Saturday 21 December 2013

Zombies of Capitalism (2013)

Director: Mikey Campbell
Stars: Kevin Hornsby, Jackson and Jacob Thompson
This film was a submission to one of the IFP Phoenix film challenges in 2013. Here's an index to my reviews of 2013 submissions.
This may be the most half hearted, pointlessly stupid, waste of a zombie movie I've ever seen and I've seen a heck of a lot of them, given that I've been wading through submissions to horror film festivals for years. A few years ago, zombies wrested the crown of subgenre du jour from vampires, partly because everyone knows a bunch of friends willing to slather on latex for a day's shoot and partly because you don't need acting talent to play a shambling corpse. One of the better reasons that zombies took over the world is because you can write any story you like in a zombie apocalypse and send any message. The walking dead work great as metaphors, so it seemed like every week brought a new one. George A Romero started it, but everyone else caught up and we saw zombies representing gays, blacks, slaves, even domestic help. This film wants to have a metaphor but can't be bothered to think one up. There's a visible point where the cast realise that the Emperor has no clothes and literally bury faces in hands.

Admittedly, director Mikey Campbell and writer Jacob Thompson were saddled with a prop without much potential: a political book. That they found one to include is the biggest success of the picture, but their imaginations apparently deserted them. The best use for it that they could come up with is for one survivor of the fresh zombie apocalypse to decide that it's the best weapon he can find in a garage. It's not even a hardback; he'd have been better off with the fuzzy dice in the car. And then, as if there was no chance of a single imaginative idea anywhere in the room, they make it an instant cure: the merest touch from Gotcha Capitalism and zombies are completely cured in seconds! Seriously, a team made up of people from a community college cinema society couldn't imagine anything more substantial to fit into a zombie movie framework? At least we can see and hear what's going on. Everything's in sync. The opening title is even pretty cool. But the bad smell on this one doesn't come from the zombies.

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