Historically, I haven't really been drawn to zombie flicks. More a vampire guy. But last year was particularly strong in the genre, especially with the release of the kick ass and hilarious ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction. Not to mention Zombieland, Zombie Girl and (sort of) Sexykiller. So I off I went to the Jewelbox.
After sitting through a longish trailer which I may speak to in a future post the 60 or so minute 'Book of Zombie' began. The opening credits seemed promising, slickly done and with what seemed to suggest the promise of gore mixed with at least some funny aspects. Once the film began though it rapidly became clearer that the makers turned out a technically competent film with ample gore but perhaps a less inspired script and acting than I'd hoped for. Though they did get the slow moving zombies part right at least.
Rather than really nailing the theme it's just mainly window dressing around the brain eating (not that there's truly anything wrong with that). Sure there are ample "Utah is boring" jokes and "Mormons are boring and/or annoying" jokes but nothing either particularly deep or that funny. Perhaps the highlight of the cleverness is that the zombies prove more susceptible to caffeinated beverages than the double tap to the head. An example of how the lead character explains this to his dimwitted compatriots:
- I've got it, what don't Mormons eat?
- They don't eat pork?
- no, that's the Jews
- The don't eat pussy?
- no, that's the mafia
- ah ha!
Or something along those lines. That's about as good as it gets with a lot of snarking between all the characters. I think it's often a fine line between clever and mean and I felt this sometimes went a bit over that line - without enough positiveness for me to overlook that. The ending IS one of the cleverer parts so it's worth sticking around for.
This is one of those "absolutely had be done" screenings to attend. So I don't blame anyone for catching the second screening at STIFF of the film. It's not unwatcheable, just doesn't truly raise the bar. Do make sure to see ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction (out on video) if you haven't already.