Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media

Evil Bong & Evil Bong 2: King Bong (1964)
Full Moon Video | Buy at Amazon | Review by Sinferno

Those of you who frequently visit head shops (fancy water pipe stores) might recognize these films which are now being specifically marketed for the 4:20 aficionados. They are none other than the KING BONG collection, a couple of campy cannabis comedies tailor made for those who smoke weed. Now from what little I know from this scene, I always thought that Cheech and Chong movies were still the canon of cinema to watch while you were kooked on the cannabis, but hey, any movie inspired by dope written for dopes inspired me a bit, if only to lose myself in the smoke of still more B-movie altered states of reality from Full Moon. Let's wade through the green smoke and see what we we find, okay duuude?

EVIL BONG
EVIL BONG details the story of four college kids who live together in a cramped, one room apartment which is infused with the scent of Marijuana that a gust of fresh air would actually be considered a foreign odor. The main character, Alistar, is our straight man, a nerdy genius virgin who had never smoked weed before. The other guys in the house, Larnell, Bachman and Brent, unrepentant potheads and "dudes" alike, adopt the new guy, partially out of the novelty and the use of having a resident brainiac around, but perhaps more importantly so they can pretty much take advantage of him at every turn. A room full potheads picking on an uptight, socially maladjusted bookworm? This film truly knows how to please its target demographic, I'll give it that. But just when you think this film is going to break down into an episode of the Odd Couple starring one Felix and three Oscars, adversity strikes. In a moment of clear headed, marijuana infused inspiration, Bachman finds an order form on the back of a magazine for a large bong that remotely resembles a green woman. Of course, he has to order it at once. Once it arrives, the three potheads waste no time in toking themselves into oblivion, perhaps even more than they planned. It seems that when you smoke from the Evil Bong (TM) you are transported to a magical strip club "Bong world" where attractive women come and dance on your lap shortly before their breasts become horrible mouths and devour your hands whole when you try and touch their breasts. Meanwhile, the King Bong herself, Ebie, sits at a table laughing at the screams of the tormented in the exact same voice and affect as an evil Oprah Winfrey water pipe. But that isn't the worst of it. The people who smoke from the evil bong not only have their souls literally go "up in smoke," but they leave their bodies behind in a comatose state which tends to freak out the other stoner roomates who fear nothing more than a visit by the police, so one by one, to relieve stress they too puff from the pipe only to reunite with their lost friend, (sadly on the wrong side of the glass). But this proves a hero making moment for Alistair, who never smoked from the evil bong, and once Tommy Chong stops in, playing the part of the pipe's original owner, that's when they find a way to beat the evil pipe in a way they never taught you in rehab. Despite the decent character arc, this one is best enjoyed by casual fans of full moon features or full blown bevies of the bong. Many full moon feature characters and puppets make cameo appearances in the "beyond the bong" scenes, and just like any good subculture product, this one thrives best among fans who understand all the little inside jokes and subtle references.

EVIL BONG 2: KING BONG
Last time they smoked the evil bong (however literally) and it's back. Larnell, Bachman and Brent are back, but this time the character of Alistar is played by another actor (He always did seem like the smart one). All wit and quips aside, as EVIL BONG 2 opens up it seems the reefer buddies from the last film are all having strange but intense versions of marijuana side effects. Larnell is strangely horny and spontaneously humps anything in the room, Bachman is prone to extreme fits of narcolepsy as he falls asleep in a given second, and Brett begins to overeat, gradually donning the fat suit of classic comedy and physical humor. With Alistair in tow, the foursome take a trip to South America to discover the secret of their strange afflictions and perhaps the cure. No sooner does the plane land then wackiness ensues. Larnel's grandfather, a particularly nasty misanthrope supporting character from the last film, is now a full fledged villain who is stealing the very potent and abundant marijuana of the Poontang tribe (a group of topless island women with spears). But little does anyone know that the island is sacred, protected by none other than the King Bong- an island god who just happens to look like a giant death's head hookah. Using some marijuana magic and the smell of some very high grade pot, they are able to reconstruct the original Evil Bong and form a limited partnership with her in order to destroy the new marijuana menace (it appears that the two pipes once knew each other romantically, intimately in fact, and apparently the breakup wasn't amicable). Ultimately, Kb2 is just another timeless, traditional love story between four young boys and their talking marijuana pipe. A story told in many different cultures under many different titles. This one was a better film than the original. The original stoner-related sicknesses suffered by the group of friends was a nice springboard into the action, and the women of the Poontang tribe added the requisite R rated sexuality and savagery so needed for films of this formula. The locales, while certainly not South America, filled the screen with an organic green tinge that will allow the user ( er um, "the viewer") to lose themselves in a cinematic jungle mist which admittedly would be a passable way to spend eighty minutes (provided they still had any concept of time). I do have one irk, however. In both movies everybody goes goofballs on ONE hit of weed. For a movie that is marketed almost to the point of exclusion to real life "Bong Kings," this will upset its intended audience, enrage them, attack their suspension of disbelief in ways that two movies full of intelligent evil anthropomorphic water pipes never could. For a product that seems to celebrate it's audience of hardcore hemp heads, it seems "uncool" that they would exaggerate the effects of cannabis to the point never seen in a movie since an educational anti-marijuana film.

Sinferno Says...
Yucko/Neato Factor: You don't have to be stoned out of your gourd to enjoy this, but it couldn't hurt. With no actual sex, violence, or controversy in its depictions except for the constant obsession of a prohibited substance, it was a "joint" assault of simulated highs, and lowbrow weed humor.
Production Values: Some of this seemed like an unintentional DARE commercial. But at least it had CGI. With modern technology, the best "magic carpet rides" still involve a green screen.
Realism: The realism wasn't high, but maybe if you are it won't matter. Like the box says: "In 3-D if you're stoned".
Value for Price: With full moon's "more bong for your buck" promotion, you can receive both movies for ten bucks. For five dollars a piece it's a dime bag full of wacky cinematic tobacco and an okay trip.
Plot: If you have ever watched THE WIZARD OF OZ with the sound off while listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, or even if you think this sounds like a fun way to spend a week, this is the right movie for you. A bloodless, sexless tribute to weed culture which must be appreciated or rejected for what it is. WARNING: May act as a gateway movie to other dangerous Marijuana themed films such as FRIDAY or DAZED AND CONFUSED.

 


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