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Monday, October 22, 2018

Zombie Town (2007)




The last two entries in the zombie marathon have been from the early seventies. I thought it would be fun to check out this much newer flick that I remember enjoying a lot. I haven’t seen it in a few years, but Zombie Town surprised the heck out of me the first time I sat down to watch. Time to check it out again.

We are introduced to a pair of brothers who are running their deceased father’s gas station in a small Vermont town. Jake and Denton get a call to tow an abandoned pickup truck off of a fire road. When they arrive, the brothers recognize the truck and decide to check a hunting cabin to look for the owners rather than just strand them in the woods. That is where they meet up with the first zombie that attacks them and bites Denton, who also breaks his leg. Jake goes for help and brings back the sheriff, as well as his ex-girlfriend Alex. But Denton and one of the other bodies is missing.

Now of course the missing people are zombies and headed towards town. Before things get into full swing Alex and Jake also pick up local smart-ass Randy as the third person in their little zombie killing/town saving crew. The three of them eventually figure out the dead are being reanimated by parasites and that like regular slugs’ salt will kill them. Let the good times roll!

The plot here is familiar and solid. They don’t try and be overly clever, instead getting to the action right away even before our main characters are introduced. When we do meet them they represent the three most common stereotypical characters you get in horror. The reluctant hero, the love interest, and the comic relief. That might be an oversimplification, but it is accurate. They act exactly like you would expect and that is okay. Why? Because the movie is well made, and the filmmakers know what kind of story they are telling.

Decent gore and a good cast makes for a lot of fun!
The cast is decent, there are good jokes/lines throughout, the zombies are decent looking (more on that later), and the pacing is brisk from start to finish. My favorite line from the movie is when the boys break into the bingo hall and see the carnage. Randy drops the line “God Damn Grandma Massacre.” Not everything has to reinvent the genre and be “artsy” for it to be entertaining and this is entertaining!  

The zombies in Zombie Town are pretty good. The background zombies are a bit generic, but the featured ones look cool. These are all fresh kills so there aren’t too many mangled undead wandering about, but the living take quite a beating. Legs get cut off, throats ripped out, heads get shot, and zombies melt in salt. Much of this is practical effects work with CGI being very limited. That alone makes me love Zombie Town.

Buried in the midst of the string of bad zombie flicks that came out in the first decade of the new millennium this is one of the few that I think will have legs. It doesn’t rely overly on digital effects and has a decent story with a likeable cast. I can’t think of anything not to enjoy about the movie. Consider this one recommended.


© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer

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