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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 10: Zombies of Mass Destruction

Zombies of Mass Destruction
God bless Zombiemerica, land that I love

Its not easy making a horror movie that is also funny, as most attempts will go too far in one direction or the other. Shaun of the Dead is a good example of a horror comedy, although it feels more like a comedy that happens to have zombies in it. Zombies of Mass Destruction, on the other hand, has the zombies right up front next to the laughs.

Zombies of Mass Destruction takes place on the small island town of Port Gamble, Washington. We mostly follow the stories of Frida and Tom. Both stories show the difficulties of dealing with an identity crisis while being part of a marginalized group: Frida is an Iranian in a post-9/11 world and Tom is coming out to his mother. The zombie attacks come quickly as it is revealed that a terrorist has unleashed a virus on the town, turning people into zombies. Frida, Tom and Tom's partner Lance all have to fight to survive not only the zombies but also the intolerance of the still-living.


Following in the footsteps of Romero's films, social commentary features prominently in ZMD. Racism, homophobia, religious intolerance, even gun laws are tackled with smart, witty lines. I especially enjoyed one scene with a mayoral debate going on while zombies are right outside their door. A scene like this is very fitting for this time of year, when more and more political debates pop up like hordes of zombies clawing for your flesh. The key to a good zombie movie is social commentary, and while some movies skip over story and focus on the flesh-eating ZMD takes the time to craft a smart script that will hopefully make you think.

The blood and guts flow just as freely as the comedy in ZMD. Creative kills with plenty of gore will put a smile across the face of any horror movie hound. Fans of fountain-spraying blood will be pleased as well. The makeup is not over-done and the zombies look believable which helps the movie feel more complete. There are a few scenes, like a zombie eating its own eyeball, that may be a bit too much for the squeamish or those hoping to see a straight comedy movie.

Another night out at Olive Garden

There are times when the humor comes off as a bit too “high school,” but nothing to make you groan and roll your eyes. The actors all play their parts very well, both in comedy and in horror. The scary scenes come at the proper times and never feel forced. ZMD has good pacing and gets to the point without rushing to get to certain parts. My only real complaint with the movie is that the film itself, whether on actual film or digital was noticeably low quality.

Overall, Zombies of Mass Destruction is an entertaining and funny horror movie. Both fans of comedy and horror can enjoy this movie without having to fast forward to get to “the good parts”. Good acting, nice makeup and effects, and a funny script make ZMD worth your time to watch. The social commentary is well put together and it was good to see the main characters were demographically different from your standard movie heroes.


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