Turd Merchants of Death Review

Jack Spanbauer powers a 5-0 through down through the kink and then gets chopped in half.

This is a review of Meta skateboard's newest Zombie movie-slash-skate video epic "Turd Merchants of Death," but before I start I want to make it clear: Local videos are a whole different bag of worms ("PJ Ladd's Wonderful Horrible Life" and a few others exempted). I know this, because while skateboarding on the large industrial scale likes to show only the best-est people in the most prettiest format at the greatest-est spots, local videos are a little more endemic—they might not suit all the criteria of your Internet skate nerd. Local videos are made for people in your area, who can laugh and look at their buddies and maybe, just maybe, someone will get flowed some shoes or whatever. I know this, because I was in a local video for Meta Skateboards, some years ago, and my friend and I were allowed to put this part in it (I would like to take this moment to apologize to anyone who sat through this, as there's really no need for anyone to watch me skateboard, especially for that long). But, while there's a lot of epic homie exposure in "Turd Merchants of Death," there's also some real ripping.

However, this video differs from other local vids in that it alternates like zebra stripes between skating and a flushed-out fart-themed zombie movie. The story has the loose and playful dialog of a B-movie, the kind that can linger and circle the runway, crying "we're just kind of running with this," but the whole production fills the breaks with funny skits, epic kill scenes and tons of gore.

Jack after the ramp incident.

Meta Skateboards, based out of Boulder, CO, sets the full movie production in the mountain-cradled college town (where I went to school) and starts it with the premise that a roommate puts Fecal Blast, a defective laxative, in his buddy's chili while he's not looking. The laxative turns him into a zombie, but not before he goes to a bar, and pukes into the ice, spreading the disease. Elsewhere, other Fecal Blast zombies chase a skater. Spliced in there are the skaters' parts and this one ends his part by fudging up an ollie up into a jump ramp. His body cuts in half on the top edge of the ramp and becomes entrail fodder for packs of zombies. A proslytizer and a cop come on scene, a slapfight ensues, a cop gets his head chopped in half with a skateboard (more on that later...MOTL). There's a mechanic scene with gore and one of the mechanics hides away (MOTL). A bunch of other stuff happens—a head gets turned into a bong, other characters kill zombies with axes, spikes, grenades, guns and whatnot. They escape in innertubes. El Vortex, Boulder's resident Lucha Libre fighter, plucks some zombie heads. Then, the remaining half-a-head of the zombie cop takes over the body of another character. She becomes a zombie and wreaks more havoc. In the end, the mechanic hiding out and one of the escaped bar patrons team up, fashion together weapons and end the film in a slimey, bloody, pus-filled finale where all the zombies "clear their system."

Part-Meta owner Reed Goodman gets bloody.

In the mean time, Meta's skate team and friends shred. Noodly-legged Jack Spanbauer visits some spots with creative combos and ends it with a polejam late shoveit to broken pole (pretty epic). Next, Elijah Moore, who has long been one of few black people in Boulder (I'm not kidding), rides out his legendary role in the skate community with all his steeziness, jewelry and proper landings. Love this kid. Patrick Dykstra rips himself through newer spots in the Colorado area. If I were to bet, I'm guessing he's a big Crailtap fan. Jeff Hulslander, long-time Boulder ripper, shows his prowess on the stuntwood with his cargos and chin hair (check local board company Null Skateboards for more). Reed Goodman, part owner in Meta, keeps the shred alive. Soccer star and now grown a** man, Ivan Goldberg, pops his hefty stair tricks. Sean Flaherty brings balance school to Boulder's ledges. Good friend Yabo and Jim Thiebaud's personal assistant, Damon Thorley, have some tricks in there. Todd Frost wears awesome soccer socks and rips. The local grown man crew, Trick Factory, proves with tranny tricks, no complys and smiles that skateboarding really is the fountain of youth. The friend's section is filled with Sean and Nial Fredrickson, Shad Spencer, the fellas over

Max Garson is bigger and grinding.

at Denver Shop and the big names that pass through the inland skate mecca that is Denver. Jeff Spiegel, Mike Killkenny-Patrick (epic name) and Dustin Hinshaw all kill it, Dustin ending with a NBD switch flip on the Pearl St set (see...this is the part where locals would be all stoked). Lastly, the trifecta of enders starts with a much-taller-than-I-remember and much better Max Garson out of the helmet his parents used to put on him. Canyon Castator, the loveably stylish ganglemire (made that up) has gotten better and better and ends it all with a one-push kickflip 50-50 on a rail that hasn't had much done on it. Josh Steele, the little kid we used to pick up at his semi-remote house, has some rad lines, ridiculous pop and a propper flick of his skate to end the skating in the video.

I might seem biased, since I used to skate for Meta, but Sam Hines, Meta's main owner, did an amazing job putting together a skate video that's not your run of the mill. The story, gore and effects are enough to make it worth the money. But, then, there's some real good skating sprinkled in there. I can say that objectively, for the most part, since the whole scene has turned over so much and Meta's skaters have grown older. If you've got the loot, pick up a copy at metaskate.com. It may be a local vid, but this one will be worth your while.

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