Dir. J.R. Bookwalter, 1995
USA, 83 min


After a less-than-satisfying stint making low budget features for CHV, which yielded the video store classic Robot Ninja, J.R. Bookwalter returned to Ohio to reclaim his low budget glory with OZONE, another wildly ambitious shot on video work of pure will, ingenuity and imagination.

Detective Eddie Boone is a good cop who plays by his own rules, and he’s on the trail of a local drug kingpin, DeBartolo. During a stakeout Boone and his partner are ambushed, Boone is injected with a strange drug, and his partner Mike (Tom Hoover) goes MIA. Now, close to the edge and on suspension, Boone must infiltrate a drug fueled, mutant filled underground in search of DeBartolo, his partner, and some answers all while fighting the effects of the bizarre drug, OZONE, which is slowly transforming him into something inhuman and terrifying.

OZONE is Bookwalter’s most original and complex film: a police thriller, a horror film, a gory science fiction fantasy, all brought to low budget life with solid direction, great performances, slimy FX, and early CG. Shot mostly in and around a dreary Ohio hospital, the film is dark and eerie, a nightmarish mystery filled with bizarre creatures and memorable characters. Part Cronenberg, part Nightbreed, and all Bookwalter, OZONE is another milestone of shot on video excellence from a true master of his means.

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