If you’ve read my reviews in the past, you know that I love a good campy horror romp. I don’t see these films as “so bad they’re good”, or ironic in any way. My love for them is deep and real. My top favorite horror movies are things like Tucker and Dale vs Evil… the charm of the humor makes the horror/gore even more impactful, and I really do mean it when I say there is zero irony to my love of all things camp. WITNESS INFECTION jumps with both feet into the fantastic fun of the horror/comedy pool, and I am delighted!
Two mob families are sent into witness protection. Seems like a pretty serious and non-horror related premise, except for one small thing: These rival families are sent to the same city – Lake Elsinore, California. Suddenly what should be a fresh start is a comedy of errors as the families fall right back into their old rivalrous ways.
Carlo (Robert Belushi) is the black sheep of the family, with no ties to the “family business”. He runs a dog grooming business with his best friend, Gina (Jill-Michele Melean). Business is good and things seem to be going smoothly and peacefully until the family drama peaks, and Carlo’s father (Carlos Alazraqui) tells Carlo that he has to marry the daughter of the rival mob boss, to settle a debt. This is the only way to bring peace between the families, and the repercussions if Carlo refuses are deadly. Fortunately for Carlo something much more deadly – and bizarre – will take the spotlight off of him and his arranged marriage. The problem is, how will these families survive when the outbreak comes from within?
WITNESS INFECTION marries comedy and horror to create a wild ride of raucous fun. Wonderfully cheesy makeup effects, cliche character development, and loads of throwback lines are all ingredients of the delightful cocktail that is WITNESS INFECTION. Every performance is a gem, and there are some great cameos, including the magnetic Tara Strong making an appearance as a deliciously trashy member of the “family”. Stereotypes run rampant but are always delivered with a wink and a smile, making it hard to fault them. While it may not be the most politically correct film out right now, it’s clear there’s nothing but love behind the caricature-esque characters and predictable plot points.
Given current events, this movie is a perfectly timed distraction and also a clever (if inadvertent) nod to the complete absurdity of our times. I’m all about pleasant distractions, and WITNESS INFECTION supplies those in spades. It may not be innovative or exciting, but it’s a rollicking fun ride and delivered with oodles of charm and good humor.