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Friday, November 3, 2017

Zombies of Mass Destruction (2009)

More zombie movie goodness for the blog. This time I revisit a movie that I covered when it first came out, Zombies of Mass Destruction. I remember liking it and giving it a positive review, but I’ve not bothered to check it out in the last seven or eight years. I guess it is time to revisit it.

Zombies attack an otherwise peaceful island town in the Pacific Northwest in this attempt at a comedic horror flick with a message. There are two main storylines in the movie. One has to do with Frida, the daughter of an Iranian immigrant, who has returned to the small town after attending a college back east. She has to deal with the casual racism and general stupidity of the rednecks that seem to make up most of the town’s population. She also has to deal with a strict father that wants her to be religious and marry one of “their” people. The other characters that dominate the story are a couple of gay men, Tom and Lance. Tom is from the island and has returned to come out to his mother. We again get to see how the ignorant rednecks and bigots react to that. Toss in a cable news show blaming terrorists for the outbreak and all hell breaks loose.

I don’t think that I like this movie as much as I did on first viewing years ago. Maybe I’ve just gotten tired of how political everything has gotten. I can’t escape the endless debates in my daily life and don’t want to see it in my zombie flicks. At least not like this. Zombies of Mass Destruction isn’t subtle about what axe it is grinding. The locals don’t know or care to understand the difference between an Iraqi and an Iranian. They are all terrorists in their eyes! Frida even gets tied to a chair and tortured to confess her involvement in the release of the zombie virus. And yes, Abu Ghraib is mentioned, as well as someone pointing out that torturing someone will only get them to tell you what you want to hear.

The gay characters end up fighting with Tom’s mother, who has turned into a zombie. I will admit the scene with her trying to kill him and him thinking it is because he is gay is funny. The dialogue is cleverly written and there is a joke about Lance’s father that pays off with a great one liner. Later on, they lock themselves in a church where of course the dumb locals try to cure them and save their souls thru the use of a special chair. They are able to escape their captors because you know they are stupid. Lucky for them they are saved when Frida shows up with a shotgun and blows the zombie horde away that was waiting for them when they opened the door to their jail.

I do like the zombies
Let’s talk about the zombies. The makeup is pretty basic and consists of a lot of blue and green faces. But considering they are all pretty fresh I was okay with that. Disappointed that we couldn’t see how many of them were killed, but still it was okay. We do get some decent gut munching, an arm gets ripped off, eyeball pops out only to be eaten, and a wicked knife thru the face. When it comes to the gore this is a solid movie. Oh, but the best kill is very funny and unexpected. Never ever tell someone that nothing bad will happen. That is just asking for trouble.

I understand that this is supposed to be a comedy and to be honest the non-political stuff still works really well. And I suppose if you are more liberal or still interested in shouting at the “other” side you might find Zombies of Mass Destruction to be funnier than I do. Still I have difficulty recommending this one.

© Copyright 2017 John Shatzer

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