And now, Scary-Crayon reviews...
Awesome scenes from SHADOW: DEAD RIOT
by: Wes

If you've been reading Scary-Crayon for a while, you might have noticed that we haven't done a complete summary review (with commentary) of a movie in a loooong while. One of the reasons is because we've been sorta busy as of late; another is that our most recent film picks are hardly deserving of the time and effort it would take to summarize them. For those reviews, I generally watch movies twice -- once just to see if it's even worth a review, followed by a second viewing during which I write down and comment on the developments at length -- and suffice it to say that this is not something I wanted to do with Hip Hop Locos. But there's another reason. In the past, you see, I've reviewed entire movies and shows just to comment on one or two noteworthy scenes. And if that's my main reason for reviewing the movies, I say, why not just review the scenes in question? Hence today's article, in which we focus on two especially memorable selections from Shadow: Dead Riot.

Tony Todd... is... SHADOW!!!Before we get to that, however, allow me to share a few general comments on the film. I may be focusing on two scenes here, but I'm not at all saying that these are the only two scenes in the movie that are good -- nor do I mean to suggest that the movie isn't worthy of a full review. Far from it! In fact, if Shadow were a bit more obscure or hard to find, I'd be all over a full review of this film. It's not, though. True, I'd never heard of it until I walked into Best Buy and saw it sitting in its proper place amidst the S- titles in the horror section, but it's not like there weren't several copies. Unlike Protégé de la Rose Noire or Campfire Stories, you won't have to scour eBay or go subject yourself to the horrors of budget DVD sets to watch it. And if you don't want to buy it, odds are it's sitting on a shelf at your local Blockbuster -- assuming you haven't jumped on the Netflix bandwagon. Anime mermaids and Twins sugar may require a bit of searching, but our friend Shadow is not a hard man to find.

And should you choose to seek him out, I can almost guarantee that you will not be disappointed. But just to be sure, take a moment to consider this blurb from the back of the box:

Horror icon Tony Todd (Clive Barker's Candyman series) delivers his most powerful and evil performance as Shadow, an executed and resurrected serial killer who invades a women's prison... Shadow: Dead Riot is a unique stylistic fusion of Asian-style action, zombie horror and women's prison drama.

I'm not sure I buy the line about Shadow containing Todd's most powerful performance -- the first Candyman flick easily ranks among my top five favorite horror films of all time -- but it definitely does incorporate women's prison drama, martial arts action, and zombie madness into a single film. If you think that combination sounds utterly ridiculous, well, you are RIGHT. If you go into Shadow expecting a serious representation of any one of these three genres, you're going to be sorely disappointed... but if you expect batshit insanity and a fairly generous smattering of gore and frontal nudity -- and aren't deterred by said expectations -- you'll love Shadow.

Momma just wants to take care of you...Feels good...

If you're set on watching the movie and don't want me to spoil two of the better scenes for you, you should probably stop reading right about now. Above, we see two images that are fairly standard fare for a women's prison drama -- the coercive butch lesbian guard and girl-on-girl titty fondling in the showers. Hey, did I mention that this article isn't work safe? If you didn't get the message before, consider those massive mammaries to be your memo. So yeah, in Shadow, one of the guards is always going out of her way to get freaky with the inmates, promising them protection and favors in exchange for... well, favors of the variety that would get you jailed for statutory rape if you had such an arrangement going with the hot sixteen-year-old number next door. (Assuming that you're not a minor, anyway. If you are, that comment does not apply -- but I hope that you're not reading this on a school computer! And that you got permission to read this review from a parent or guardian, of course. Shadow: Dead Riot is rated R for "strong brutal violence and gore, nudity, sexuality and language.") Anyway, in one scene, the predatory guard is interrupted just as she's about to have a bit of fun with one of the inmates, so she tells the girl to wait for her in the shower until she gets back. And because this particular girl is one of the few who enjoys the guard's attentions, she's not at all upset when she feels someone behind her and a pair of hands moving along her body. BUT WAIT! Do those hands look a little, well, grimy to you...?

Don't stop now...AUUUUUGH IT IS A ZOMBIE!!!

As the young woman grins in pleasure, the hands keep traveling up her front, enjoying a nice and thorough groping session when they reach the malleable milksacs. And it is then that the woman gleefully spins to meet the person molesting her -- the person she believes to be the prison guard -- only to come face to face with -- you guessed it -- or maybe you didn't because the picture is right there, but pat yourself on the back anyway -- A ZOMBIE!!! So Shadow: Dead Riot has breast-fondling zombies. That alone is fantastic, but the scene is so much better in context. I mean, you know what's about to happen, seeing as how the camera slooowly zooms in on the woman to the sound of low moans, but she's just totally oblivious... and then she turns and OMG ZOMBIE!!! And then she's just fucked. Not literally, mind you, because zombies do not rape. They just molest.

Meet Preggers!There you go, baby...

Okay, next scene. As you'd expect from a movie that attempts to combine elements of a women's prison drama, a martial arts action flick, and a zany zombie gorefest, there are a lot of subplots in Shadow. One of them involves Preggers, a pregnant inmate who happens to give birth right around the time Shadow and his zombie followers wise fwom deah gwaves. Another involves the crazy prison doctor who's been storing jars of Shadow's blood for the past twenty or so years, frequently injecting his patients with the stuff to see what it does... which generally results in them losing their fucking minds and becoming super strong and extra violent. And after Preggers gives birth, the baby ends up in the doctor's care. DO YOU SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING?!?!? So after the baby kills the doctor and the inmate who's been screwing him in exchange for drugs (this place has like the most unethical staff ever), it stalks the prison's corridors until it is eventually recovered by the inmate formerly known as Preggers. And because she's the thing's mom -- even though it fucking looks like this -- she picks it up, holds it to her breast, and offers it a drink from the nipply fountain of nourishment.

BABY IS HUNGRY, GODDAMNIT!!!Such a waste of good milk.

Yep. The baby predictably bites the holy fuck out of its momma's nipple before attacking and killing another guy, but that's not what makes the scene so memorable. The kicker is the shot of the floor as Preggers inclines forward in pain: we see the blood spatter from the wound, but then a thin stream of milk trickles down as well... resulting in a gruesome visual not unlike the the mixing creation of pink paint on a palette in art class. We've seen zombified babies before, but it's little touches like this that make Shadow really stand out.

PH33R THE FAKE DREADLOCKSAnd that does it for this piece, then. As I've said, if the film's concept sounds amusing to you -- and if these scenes haven't made you want to toss your half-digested chocolate chip cookies into a hole in the bottom of a wooden shed behind a rotting log cabin in rural South Dakota -- I highly recommend adding Shadow: Dead Riot to your Halloween movie queue. Don't let me lead you astray, though. There is an actual story, and while it's dumb enough to seem almost like an excuse to show us scenes like the gems detailed above, there is a fair amount of emphasis on it, so the movie's not exactly a non-stop barrage of naked breasts and kung-fu fighting and zombie kills and baby maulings. It does, however, contain a satisfactory amount of those things, to say nothing of the whole heaping lot of amusement that attends such nifty touches as the heroine carrying nunchuks pieced together from the forearms and sinews of defeated zombies. I mean, she doesn't even use them to beat anyone up, but just seeing them made me giggle -- and if you're planning on throwing a ghoulish gathering with movies and alcohol, this is exactly the kind of movie to keep the company howling. Besides, it's got Tony Todd -- and you can't go wrong with a Tony Todd movie. Well, except for Candyman 3. That sucked something fierce. But then, Candyman 3 didn't have breast-groping zombies and nipple-biting babies! ;D

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