Buffalo Women of the Un-Dead

What do you get when you cross one of Korea’s most noted directors, a runaway ox cart filled with a bevy of Hollywood starlets, a long-forgotten Native American myth, and a $225 million budget? If the end result is “Buffalo Women of the Un-Dead,” the answer is a big stinking pile of manure. “Buffalo Women” is a prime example of how so much can go so wrong when Hollywood becomes enamored with the latest foreign wunderkind.

After directing the international hits “Kim Chi in My Shorts” and “M*I*S*H M*A*S*H,” North Korean director Dung Heep makes his English language debut with an epic tale that spans numerous generations from the Old West to the present, a wicked tale about how a herd of slaughtered female buffalo were resurrected and given zombie-like powers of destruction and mutilation.

Based on the short story “Buffalo Bitches,” “Buffalo Women” features a who’s who gallery of female stars, whose images has been computer generated onto the bodies of the killer buffalos. At first you’re taken aback by the process, but after about ten minutes it becomes downright creepy. The sight of zombie cows played by Sandra Bullock, Maria Bello, Glenn Close, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Paris Hilton is laughable to the point of being absurd. “Buffalo Women” features Bullock’s first nude scene, an eight-udder flash that will leave fans shouting “Got Milk.”

“Buffalo Women” begins in 1874, when a wagon train filled with prostitutes heading to California is ambushed. As legend tells it, their spilled blood is drunk by the buffalo, who go mad and are slaughtered. Angered, Mother Earth (Sandra Bernhard) resurrects the buffalo, turning them into flesh-eating zombies. With each new generation, the curse grows.

The script by Don. K. Raper, whose previous film, “Manatee Mike,” was a loveable family comedy, focuses on three different generations of the buffalo, and how their legendary killing spree forces a modern day Buddhist (Richard Gere) to find a way to end their reign of terror without killing them. Raper mixes numerous different genres, most notably the Spaghetti Western’s of Sergio Leone and the early martial arts films of Ang Lee, plus liberal doses of dark humor.

Even though “Buffalo Women” isn’t played for laughs, it’s difficult not to crack a smile. The scene when Buffalo Betty (Sandra Bullock) tosses a meat warehouse worker into a grinder and then quips “You may already be a Weiner” left me in stitches. Everything about the film, from its out-of-control budget and tiresome running time to its all-star roster is absurd, and if you believe one word of it, you’re an April Fool!


Sandra Bullock, Maria Bello, Glenn Close, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Richard Gere, Ben Affleck, Sandra Bernhard, Sarah Polley and Rachel Weisz. Directed by Dung Heep. Rated R. 255 Minutes.


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