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Ozone (2004)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Ozone (2004) New and restored to DVD is director J.R. Bookwalter's early 1990's movie, OZONE. I recall enjoying this movie when I saw it back in the heyday, but on this new Tempe disc it really shines! There's restored picture (and it looks pristine for Super VHS), a 5.1 surround sound mix that's as good as anything I've heard, and loads of extras.The plot involves a cop (played by James Black) who is trying to track down his missing partner and gets much more than he bargained for when he discovers that things involve a designer drug called 'ozone.' When he gets injected with the smack, all bets are off! Enter a hallucinatory world of Cronenberg proportions!Despite Bookwalter's meager $3,500.00 budget, this movie is high in ambition and scope, also delivering production values of the highest order. There's exploding heads, bladder effects with blood shooting all over the place, mutant babies, fight scenes, chases, and an evil drug lord that looks right out of BAD TASTE! Bookwalter is also blessed with a lead actor who can act in the form James Black. Yes, he gives a performance, folks, something that most Hollywood b-movies should take a cue from (can anyone say, er, Van Diesel and XXX?). The CGI fx (updated a bit for DVD) are still fun to watch and more than a little gross at times, especially a nightmare scene where Black's head does a 'Total Recall' implosion! The commentary track is engaging, as director Bookwalter and leading man Black recall the experiences of making an epic little movie with basically no budget at all. There's things to be learned on this track by director wannabes and pros alike. Some hilarious tidbits reveal how dedicated and passionate Bookwalter is to filmmaking, including waking up Black (who was crashing on the director's couch) with camera rolling for a scene! Pickup shots in a fast-food joint's bathroom while feeding the cast was a hilarious bit too!This disc is loaded with studio-sized extras as well, with excellent behind-the-scenes footage (though limited) and a great documentary where cast and crew deliver their recollections on making this movie. There's early test footage, photo galleries, marketing concepts, and hours of enjoyment on this spinning disc! You'll be doing the 'Ozone Shuffle' for a solid week to boot! The B's Nest Archive footage with Bookwalter is priceless fun too---great to see Bookwalter in the process of creating himself as a 'brand name' in the fine traditions of Hitchcock and Corman!If you like no-budget horror movies that push technology to the cutting edge and that were way ahead of their time---or aspire to do this yourself---revisit OZONE. And if you're just a fan looking for a good time---check out Ozone. Either way, you won't be disappointed!
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