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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Attack of the Southern Fried Zombies (2017)

The marathon continues with another low budget independent zombie movie. But this time it wasn’t miserable. That is a nice change from the last couple that I’ve watched.

Kudzu is an invasive plant species that is taking over the south. Really it is kind of an annoying plant that grows everywhere and is impervious to all attempts to eradicate it. Along comes a “well meaning” chemical company which develops a poison that they can use to kill off the annoying plant. The movie starts off with a plane flying over fields of the stuff spraying the poison over the fields of the plants It doesn’t go as they planned though. Instead of killing the Kudzu it kicks it into overdrive and the plant gets into people killing them and turning them into Kudzu Zombies! The people they kill become Kudzu Zombies as well. Okay that is sort of cool.

The first thing that I feel the need to point out is meat pies in horror movies never end well. Okay the meat pies are just part of the conflict between some of the characters and don’t create the zombies, but still it was funny. The characters are decently fleshed out and have backstories that give them some depth. Though we do get a lot of throwaway characters as well they are there only to augment the story and serve as zombie chow. We get some genuinely funny dialogue that borders on politically incorrect but fits well in a movie with a bunch of gun toting rednecks. Don’t’ worry though we also get a touch of exploitation with the lesbian couple that enjoys making out early on, so it isn’t all God and Pickups in this one! Back to the dialogue maybe the best line in the movie is a crack about having more fun than Richard Simmons watching Brokeback Mountain.

The effects work is a mixed bag for me. The feature zombie looks cool and does some damage. None of the gore is very explicit, but there is a lot of on-screen blood and bite effects are executed pretty well. We also get a decent bit of gut munching with fake ribs and intestines galore. Heck there is even
The featured zombie is great!
a zombie clown, which is always a plus. The filmmakers do a good job making many of the feature zombies unique looking and even those in the background have shoots of plants sticking out of them which is a nice detail. Remember they are animated by the Kudzu. When the best part of your zombie movie are the zombies you have done something right.

I think things do break down towards the end and whenever the big fight sequences happen. Low budget filmmakers rely way too much on CGI effects work and that always makes the movie look cheap and personally annoys the hell out of me. Here we get a lot of bullet hits that all have that same generic look, some mayhem with a machete that is the same blood splatter effect again and again, and finally the big explosions that simply can’t be pulled off on a budget. The filmmakers had a decent cast, a cool twist to the zombie story, neat looking zombies, and most importantly characters that were interesting. You could have been fine just focusing on those rather than try to make a movie you can’t afford. That was a bummer.

In spite of my disappointment with the CGI I’m still going to recommend this one. The good listed above far outweighs the bad. It isn’t until the end where they probably felt the need for a big finish that things go sideways. Until then this is one of the better independent zombie movies I’ve seen in a while.

© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer

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