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Zom-Coms

posted Dec 12, 2015, 11:09 AM by Vu Nguyen


There's no denying that zombies are the hot, especially in television right now: The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, iZombie, Z Nation, and to a lesser extent Ash vs Evil Dead.... but with four "Zom-Com" releases this year, expect Zom-Com as a whole new genre.

Be on the lookout for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in 2016. Zombie Jane Austen is turning in her grave right now.


NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEB (2015)
nightofthelivingdeb.com

Night of the Living Deb is a delightful "Zom-Rom-Com" (Zombie Romantic Comedy) film starring Maria Thayer as local camerawoman Deborah and Michael Cassidy as Ryan.

The film is often compared to Shaun of the Dead (you may recall that we saw the original screening in 2004), and deservingly so, as Night of the Living Deb is just as smart and funny. However, there are some stupid/unbelievable moments, like Deb thinks dead people need to have their eyes opened. Come on, Deb can quote Back to the Future and Henry Longfellow, but is clueless on what to do with dead bodies? I understand it was to set up the electrifying Zombie scene, but still, I would have come up with a better solution than the closing eyelids thing.

Anyway, with only a modest $100k budget, thanks to kickstarter.com, they were still able to make a thoroughly enjoyable film. The film premiered at the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles and DVDs/Blurays were made available to fans (or "Debbers") in 2015, but no word yet on making the film available to the public.

Also, Twin Peaks fans will be pleased to know that Laura Palmer's dad, Ray Wise, is in the film.

Synopsis:

Deb Clarington is a hardworking 30-year-old gal, not a stickler for hygiene and holding a terrible track record with men. That all changes when she wakes up on the Fourth of July in the apartment of the most attractive man she’s ever seen. Unfortunately neither she nor Ryan can explain exactly why they spent the night together, and there is some debate over how much even happened.

An awkward walk of shame turns even uglier when they discover that most of the town has contracted a helluva zombie virus overnight. In their fight for survival, they are forced back into each other’s arms – literally! Now they must find Ryan’s ex-girlfriend, paranoid father and apocalypse-survivalist brother and escape town… without killing each other in the process!





SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (2015)
scoutsandzombiesmovie.com

I keep thinking "Scout" or "Scott" as a person, not as an organization. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is a Zom-Com about how three scouts friends trying to survive the zombie outbreak in their area.

The film is also a coming-of-age story about friendship and love. Personally, I would have wanted the lead character Ben to go for Denise, the stripper cocktail waitress, but he ended with Kendall.

I also had big problem with the film's introduction: a three or four minutes of the janitor lip-syncing to Iggy Azalea's "Black Widow". It was just unnecessary and doesn't really setup the tone of the movie at all. What it was, it felt like a bad music video, promoting Azalea. I would have cut that out and just went straight into the gruesome CPR scene.

Synopsis:

What could possibly go wrong when three buddies (Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan) decide to join the Boy Scouts? When bloodthirsty, undead ghouls invade their once-peaceful town, it's up to kindhearted Ben, quick-witted Carter and class clown Augie to save the day. With help from Denise (Sarah Dumont), a beautiful but tough cocktail waitress, the boys must put their scouting skills to the ultimate test to save mankind and earn their zombie-killing badges.





COOTIES (2014)
cootiesmovie.com

The 2014 horror/comedy film Cooties just recently got released on VOD and DVD/Bluray release (December 1, 2015) via Lionsgate.

The biggest star in the film is Elijah Wood (if you don't count Hurley from Lost) who was a substitute teacher at Fort Chicken elementary school when a zombie outbreak hit the children of the school because of some infected chicken nuggets.

I think my biggest problem with the film is that killing children (no matter if they're already dead/zombies) isn't funny, no matter how gruesome or hilarious they make it out to be. Clearly the film is trying to be funny, but I never really laughed (not even once) during the film.

Synopsis:

From the twisted minds of Leigh Whannell (co-creator of Saw and Insidious) and Ian Brennan (co-creator of "Glee"), COOTIES is a horror comedy with unexpected laughs and unapologetic thrills. When a cafeteria food virus turns elementary school children into killer zombies, a group of misfit teachers must band together to escape the playground carnage.





Zアイランド (2015)
z-island.jp

This Japanese zombie comedy Z Island (Zアイランド) by director Hiroshi Shinagawa came out in Japan earlier this year. I'm not sure why they decided that the English title will be re-named as Deadman Inferno, but I believe that is now the official English title. Usually these title changes are due to conflicting or similar titles (for example, the awful Ewan McGregor film The Island).

I've already previously mentioned several time that my all-time favorite director is Takashi Miike, and this film seemed very similar in tone and looks of Miike's Dead or Alive series (with the final film, Dead or Alive: Final, being the craziest in the trilogy). The scenes with the Japanese school girls reminded me of another Japanese Zombie film Stacy (a story about Japanese teenage girls becoming mindless zombies... dubbed "Stacy" by the military). Also, it's the only Yakuza Zombie film I can think of right now.

No word yet on a North American DVD/Bluray release for Deadman Inferno, but fans of wacky Japanese films should keep this on your radar.

Synopsis:

Hiroya Munakata (Sho Aikawa) is the leader of the yakuza group Munakata-gumi. After 10 years since the big fight, Hiroya Munakata's non blood-related younger brother Takashi (Shingo Tsurumi) is released from prison, but Takashi’s daughter, Hyuga (Maika Yamamoto) says she does not want to meet her father and runs away from home.

Hiroya, Takashi and Hiroya’s subordinate Shinya (Red Rice) go to Zeni Island where Hyuga is headed to. Something they never expected is waiting for them.





WARM BODIES (2013)
warmbodiesthemovie.com

I wanted to include this 2013 film Warm Bodies because it fits in this Zom-Com-Rom genre. I only recently saw it when I purchased it for a sale price of $5 on Bluray earlier this year. Not one of my favorite films, but considering I also got the Slipcase Cardboard and Ultra-Violet copy, I was pretty happy with the purchase.

The film tells the story of the Zombie's perspective. The "Romeo & Juliet" influence is fairly obvious: the two rivaling "families" of the humans and zombies and their names are "R" and "Julie". I guess if they are going to steal, they might as well steal from the best.

Synopsis:

A terrible plague has left the planet's population divided between zombies and humans. An unusual zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult) sees his walking-dead brethren attacking a living woman named Julie (Teresa Palmer) and rescues her. Julie sees that R is different from the other zombies, and the pair embark on an unusual relationship. As their bond grows and R becomes more and more human, a chain of events unfolds that could transform the entire lifeless world.



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