Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What if your Neighbors were Zombies? Well, more than they already are...

D. Various
No Distributor as of Yet

This low budget anthology approach to the zombie film manages to do the impossible, find a fresh and original approach to the undead. Let’s face it, zombies are played out. Even George Romero has hit a brick wall when it comes to films about the zombie plague, but here comes a relatively low-budgeted flick from South Korea to finally find the fresh blood in those bloated and rotting corpses.

After a near brilliant animated opening that explains how the virus was unleashed from experiments in trying to cure AIDS we are plunged headlong into the short stories that make up the film, The first one is called CRACK about a young dork man who lives alone all day building action figures who is somehow bitten by some sort of zombie living  in a crack under his bed. Comedic, really disturbing and disgusting hijinks ensue. If cannibalism or feet upset you this segment will not sit well with you. The next segment is called RUNAWAY and is much more serious with a young couple dealing with how their relationship has been affected over the yearlong affliction. The time they have spent with the man slowly rotting away since he has become a zombie.Their relationship has now hit a dangerous snag now he has hit a point were the virus is making the hunger unpredictable.

MOTHER I LOVE YOU deals with the lengths one character will go to keep her loved one with her even though she is indeed a zombie. This segment is easily the most savage and dark of the bunch with a young woman keeping her zombie mother in her apartment. The lengths she has to go to are very difficult for her and the viewer to endure. AGE OF VACCINE deals with the doctors running with an unregistered vaccine that is actually nothing of the sort. In reality it is a suped up accident that turns people into more of a "super zombie" and the rescue mission that stumbles upon them. AFTER THAT...I'M SORRY hits on the unique concept of what life would be like after a person might be cured of being the living dead. This is the most politically outward of the movie, dealing with racism, societies view of the "other" class-ism and ultimately how we process "revenge.  PAINKILLER is sort of a final wrap up of the whole piece that puts it all in perspective.

What makes THE NEIGHBOR ZOMBIE so great is that it has a very different point of view than the average zombie horror movie there days. Those films fall into two very distinct camps now. The Romero inspired political message horror/zombie film or the RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD/SHAUN OF THE DEAD inspired comedy hipster postmodernism take on the whole shebang. Very few other films fall outside of these lines. Only something as offbeat as say PONTYPOOL has the guts to do something different. This however really honestly does have a n unqiue vision and point of view. Yes the film is funny, and yes the movie is a political satire. But it is more often than not a film about people, a film about how relationships either work or fail, about how society reacts when relationships are put under stress and how our personal interactions are really the core of what life is all about.

It is a rare film that can work as a political polemic, a funny satire, a truly scary horror film and a heart breaking look at family and relationships. THE NEIGHBOR ZOMBIE manages to nail all of these and more. Innovated in design, exciting in execution, and digs into your brain to leave you satiated. Now if the movie can just get real distribution we will have something.

Review © Andrew Copp

1 comment:

  1. Excellent review. I'm honestly burned out on zombies right now but this actually sounds like a truly riveting take.