Fright Fest Review #8: The Zero Boys (1986)

Their weekend getaway is about to be cut short.
Their weekend getaway just got cut short.

Subgenre:  Slasher

Summary:  A paintball team runs afoul of crazed hillbillies in the woods.

Review:  The Zero Boys starts off strong, with our titular heroes’ paintball team facing off against their rivals, whose leader is inexplicably dressed as a Nazi.  The scene is cheesy, ridiculous, and tons of fun.  It’s too bad the rest of the movie can’t live up to it.

After winning the big match, the Zero Boys and their girlfriends head out to the woods to party, and wouldn’t you know it, a couple of psycho killers show up.  From here on out, the movie flounders.  Instead of maintaining the lively tone established in its opening, it becomes far too serious for its own good.  There are so many directions this movie could have taken, from a The Hills Have Eyes showdown to a Straw Dogs home defense.  Sadly, it chooses the lamest option: a cliché slasher in which the heroes use guns every now and then.  Though there are a couple of tense moments (the best involving a spiked trapping pit), they’re just not enough.  There’s real potential here, and it’s a pity to see it wasted.  Perhaps The Zero Boys should have stuck with the paintball story – after all, it did give us this.

The Verdict:  Aside from its opening scene, The Zero Boys is (regrettably) not worth your time.  I give it four weekend warriors out of ten.

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