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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Zombie Spring Breakers (2018)




The zombie marathon continues with this oddly named flick. When I was digging thru my Amazon Prime list I noticed Zombie Spring Breakers. With a name like that I figured I would either see a crazy fun flick or at least be able to tear into a piece of garbage, which can also be fun. I didn’t really get either.

The movie is set in a world where a zombie outbreak has occurred but has been contained. You get the occasional flare up here and there, but it is more like a disease than the end of the world. They even have pamphlets on how to protect yourself in case you encounter a zombie. Here we are introduced to our three main characters. Jim, Alex, and Az are on holiday and end up heading to a club run by Karl. To make his club different and popular Karl puts on “live” shows with zombies. Of course, things go sideways, and the living dead get loose. Combined with a shipment that got away and crawled up on the beaches the island is soon covered in zombies. The boys and some friends they meet along the way spend the rest of the movie trying to escape.

I didn’t like this movie, but I also didn’t hate it. There are attempts at humor that work sometimes and fall flat other times. The juvenile rantings of the Big Jim character are part adolescent fantasy and part annoying teenager that needs slapped upside the head. If it weren’t for how likeable the actor, Ed Kear, is in the role it would be unbearable. The rest of the movie is filled with the sorts of stereotypes that you would expect in a flick like this. They come off more as caricatures than they do fleshed out characters. You have ditzy girls, a bad ass girl, the sweet girl, the jackass (Big Jim), and the bad guy that keeps surviving until he doesn’t.

Zombie Spring Breakers brings nothing new or interesting to the table. Not only does it fail at the comedy, but when it tries to have a heart it also falls flat on its face. One of the girls takes pity on Big Jim when he gets emotional and shows some vulnerability. Afterwards instead of being the nice guy we saw earlier he goes right back to the jerk that he was before. That is the kind of thing that just kills your story. The audience is supposed to like your characters, or at least a couple of them at some point during the proceedings. Don’t screw that up.

The zombies do look decent
The makeup of the zombies is decent looking. Simple latex, but some effort is made to make them look different. Nothing worse than seeing a zombie movie where the same couple of latex appliances are stuck on all the extras. Trust me I’ve seen that, and it sucks! Sadly, all of the kills here are CGI. It is done well enough to not be overly cheesy, but at the same time not be fun at all. You really have to go one way or the other. Mediocre CGI is boring and miserable.

I know that it seems as if I hated Zombie Spring Breakers, but I didn’t. Ed Kear has enough charisma to make Big Jim just likeable enough to engage the audience. I did also say that some of the jokes do land and there is one particular gag that they setup earlier in the movie that pays off big time in the end. Sadly, there were also times where I was looking at my watch wondering if this would be over soon. In the end what we get is a mediocre entry in the zombie subgenre that isn’t memorable either in a good or bad way. I can’t recommend checking this one out unless you need to see every zombie movie that comes out. If that is you maybe you need to find a new hobby…


© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer

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