Zombies of Mass Destruction – DVD Review

A conservative island community is under attack! Port Gamble, Washington is being overrun with brain-eaters, and the people seem powerless to stave them off. A ragtag band of rebels led by Frida (Janette Armand), an Iranian college student suspected of being an Iraqi terrorist, and Tom (Doug Fahl), a gay businessman who has returned to town with his partner to come out to his mother, tries to turn the tide and push the invading hordes of undead back.

This movie ticked a lot of boxes for me. The zombies and creative gore spoke to the ex-Fangoria subscriber in me. The comedy was literally laugh out loud funny a few times. It has one of those beautiful “OH F*CK” moments of black humour that I actually rewinded back and re-watched twice, giggling evilly to myself as I did. It’s clever and has a message about general small minded and paranoid attitudes that was delivered well and without being preachy. The acting is a lot better than I was expecting from a lower budget zombie flick like this. And yet for some reason I still finished the movie thinking “Well… that was ok” as opposed to working out how to talk the wife into watching it with me on a replay.

I think the main problem is the ending, or…. well… lack of one. Without spoiling too much, just when you think they are setting up for a big “end of movie” type sequence it stalls. They post up a “29 weeks later” caption (nice in-joke for the zombie set) and you basically get 5 dull and pointless minutes seeing where the survivors now find themselves. No big revelations, no jokes, no surprise extra bit of blood and guts, just soap opera. The titles came up and I actually replayed the last few minutes of the movie again thinking I’d missed something. It really feels like the ending to a different movie than the one you’ve just sat through.

Up until the end though I was a lot more enthusiastic. The way they play the reactions to the zombie outbreak with the all americans blaming terrorists and the church goers thinking its God punishing abortionists and gays is done really well and keeps just the right side of out and out parody. Yeah, they use characatures but you get the feeling this is a deliberate play on horror movie stereotypes rather than lazy characterisation. The horror/comedy mix is also well balanced although one scene does go a little bit too “Hostel” for the mood I imagine they were going for. That said, they do pay it off with a good, painful gag at the end of the scene, so fair enough.

The blood and guts are played for laughs, but still look pretty damn gruesome and this definately will appeal to any fans of Peter Jackson’s early movies, especially Braindead (or Dead Alive to give it its US title) and I was actually thinking this is the type of movie he would be making now if Lord of the Rings hadn’t made him all A list. The female lead is strong without being heartless and it was also cool to see two gay characters as zombie killing badasses as opposed to just being used for camp comedy effect.

It was a fun movie and I would definately recommend putting it on a Netflix or rental queue, but while I did enjoy watching it I dont think its a movie I’ll be reaching for again any time soon. Again though, that might be due to disappointing ending which I’m sure has coloured my opinion of the whole movie experience a little badly.

DVD Extras – Trailer and a 5 minute “making of”

Stars out of 5 – 3.. thats a medium from the four star movie it should have been and the two star movie the ending made it.

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One comment

  1. Kevin Grevioux is throwing a fit right now.

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