Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review of Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!


Title:  Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!

Date: 2008


When an unorthodox drug experiment conducted by a mad scientist transforms the residents of a small town into flesh-eating zombies, a motley crew of exotic dancers, pimps, hookers, and johns are forced to take refuge inside a seedy strip club.

I’ve seen enough direct-to-DVD releases to be sufficiently jaded, especially when it comes to movies that portray themselves as zombie comedies, or zomcoms.  Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! was a pleasant surprise.  

The plot is basic – strippers, hookers, johns, and a pimp are trapped in The Grindhouse when a zombie outbreak occurs in the parking lot after one of the local street walkers smokes meth tainted with an anti-cancer/cell regenerating experimental drug.  The characters are predictable – the stripper with a heart of gold, the stripper with an IQ equal to her bra size (not that she wears one), the stripper who is hardened by her experiences, a pimp who is about as intimidating as a constipated Chihuahua, etc.  And none of the actors/actresses will be accepting an Academy Award in the foreseeable future (however, Jessica Barton is an FMH model and Hollie Winnard is a former Playboy Playmate, so that’s enough credentials for me).

Yet Director Jason Murphy pulls it together and makes it work.  The plot is fast-paced and entertaining.  Murphy introduces the first zombie within the first fifteen minutes, and from there it quickly becomes a munchfest.  The movie doesn’t try to be cerebral or socially relevant.  It’s 82 minutes of hookers being turned into happy meals and some impressive gore shots.

One of the factors that made Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! work for me was the dry humor.  Murphy was smart enough not try and play the movie for laughs, instead opting for a sardonic wit more in keeping with the movie’s tone.  I got a kick out of the running gag in which patrons pull up in the parking lot expecting to see a show, only to be set upon by the increasing horde of zombies.  I also give Murphy credit for his ending.  I don’t want to give away the last few minutes and spoil it.  Suffice it to say, he figured out a unique way to deal with the mass of the living dead that gives the CGI folks plenty to play with (even if the effects are low budget).   

It’s not Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead, but Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! is worth the rental.  This is definitely a movie to watch Friday night with your horror buddies, pizza, and a few six packs.  I’d give it three out of five rotting zombie heads. 

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