Everything is perfect in the idyllic town of Port Gamble, the air is sweet, the people are nice, and you can still get a nice piece of that old Americana kind of life. That is until a zombie outbreak forces neighbor to turn on neighbor and religion to reign supreme.
It’s no secret that yours truly is a huge fan of everything zombie, well unless of course you count all the terrible zombie flicks I’ve watched over the years that have made me want to scratch my eyes out and leave them in the cats bowl so I could never be tempted to use them again. Seriously, I love zombies, all kinds of zombies, but in my quest to see as many zombie films as I possibly can I have seen some really awful flicks. Still, I keep checking out anything with the word zombie in it. I can’t help but feel a certain sense of kinship with my undead brothers and sisters, and so it always gives me a great big smile to watch a zombie flick like Zombies of Mass Destruction that does the genre justice.
Our undead movie of the night starts off with two people coming home to their ultra conservative town of Port Gamble. The story focuses on Frida, the town’s one and only female Arab resident, and Tom, who is coming home to introduce his boyfriend Lance to his mother, a woman who doesn’t really approve of homosexuality. When the zombie outbreak reaches the small town, all eyes in the highly religious, ultra conservative community turn toward the outsiders of the town, i.e. those they believe could be Islamic terrorists or those not adhering to the tenements of the Bible. That of course means Frida (who the town keeps referring to as Iraqi even with her repeated correction that she is Persian), as some immediately take the “this has to be the work of a terrorist” route and who better to pin this on than the one Middle Eastern woman in the town who showed back up right before the outbreak began (she had recently been away from Port Gamble for a while). Stuck in the middle of all this as well are Tom and Lance who have to hide their homosexuality from the town’s religious folk since everyone is looking for any scapegoat they can find. As the outbreak takes over the entire town and leaves only a handful of survivors, it’s up to the few remaining living to escape or end up as Zombies of Mass Destruction themselves.
ZMD works great on several different levels; it’s funny, gory, and engrossing. For this being Kevin Hamedani’s first movie, I can’t wait to see what he does with another horror flick in his sights. Everything works great, including the social commentary done in both a humorous and serious way. The way in which the people of Port Gamble are so quick to jump to conclusions about Frida being a terrorist just because of the color of her skin was a very obvious comment on the over blown fear of terrorists so prevalent in modern society today. It is ridiculous how quick some people are to blame an entire religion on the actions of some nut jobs using said religion to justify their awful actions. I also loved that while the whole town is falling apart they still have time to argue about whether a man and a man should be able to marry. Who cares guys? You’ve got bigger problems to deal with. Again, a good comment on the modern state of the Union. The whole country is in a rut, but we still have time to argue about the “morality” of same sex marriage. Hey, we’ve got the fallout from foreign wars we’re still cleaning up, a failing economy, and so many other problems that two dudes marrying doesn’t really matter to me, I think Peter Griffen said it the best “if they want to be as miserable as the rest of us married heterosexuals, than let them“. Anyway, enough with my personal politics and on with the movie review.
They do most everything right. The acting is great, the story keeps you interested, and the effects are top notch. Some of the greats include Frida’s dad going crazy and slaughtering everything moving, a guy getting his face ripped off, and Tom’s mom having her eyeball pop out…which they in turn throw back at her for the woman to eat. You won’t be disappointed with the gore you get to see either, the effects are some of the best I’ve seen in a zombie film, perfectly showing us some eviscerating, limb ripping, blood gushing action. There is one thing that brings the movie down and it’s the one liners, while the humor is funny and I found myself laughing for the most part, the one liners become a little too much after a while and you wish they would stop just for a bit so that the next line could be a little bit funnier.
Still my one complaint aside, I really enjoyed this movie and I think you will too.
The Undead Review
Directed By: Kevin Hamedani (Junk)
Starring: Janette Armand (Love and War, Junk), Doug Fahl (Punch, Junk), and Cooper Hopkins (Junk)
Released By: Typecast Pictures and After Dark Films
Release Year: 2009
Release Type: Limited Theatrical Release
MPAA Rating: Rated R