Zombies of Mass Destruction DVD
DIRECTOR: Kevin Hamedani
STARRING: Janette Armand, Doug Fahl, Cooper Hopkins, Bill Johns, Russell Hodgkinson
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: March 23, 2010
For four straight years now, After Dark Horrorfest: 8 Films to Die For has been unleashed. Eight original horror films to quench your thirst for blood and gore and screams galore. Last year I was able to check out and review their third collection of horrors (Read: DVD Review: After Dark Horrorfest III: 8 Films To Die For), and was rather excited to check out their new slate this year! Instead of cramming every review into one mammoth review, this year we’ll take it one flick at a time, with this little opener stuck at the top of each one.
For the last of these 8 Films to Die For, I chose to save Zombies of Mass Destruction. The general idea of zombies — some form of infection spreading at a lightning pace and causing people to become animated corpses with an appetite for human flesh — is an almost fail proof one. The thought of everyone you know, everyone around you suddenly roaming the Earth in search of you and anyone like you to eat or infect is about as terrifying as it gets, and it pretty much writes itself from there. For these reasons, I assumed that this movie would be a guaranteed good time.
The movie takes place in the small town of Port Gamble, a former God-fearing town which has grown apart from its religious roots. Everything is as usual for the townsfolk, when one night some people seem to be acting a bit strange. While out on a date, an Iranian girl (who’s often associated with Iraq by the simpleton citizens of Port Gamble) named Frida (Janette Armand), witnesses a gruesome attack on her companion.
At the same time a gay man named Tom (Dough Fahl) who escaped the town years ago for the bright lights of New York , has returned with his lover, Lance (Cooper Hopkins), to come out to his dear mother. As he finally finds the courage to do so, his mother is unresponsive and acting rather odd. Moments later, she attacks her son, which the men think is due to the news at first, but it’s soon clear that something much worse is going on. They turn on the TV to discover that terrorists have unleashed a horrible virus on the small town, causing its people to turn into blood-thirsty zombies.
One of the things that caught my eye about this movie and led me to save it for last, was a comparison on the DVD case to none other than Shaun of the Dead. That being one of my all-time favorite movies, I had high hopes for Zombies of Mass Destruction. Despite the fact that I hadn’t seen the trailer and had a clear brain(ssssss) and no expectations going in, and knowing full well this was not going to be anywhere near Shaun, it still may have set the bar one notch too high.
This is not a movie that you should enter expecting a realistic and horrifying zombie story. It’s much more presented as a grindhouse feature, with endless amounts of way over-the-top dialogue and gore. It’s really one of the cheesiest movies I’ve ever seen, and this didn’t sit all that well with me hoping for a true zombie flick. Things like zombies (who can barely walk in their current state) having the strength to rip a human arm off with ease, or better yet, a human with the strength to rip off a not-too-deteriorated zombie’s head might not register too well with some viewers. Others may celebrate this insanity of it all. This all comes down to personal preference.
If you’re someone who digs movies like Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive or Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead movies, Zombies of Mass Destruction might just be right up your alley. it’s a movie that takes pride in taking everything it does to an extreme level, and by implementing terrorists and discrimination, it’s taken to a whole new level. In fact, as it turns out, the movie was inspired by a discussion about 9/11, if that tells you anything.
I can’t say I’ll be quick to watch this one again anytime soon, but as I said, if you’re into borderline silly horrors where anything is possible and will usually happen in ooey-gooey bloody fashion, you may just have a new treat for your movie collection in Zombies of Mass Destruction.