Zombie Comedy Horror
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Zombies of Mass Destruction (2010)
22nd Oct 10
A zombie outbreak kicks off in Port Gamble and a bunch of people are caught up in it.
Everybody knows that zombie movies are easy to make, right? That's why there are so many entry level low budget zombie movies out there. All you need is a location for the outbreak to begin, a bunch of characters with a modicum of back story and the story sort of writes itself from there on. Of course, in terms of actual movie execution, you need a decent bunch of actors to deliver your script, a director of photography to make your location look good, a few lights as the outbreak will invariably happen at night, a couple of guns (at least one shotgun preferably), a few buckets of fake blood, some extras to cover in the fake blood, at least one decent gore effect (preferably a few, preferably including a head explosion) and, err, that's about it. And if you get all these things together the movie's going to be great, surely.
Zombies of Mass Destruction is one such movie. It basically tells the low budget tale of how a zombie outbreak went in sleepy Port Gamble, with a few of the characters that are around that night. We have a young muslim American called Frida who is always getting called Iraqi and has an overprotective but very hard working father Ali. We also have an environmentalist goody two shoes school teacher character called Cheryl, a hate's everyone firebrand preacher, and home town boy coming back from the city with his screaming gay boyfriend who's desperately pushing him to confess to his mum that he's gay. Then, of course, we have the zombies.
Frida (played by Janette Armand, who has real screen presence and is one to watch I would say) spends most of the film holed up with a redneck boy and his heavily racist but patriotic father (who ties Frida to a chair and makes her sing the national anthem to prove her patriotism, amongst other things). The gay couple, Lance and Tom, meet Tom's mum only for her to turn in to a zombie before he break the news, and the preacher spends most of the movie preaching to his congregation in a boarded up church, blaming the outbreak on everything including the gays, who eventually make it across to the church only to be greeted with the most homophobic welcome ever. I'll admit, the joke of the preacher having an anti gay chair (which they are tied to and forced to watch gay porn while a drip they're attached to makes them feel sick) is funny, but the gag goes on forever, until your smile turns to a frown.
And this is the general problem with Zombie of Mass Destruction, it's just not very funny. It looks like it's going to be, and when the movie opens everything looks good and you feel the laughs are coming any minute, but they never quite materialise. It bills itself as a zombie comedy, but at no point does it ever make you laugh out loud, more you smile at the movie and think 'you know, that could have been funnier'. But what's worse is the ending: just as all the characters break out of the church and Frida finally starts letting rip with that shotgun, the scene suddenly flips to months in to the future, the outbreak is over, everything's back to normal and, err, that's it. Very flat.
So, what initially looks like it's going to tick all the zombie movie boxes in the end doesn't actually tick any of them. It's not a bad movie in the sense that it's badly made, in fact the production values appear high for what must have been a fairly low budget affair, it's just that nothing stands out and the whole thing seems fairly forgetable. It's one of those films that sits straight on the line: it's not that good but it's not that bad, and let's face it a lot of bad films are so watchably bad that they can really stick in your memory. Zombies of Mass Destruction doesn't, and you can't help but feel indifferent towards the whole affair.
A sequel is apparently planned for next year, lets hope that is a lot more fun.