When it comes to the zombie genre I'd felt there wasn't necessarily a ton of new ground to cover. Though once I heard a about a gay zombie film I realized that the sexual preferences of the walking, rotten undead is really never touched on in the average zombie film. Which seemed fair as it strikes me that zombies are generally "beyond" issues of sexual orientation. Unless you're one seriously, seriously screwed up and misplaced priority homophobe why would you care about the romantic gender preferences of the thing that is trying to eat your brains? Fast zombie vs slow zombie seems a far more relevant concern. Just thinking out loud there.
But then along comes Bruce LaBruce to shatter our misconceptions and narrow minded thinking. In what apparently is his second gay sex zombie romp we get LA Zombie, a very unusual film.
I'm going to quickly run down the storyline as I understand it. At the film's start out of the ocean rises the titular zombie (played by French porn star François Sagat). He gets a ride from a guy. Car accident ensures and guy ends up dead with some open bleeding wounds. Zombie fucks guy back to life. Literally. In the open, large bore wound. Then they part ways. And no (everyone asks me this) the formerly dead dude does not appear to be a zombie.
Sagat proceeds to wander the urban wastelands of LA where he observes people being killed and then *ahem* re-animates them in his own special way (employing each time, his gigantic penis - seemingly slightly modified for the alien/zombie character). I'll admit there's definitely some cleverness in the first few times - particularly when he stumbles across a gang member left dead with a huge gunshot hole in his forehead (in the middle of his skull if that was too subtle for you). But watching him wander, find people dead and having sex with them just becomes repetitive. Even though I suspect this could be a purposeful and ironic mirroring of the structure of a porn movie it still becomes a bit boring.
This is going to sound ridiculous, but my largest issue with the film is that I had serious difficulties following the plot. By the end I realized that perhaps we're supposed to wonder if there is a zombie or if this is either an imagined or real massive break from reality of a member of LA's extremely buff and well endowed homeless community. And perhaps an allegory for something. But as I wasn't even clear how many brain fucking zombies by the movie's conclusion were wandering about there's a fair chance I missed a major plot point in what felt like the rather repetitive scenes.
LaBruce's earlier film Otto; or, Up with Dead People sounds as though it's more plot driven. I wish I could compare the two but Otto was something I'd missed when it was on the festival circuit. If you do decide for some reason L.A. Zombie is on your to see list I should point out that I've read there's both the festival version and a hardcore one floating around. So if the porn component is important to you that's something you might want to hold out for. The version I saw ran a bit over an hour at the midnight screening I attended - no idea of the length of the "uncut" version. Most of the folks I met the next day who'd gone had left after a while. I did stick out the entire film as I wanted to know how it ended. And yes, I'm shaking my head as I write that...
If you'd like to catch it locally the film is playing at the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival on 10/16.