seem like i was triggered because you just wrote a bad review which yours isnt even the worst but it just had inaccuracies. Have a good one!

          • FlixtheCat

            “For the second point you dont say CGI at the end, which I’m assuming you
            mean Dirk getting hit by the ambulance. BUT you say CGI monstrosities
            which would appear you mean that the zombies are CGI which they most
            definitely are not. If you said that the CGI effects like the ambulance
            or the mouth on the ovaries are bad it would make sense. You can think
            the practical effects are bad which is in your opinion but they arent
            CGI.”

            I thought that green screen in the end was just painful, and the whole eliminating key characters was kind of a flat gag.

            “Third point about him being a side character. Every character at that
            point can be considered a side character then as each character is one
            dimensional and are there to satisfy the main character devices used in
            the 80s and 90s. Thats why you have the stereotypes in each character.”

            So we agree! okay then. i think the movie suffers from not having a main character.

            “Like i said clearly the movie isnt for everyone and I totally respect
            that, but you can be more accurate in the facts portion of your review
            so it makes it seem like you actually watched the thing and didnt fast
            forward through it to get an idea of what was going on and getting a
            quick review in.”

            Much as it pains me, i sat through the entire thing, despite what you think. I didnt need a “quick review” as I have no quota to fill, but if you believe it already, I can’t convince you otherwise, sadly.

            “Including some of the scenes im in”

            You’re in the movie?! Well that explains the whole shebang! I’m not going to keep arguing against this movie. it’s an indie production and I don’t like bashing indie films TOO much unless they’re like from Asylum or made by a pedophile or something, lol.

            I hated this movie, I wish you success in movies and future endeavors.

            Take care.