Cool, but still mostly same-old, same-old. It tells the Zombie story like I've never seen, with a fresh look. Even Romero's 'Diary of the Dead' didn't break any new ground that the Master himself hasn't already broken. The only thing that particularly disappoints me is the marketing failure. But when you look closer, it's pretty clear that they do it on purpose, and just when you wonder if they actually 'mean it', they hit you with another joke, and the show goes on. It just took Zombies to the 'Blair Witch Project' level. Synopsis Turning the zombie film on its head, this film is an oddball comedy from the perspective of the brain munching monsters themselves.
Some of the plot points feel a little contrived and the humour is occasionally too juvenile to be genuinely funny. Except they don't know it. Their confusion is quickly compounded by an encounter with Nick Steele Colby French , who has also been zombified but insists that they have all been transformed into 'supersoldiers' whilst everyone else in the city has been infected by an inferior brand of the same chemical in fact, no one else has been affected. I was definitely a part of that, my ballot was marked Excellent before I left my seat. If there is a downside to this film, it's that sometimes it takes itself too seriously.
They riff off the old Black and White Romero stuff, then switch into Color when the heroes are 'Zombified'. Four twenty-somethings spending time in the bowling alley where Tim Michael Terry works are unfortunate enough to eat soft-serve ice-cream composed of beer and the toxic waste from a military experiment gone wrong, subsequently die, and wake up as zombies. The whole movie is told through the eyes of the Zombies themselves, but as they see each other, not as the world sees them. Turning the zombie film on its head, this film is an oddball comedy from the perspective of the brain munching monsters themselves. I'll say no more, you have to see it yourself. A Zombie movie from the perspective of the Zombies, simply brilliant.
Actually, it's a combination of the two, one in black and white apeing off the classic Romero flicks and the other in color. It's fun to watch and it looks like it was fun to make. At times it is laugh-out loud funny but at others the humour falls flat, or is just a little bit lame. To cut to the chase it was worth every penny, and probably more. As far as I'm aware, 'Wasting Away' did not get a theatrical release over here and were it not for Fopp and their avid promotion of smaller independent films I would probably ever have heard of it.
So watch it, enjoy it, and pass it on to ensure it gets the recognition it deserves. I'm a huge Zombie film fan, thought I'd seen them all, every little twist, turn, variation, etc. So much so that I found out recently it won the Audience Award. Be on the lookout, hopefully someone smart will pick it up. The rest of the flick plays out switching back and forth for great comic effect. And when 'Shaun of the Dead' came out, that kind of closed the book on Zombie Comedy for me. Before I get too carried away I should point out that this film isn't perfect.
Director Matthew Kohnen bravely tackles the zombie perspective and all the problems that come along with it sample problem: if living human beings see zombies, as slow, lurching and groaning, how do zombies see us? Face it, Horror fans, it's gone stale. The plot races along fast enough that the audience is never bored, but well-paced enough that we have time to get to know the characters and meditate on the ridiculous situation they are in. Presumably the filmmakers must have had to cut corners to keep within their meagre budget but it's hard to see where they did so and this look of the film easily competes with higher-budget studio fare. Simply put, this is a fantastic little film. . Also, while the acting is mainly strong, particularly in French and Davis' performances, in other places it is weak or wooden. This is a strong directorial debut from Matthew Kohnen, a filmmaker whose other credits seem to mainly consist of clerical or technical jobs, and I will certainly be looking out for more of his work.
Saw this little Indy gem at Screamfest where it won the Audience Award for Best Feature. It's refreshing, original, gleefully gross and most of all, it's fun. But at the end of the day, these flaws are not only eclipsed by the positives, they even add to the film somewhat, making it more likable because of its imperfections. It's got 'instant classic' written all over it. The dialogue is rife with humour and the actors sell it perfectly. It's a Zombie Genre movie that manages to do what no other Zombie film has done in a while.
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