Scott Ganyo, Kate Rudd, Jennifer Wilkens, Sally Weatherston, Trevor Fanning, Nick Kraynak
Filmed in the campy, B-movie tradition of a Troma release, "Zorg and Andy" is a low-budget, cheesy and rather goofy little flick starring Scott Ganyo as Andy, a likeable lug of a loser whose last resort for holding onto his college funding is to work at the college's rather mysterious Kungsbaden Museum of Baal State University under the not so watchful eye of Jen (Kate Rudd), an assistant to Dr. Tarpax (Sally Weatherston).
Andy finds himself in quick trouble yet again when a long sought fertility artifact is seductively removed from his possession, and we learn rather quickly that those freakish professors in the Economics Department are really a bunch of Pagan-worshipping, human sacrificing idolaters of our favorite phallic friend, who apparently is known by the name Zorg.
If you've ever found yourself in front of a Troma flick, "The Toxic Avenger" and "Surf Nazis Must Die" being among the more widely known titles, then you already have a great idea of what to expect from "Zorg and Andy," a B-movie that celebrates being a B-movie with cheesy dialogue, little or no special effects, rather lame production values and acting that is rather hit-and-miss all across the board.
"Zorg and Andy" doesn't require stellar tech credits, Oscar-caliber acting or dialogue that even makes sense. "Zorg and Andy" requires, over the course of its modest 62-minute running time, a few laughs, a few mild thrills, interesting performances and a mere thread of a story to hold it all together.
Having played in Summer 2009's Franklin, Indiana-based Tromadance Festival, it would appear that even the folks at Troma recognize that this B-movie is a celebration of everything Lloyd Kaufman and the fine folks at Troma are trying to accomplish in the underground world of cinema.
Comprised largely of Indiana-based actors, "Zorg and Andy" is a fine example of the increasingly off-kilter indie flick movement right here in Indy including filmmakers such as Davis, Jakob Bilinski, Alfred Eaker and others.
As previously noted, the acting in "Zorg and Andy" certainly isn't anything to write home about, however, I couldn't quite stop chuckling over how much lead Scott Ganyo kept reminding me of that outstanding actor of smaller stature, Peter Dinklage.
Sadly, I doubt that Ganyo will consider this observation a compliment.
I swear it is.
While Kate Rudd feels a touch out of place and a bit young in the role of Dr. Tarpax's assistant, Rudd has a naive, everygirl quality about her that makes her infinitely watchable even if the casting itself feels a bit off the mark.
Unlike most, if not all, Troma flicks, "Zorg and Andy" is fairly family friendly and falls squarely into the non-existent sub-genre of light, comedic horror with the only "gore" being a tame shot of a severed head and one scene involving implied man-eating beetles. While likely a bit too graphic for young children, teens would certainly have no problem with "Zorg and Andy" and may, in fact, find the most delight in its silliness.
While there are many who consider Troma films to be the patron saints of bad cinema, there's a definite skill, arguably, in being able to construct a campy and goofy B-movie that also entertains and manages to feature solid filmmaking in all its glorious quirks. Lloyd Kaufman and the folks at Troma do such films better than anyone, but here's guessing that Guy Davis and the folks involved in "Zorg and Andy" are disciples on the rise.
Flawed yet funny, campy yet strangely charming, "Zorg and Andy" is definitely worth a view for those who have an appreciation for the late night, B-movie side of contemporary cinema.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic