In Witness Infection, bad sausages from New Jersey cause Italian mobsters in the witness protection program to fart and vomit so much that they become zombies.
A premise that dumb should make for a stupid, if entertaining, horror-comedy. Fast forward 80 minutes later and not only was that premise as dumb as you can possibly imagine, but it also made for a terrible and insipid movie! What are the odds of that happening? Spoilers, very, very high.
Director: Andy Palmer
Release Date: March 30, 2021 (VOD)
Rating: Not yet rated
I’m no stranger to tackling horror films around here, but Witness Infection barely feels like one. There’s a certain charm that low-budget horror movies have that nothing can ever replicate. An intense desire to show off some special effects or a monster despite barely having any money. I can respect a low-budget horror movie usually for at least trying, even when it fails.
I never got the impression one that Witness Infection was once trying to be scary or show off anything worth watching. The story is focused on two rival crime families in the witness protection program being infected by bad sausages and slow becoming feral, blood-thirsty monsters. And these two Italian crime families play into every single possible Italian stereotype imaginable. Godfather references, Cheetah print dresses, tracksuits, obsessions with Italian food, you name it and it’s here.
I think it’s supposed to be funny just how Italian the two rival crime families are, but the movie goes so far into stereotyping them that there’s virtually nothing unique about them. They’re just mindless, unlikeable fodder that no one wants to get attached to. We know they’re all going to turn into zombies since in the first five minutes, we witness a no-name shmuck turn into a zombie after eating a sausage. Cut to a dinner scene where everyone in the family is at the table eating the horrid sausages, and you’ve created a scenario where I have no interest in getting to know anyone once they’ve bitten the weiner of death.
And the movie wants you to remember that they’re all going to turn because whenever they eat a sausage they spend the next several scenes vomiting and farting. Look, fart jokes are already pretty low-bar in the echelon of humor, but they can be funny! Some fart jokes are hilarious to me and I don’t mind them as much as others. But when it’s just the same fart joke again and again it’s simply not funny. I don’t even know if Witness Infection thinks it’s funny, but it’s certainly adamant to want you to laugh once at their fart jokes. There are other jokes here, but the gas overpowers everything.
By the time everyone eventually becomes zombies about halfway through, they’re some of the laziest creatures I’ve seen in quite some time. The zombie make-up has a boil or two on people’s faces and some protruded veins, but that’s about all. Very little creativity on display here, especially when all of the zombies do your standard slow-walk with a groan here or there. Some of my closest friends are make-up artists and they would laugh at how lame these zombies look. They even do the cliched arms out while walking motion like they’re from a movie that would right at home on MST3K. All that’s missing is for one of them to moan for brains and the package would be complete.
But all of that isn’t the most offensive part to me. A bad premise and a bad execution are one thing, but when your movie has technical issues that’s when we enter into a whole new realm of bad. The ADR on display here is especially bad with clear dubbing over characters who weren’t speaking at sound like they’re in a recording booth instead of wherever they are. Sound effects are missing from the movie like when we flash a quick montage of characters buckling their seatbelts and the driver honking their horn only for no horn sound to come. The sound quality is all over the place too with background music being abnormally loud with the dialogue being especially quiet. Sometimes the volume of the characters changes from shot to sound like the boom mike was shifting as they were recording.
It’s frankly amateurish how the final product comes out. Disliking a movie due to personal taste is one thing, but Witness Infection is the kind of bad where it’s not even all that fun to talk about. It’s a comedy that isn’t funny, the horror is cheap with special effects being impossible to see due to shaky-cam nonsense or replaced with basic blood splatters on the camera like they were from iMovie.
You know, the same day I saw Witness Infection, I also saw The Father. I had my personal issues with that film, but I could still acknowledge it as a great watch, worthy of its Best Picture nomination. If someone told me they loved it, I would easily be able to see why. I don’t think anyone is going to say that they liked Witness Infection. If they did, they probably have been eating some funky sausage and are about to vomit their guts out. Fitting then given how I would be more likely to believe that Witness Infection gave someone indigestion than to believe someone actually liked it.