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Night Of The Living Jews (2007)

Theatrical Poster #2
Genres:
Horror, Horror Comedy, Parody / Spoof, Religious Comedy, Zombie Film
Director:
Oliver Noble Oliver Noble
Starring:
Nathan Earl Nathan Earl
Alenandra Angeloch Alenandra Angeloch
Sierra DeCrosta Sierra DeCrosta
Valerie Fanarjian Valerie Fanarjian
Adam Forrest Adam Forrest

5.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Tristan
Added: July 05, 2009
I know absolutely zilch about the Jewish religion. I know they have the little hats and the curly sideburns. That's where my knowledge ends. Call me ignorant, but that's just - okay yeah, I'm ignorant. Now since Night of the Living Dead came out some 40 years ago, there have been a million knockoffs on the title. Night of the Living Dorks, Night of the Living Bread, Flight of the Living Dead, and my personal favourite, Night of the Giving Head (review to come soon). Night of the Living Jews doesn't exactly fit the naming scheme by being overly clever or witty, but it does give you a pretty good idea what the movie is going to be about. When sorting through the millions of short films out there, nothing makes you happier than a title that is short, sweet, and to the point.

As I said before, I am clueless when it comes to Jewish religion, therefore I didn't understand a lot of what was going on, nor the names of certain rituals and whatnot. To save you all a butchered synopsis, I'm going to - *ahem* - borrow the one straight from the film's website and toss in what I do know from the film. On the first night of Passover the residents of a remote Jewish bungalow colony are turned into flesh eating zombies by matzoh with a dark history. In the hunt for human flesh, the zombies descend on an unsuspecting family in their quiet farmhouse. The loving mother (Alexandra Angeloch), father (Phillip Levine), along with their rascally son James (Adam Forrest) and naively seductive teenage daughter Sally (Sierra DeCrosta), have to tap into their deepest survival instincts to battle Hasidic zombies, killer payos (that's right, those little curly side-burns), and antler-sporting zombie rabbis. It's really the beginning of the end when a fairly tall but not so dark stranger (Nate Earl), who knows the situation all too well, miraculously appears. Journey through their hellish night of terror, romance, and a frighteningly non-kosher diet.

So as you might have gathered from this synopsis, it's Night of the Living Dead meets standard Jewish religion. It's really nothing too fancy in terms of plot, it's just another way to look at the zombie outbreak idea. Personally, I thought it was quite creative. I'm sure people of the Jewish religion would find it far funnier than I did, but even for a guy with nothing more than a TV education in Judaism, I found it pretty damn good. Right from the start of the film, you're immediately drawn in. Cinematographer Sam Falconi obviously has some experience behind the camera, as he was able to capture the same look and feel that Romero was able to get in his 1968 film. The misty fields and hazy back lighting gave the film a very eerie atmosphere. The actors turned in solid performances on all fronts. I was quite surprised by this, as films of this nature usually fall victim to a terrible cast of non-actors. This wasn't the case here however, as everyone seemed to handle their roles quite well. Of course, what would any film be without its background score. This was probably my favourite part of the film, as it provided great tension in some scenes, and a playful campiness in others. A perfect example would be the opening sequence, where we see a gay bear police officer investigating a call. The cheesy sound effects and guitar riffs really set the tone for the rest of the film.

I found this film to be very refreshing in a market swamped with low budget zombie nonsense. It was original, creative and very funny; the kind of film that wins awards. Remember a few years back, when Romero's short film contest offered the winner a chance to have their film on the DVD release of Diary of the Dead? Had this film been created in time, it would have won that contest, hands down. My only beef with it would be the run time. Clocking in at just under 20 minutes, I was disappointed when it ended. I wanted more. Director Oliver Noble certainly knows his way around a camera and how to produce a quality feature on a shoestring budget. I would recommend this one to any fan of the zombie genre, or anyone in the mood for a quick movie that looks great and has some good laughs. Oh, and did I mention there was nudity? Definite winner in my book.

9/10.
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Chad #1: Chad - added 07/08/2009, 10:09 AM
It's a winner in my book, too. If only we could get a feature-length version of this.... ahh well, one can hope. 9/10.
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