You can always count on cheesy horror flicks to breathe malevolent life into inanimate objects. Haunted houses and sentient dolls have been midnight movie staples for decades. Stephen King’s lone directorial credit revolves around a radioactive comet somehow bringing machines to life…to kill! B-movie camp has brought us everything from predatory ice cream to killer condoms. Even when these outlandish exercises in blood-soaked schlock don’t contain even a whiff of satire or social commentary, they tend to offer some inventively gory practical effects or at least a good, brainless laugh. Not so with the painfully inane comedy-horror cheapie Evil Bong.

Directed by prolific B-movie purveyor Charles Band—whose greatest artistic achievement is probably writing and producing 1989’s Puppet Master, in which an Egyptian spell brings to life a chestful of malicious toys—2006 flick Evil Bong isn’t funny, scary or even much of a weed movie. Mostly, it’s an onslaught of college douchebags punctuating each sentence with the word “bro.” There’s the trophy-polishing star pitcher (Brian Lloyd) who got kicked off the baseball team for a failed “piss test,” the burnout law school drop-out (John Patrick Jordan) and the always-faded surfer dude (Mitch Eakins). Even though they all share one large studio apartment, they decide to split the rent further by bringing in a token Poindexter (David Weidoff), who declines to smoke pot and speaks in the kind of forced academic vernacular reserved exclusively for B-movie nerds.

Virtually the entire film takes place within a single room, the exception to this being, naturally, the hazy stripper world contained within the evil bong itself. You see, when Law School Dropout sees an ad for a huge “haunted bong” in the pages of High Times (you know, the magazine that every marijuana smoker subscribes to), he’s just got to have it. When it arrives, the three stoner bros smoke out of its various hoses (which technically makes it a bit more like a Wicked Hookah than an Evil Bong, but killer to-may-to, killer to-mah-to, I guess) while Poindexter studies a science textbook.

When Surfer Dude gets even more righteously baked than the others, the bong begins to glow and whisper things like “Yes! More!” and soon his soul gets sucked into the hazy stripper world inside the bong’s watery base. Within it, not only are there naked ladies dancing on poles, but there are also brief, inexplicable encounters with weird creatures from Band’s other contemporary endeavors—such as the racist African doll Ooga Booga from Doll Graveyard and the Gingerdead Man from the Gary-Busey-as-a-cookie flick of the same name, both released the previous year. Ultimately, the strippers, wearing bras adorned with sharks or skulls that actually bite, end up killing Surfer Dude, and Law School Dropout isn’t far behind. With each kill, the increasingly sassy bong, who we later learn is named Eebee (voiced by Michelle Mais), begins to grow a woman’s face upon its glass surface in the real world.

Despite the dying roommates and transmogrifying bong, Poindexter and Sporty Bro still decide to entertain some ladies in their cramped apartment, until their lungs are filled with sweet, sweet herb and they all realize the true nature of Eebee. Thankfully, just when all seems lost, Tommy Chong randomly shows up. He’s the bong’s original owner, Jimbo, whose old lady took the bong out of storage and put it up for sale in the first place. Besides briefly explaining Eebee’s evil origin (“a voodoo curse or something”), Jimbo also provides the deus ex machina necessary to thwart any malicious, parallel-dimension-strip-club-creating water pipe: he transports himself to the hazy stripper world and blows up Eebee with a bomb strapped to his chest, temporarily harshing everyone’s mellow but also somehow resurrecting all the bros in the process.

If I had to guess, I’d say that Band is probably as knowledgeable about marijuana culture as he is about gingerbread confectionery. Hell, the bros refer to it as “doing” weed, which any true High Times subscriber could tell you is total narc lingo. With a silly talking bong and a disappointing dearth of gore, there isn’t much within this film that can pass as horror, and the jokes are as weak as ditch weed (“I hope someday convicts will feast on your scrotum sack!”). Nevertheless, Band would go on to churn out five Evil Bong sequels and a Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong crossover flick, all currently available at the click of a button on Hulu. What a time to be alive.

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