ZMD: Zombies Of Mass Destruction (2009)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
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Overall Rating 56%
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An idyllic island town is under attack by that most invasive of pests: zombies! Port Gamble is being overrun with braineaters, and the people seem powerless to stave them off. But wait, a rag tag band of rebels is trying to turn the tide and push the invading hordes of undead back. --TMDb
Janette Armand
Janette Armand
Doug Fahl
Doug Fahl
Cooper Hopkins
Cooper Hopkins
Russell Hodgkinson
Russell Hodgkinson
Cornelia Duryée
Cornelia Duryée
Review by Chad
Added: May 11, 2010
It seems like Shaun of the Dead is the go-to movie for references when it comes to zomedies, and why not? That film set the blueprint for combining zombies, legitimate horror, and jokes into one film, and thanks to the massive success that it received, imitators were sure to follow. Some of them have been enjoyable, but most of them were a chore to get through due to the filmmakers completely missing what made Shaun work so well. I sort of expected to place Zombies of Mass Destruction in the latter group prior to sitting down with it, but surprisingly, it was an entertaining film. By no means will Shaun be giving up its place at the top of the list, but fans of that film will enjoy this one nonetheless.

Taking place on the small island known as Port Gamble, the film picks up with the obligatory character introductions. We've got Iranian-American Frida Abbas (Janette Armand), a young lass who is taking a break from college while dealing with her old-fashioned Muslim father Ali (Ali Hamedani) and the local good ol' boy Joe Miller (Russell Hodgkinson) who suspects that anyone with brown skin is a terrorist. On the other side of the field, we have Tom (Doug Fahl) and Lance (Cooper Hopkins), a gay couple who have come to the island so that Tom can finally come out of the closet and announce his lifestyle choice. That's not going to go over very well with the local conservatives, especially when both Mayor Burton (James Mesher) and Reverend Haggis (Bill Johns) consider it a mortal sin - in fact, Haggis has a so-called "Straight Camp" set up in his office for the occasional guy who likes a little "meat" on their plate.

The town is certainly full of colorful characters, but they will have to put aside all of their differences once the zombie outbreak occurs... and trust me when I say that it occurs with zero warning. Seriously, we're meeting the characters, and then the town is crawling with the undead in the blink of an eye. Insert massive amounts of carnage, gallons of blood, and a hearty helping of laughs and you have yourself a movie.

The characters are what really seal the deal on this film, as truthfully, I had a blast watching them interact with one another. Some of the acting may have been a little spotty, but the writing was top-notch and rife with self-deprecating yet not downright insulting humor. The gay couple in particular made the movie, bouncing classic lines off of one another while making the "red" characters completely uncomfortable in the process and keeping the audience in stitches. Consider the following exchange:

Tom: "Mom, I'm gay."
Tom: "I mean it, I suck dick!"
Lance: "pfft, barely."
(something drops in the kitchen)
Lance: "If it makes you feel any better, he's the top. I'm a total bottom."

Now consider that they have this exchange while the mom is in the kitchen turning into a zombie at that very moment, and you'll get an idea as to how the humor plays out in this film. Similar jokes and details surround the Iranian girl, and the humor does tread deep into black territory from time to time. For example, there's this one scene with a little girl of only six or seven years who... well, I won't spoil it, but let's just say that it completely caught me off guard and brought a huge smile to my face. After this scene, all bets are off as to what can and what will happen, and a film that can keep me on my toes like that is certainly alright by me.

Setting all of that aside, Zombies of Mass Destruction also works fairly well as a traditional zombie film. There's nothing terribly original here as the story is your typical "zombie outbreak occurs in a small town, survivors band together to make it through the night, casualties occur on both sides" fare, but in my ever so humble opinion, that formula works in a zombie flick and it certainly worked here. Zombie purists will be pleased as punch to see that the filmmakers gave us shambling zombies with great makeup effects, gallons of blood, innovative kills, and as far as I could tell, zero CGI work. The characters made the film, but giving them a damned fine horror film to interact in made the deal that much sweeter.

If you couldn't tell, I enjoyed the film - I enjoyed it quite a lot, actually. I can't rightfully call it a perfect film as there were a few minor problems along the way (bad lighting here, an editing blunder there, a few jokes that fell flat, etc.), but the overall product was definitely enjoyable. It's not the next Shaun, but you'll still get a kick out of this one if you enjoyed Shaun as much as I did. 8/10.
Crispy #1: Crispy - added 03/22/2011, 05:07 AM
Absolute garbage. The zombie half was spectacular, but the comedy half was simply an hour and a half of right wing caracatures. Pass.
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