Film Review Rerun for the Fourth of July: Zombies of Mass Destruction

A Happy Fourth of July to all — and try not to blow yourself up with fireworks!  The best horror stories are in books and movies, not real life.  So along these lines, and because it’s summer, I thought we might celebrate with a rerun, a movie review originally posted here on April 16 2011, for what could be a patriotic film if you look at it right, ZOMBIES OF MASS DESTRUCTION.  In the spirit of full disclosure I should note that I watched the film again myself earlier this year and concluded it’s still one of those that doesn’t really improve with a second viewing.  However it’s quite good enough the first time and maybe that’s all one need ask of a movie.

So, setting the dial on the Wayback Machine . . .

. . . Last night instead of watching a DVD I decided to see what the cable company had “On Demand” in their free movie area and ran across a sort of interesting one, ZOMBIES OF MASS DESTRUCTION.  These were like the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD zombies (although the movie is played for comedy), flesh-eating shamblers whose bite infects the victim turning him/her into a zombie too (a slow process involving eyes starting to bulge out — think Peter Lorre — and Zombiessuccessive darker and more disgusting layers of makeup), in this case caused by a disease introduced by Evil Mideastern Terrorists.

Fortunately (or through terrorist bad planning?) the affected town is on an island, allowing for easy quarantine, with a selection of semi-stereotyped denizens including:  buxom, dark-haired college girl Frida whose father came to America from Iran; the neighbor family headed by a redneck who a) keeps calling Frida an Iraqi, b) when they’re holed up in his basement and the TV announces the Mid-East connection, immediately ties her to a chair and when she protests that she’s a born American tests her by making her answer questions and sing the Star Spangled Banner (of which she gets all the words right, which he says is more than most high schoolers could do, concluding that therefore she must be an enemy agent because they would have made her memorize them), and c) prepares to torture her because that’s what “real Americans” are supposed to do; Frida’s over-strict father; her would-be rock artist/composer boyfriend (the complete orchestral version of his song “Frida” is played over the closing credits); two gay guys who’ve come to visit gay guy #1′s mother because gay guy #2 insists it’s time for #1 to come out of the closet and confess their love; a pro-business conservative mayor and a wishy-washy liberal schoolteacher-and-disliker-of-guns who’s running against him in the upcoming election; a well-meaning but zealous minister who keeps a cure-people-of-gayness machine in his church.  Some survive, most do not, and after — did they say it was “28 days”? — the disease, if not guns, clubs, knives, some kind of power tool, etc., has killed off all the zombies, the military decrees the survivors clean and the quarantine lifted, and everyone parties at the first annual we survived the zombies festival.  What fun!

Actually it is fun and, while it’s not on my list of DVDs to buy [full disclosure:  I subsequently got a good enough deal on a used one that I bought it anyway], if it should pop up on your TV I  recommend giving it a look.  (Prepare plenty of snacks to enjoy while the zombies make their own snacks of the local populace — it’s one of those that have gore effects but do a good job of making them comic.)

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  1. I liked the set-up so much, I didn’t think this film NEEDS any zombies. Weird and scary enough –like reality crap, to start with! But thanks for the rec! Maybe I’ll check it out, though I’m not a zombie movie fan.




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