The summer of 2008 saw the new HBO series True Blood run with the premise of having the typically scary, supernatural beings, known as vampires, be a part of normal, everyday life. This independent comedy, released July 8, 2008, on DVD, basically did the same thing, only with zombies.
It was made in the style of a mockumentary, which has been one of my favorite, cinematic styles. This is certainly not the first farce to normalize zombies. Fido (2006) did an excellent job of that, but this film is certainly the first to "Americanize" the walking dead in the modern ways you'd assume for any minority.
There have been countless immigrants who have come to the United States only to be assimilated. Here, you see zombies on skateboards, in convenience stores, playing in rock bands, some practicing law, and even some zombies having sex. Yes, there are instances of bigotry and discrimination against zombies, which leads to zombies fighting for their civil rights, as well as job placement and healthcare, to stop them from being marginalized, but generally they fit in.
Like with the Hispanic immigration and equality-for-homosexual movements, the issue of zombie civil rights, like the right for zombies to vote or marry, seems to be a growing, reasonable one.
The film focuses on two documentary filmmakers, one of which is John Solomon, played by John Solomon, who attempt to learn what the zombies are, why they're here, where they come from and what they really want. It's funny to see that these two filmmakers are not the best team. They argue over the method and the purpose of the film, but it's touching to watch as they grow on each other.
They talk to a zombie historian who shows them clips from George Romero's films but unlike Romero does more to explain the cause of zombism and how it's manifested in a spectral range like autism.
They also talk to actual, high-functioning zombies who are intelligent, apparently peaceful, and not interested in eating human flesh. Except, that's always a question. It's always a lingering fear. Are the zombies planning to eat us?
Director Grace Lee who also acts in the movie does a great job of balancing that fear with the overall satirical nature. I think it's one of the best indie comedies I've seen, if for no other reason than the explanation as to why Jesus loves zombies.
Five Stars out of Five
Not Rated but recommended for mature audiences
Running Time: 1 hr. and 30 mins.