Independent films deliver a mixed bag

By Stacie Wieland

“Delivery Boy Chronicles”

Grade: D | “Delivery Boy Chronicles” poses the question, “Is there life after college?” For four twenty-something friends and co-workers at a food delivery service in Atlanta, the answer is one filled with regret, disillusionment and ‘shrooms. Sounds like an excellent recipe for some hardcore indie-film dissection of and commentary on society through the eyes of well-developed characters.

Think again.

Sadly, you’re instead given a thin plot and decidedly lackluster, two-dimensional characters. It’s only through the haze of smoke in someone’s living room that any substantial dialogue occurs, and rather than philosophizing about life and one’s less-than-desirable job (a la “Office Space” or “Clerks”), there are only food deliveries, bongs and searches for a stash of ‘shrooms. It isn’t until the last 20 or so minutes that the film finally starts to make an attempt at touching on what it claims to be about, and by that time – if you’re still watching – it’s too little too late.

In essence, “Delivery Boy Chronicles” is a self-proclaimed “delightful comedy” that fails to deliver. Whether that is meant to be ironic or not is yet to be seen. In the film, Molly, a flower child that is desperate to help the world around her, says in response to another character’s verbal attacks, “No statue has ever been erected in honor of a critic.” That may be true, but to be fair, statues aren’t looking like a big part of this film’s future, either.

“Zombie Mutant Ninjas III”

Grade: B+ | With a title like “Zombie Mutant Ninjas III”, one has certain expectations walking into it, and thankfully, this “thriller to end all dramadies” is somehow able to exceed them effortlessly. “Zombie Mutant Ninjas III” explodes onto the screen with an alluring mix of unforgettable action sequences, inspiring special effects and well-timed humor. An amazing soundtrack to back up a well-chosen cast doesn’t hurt.

The icing on this cake of craziness is, perhaps, the fact that it was filmed and takes place in DeKalb. The recognizable setting and blatant references only add to the film, as some of the best jokes come at the expense of our little town.

There is, however, one truly unfortunate thing that plagues this unique horror-comedy: the lighting. Naturally, a movie featuring ridiculously skilled zombie mutant ninjas must employ the use of darkness, but scenes throughout the picture can often be difficult to see.

Luckily, more often than not, these scenes are accompanied by dialogue that makes up for the lack of visuals. Without question, “Zombie Mutant Ninjas 3” is scary-good, bringing forth a Romero-esque, Bruce-Lee-inspired flair that is utterly irresistible. Never mind that the first film doesn’t exist and you didn’t see the sequel; run, don’t walk, to find a copy and witness the horror, the terror, the make-up and the one-liners – because, y’know … zombies.