ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction *½
Modern Iranian American Frida (Janette Armand), a university dropout, her conservative father (Ali Hamedani) and Tom (Doug Fahl), back from the mainland with his partner to inform his mother that he is gay all find themselves battling zombies in the sleepy island town of Port Gamble. They are aided, and hindered, by the town preacher, the local mayor and Fridas right-wing next door neighbours.
With a title like ‘Zombies of mass Destruction’ you’d expect a tongue in cheek look at the zombie genre. That’s exactly what writer/director Kevin Hamedani has attempted… and failed to do. The movie has been compared to ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Zombieland’ but unfortunately it’s nowhere near as good as either of those movies.
Taking swipes at post 9/11 Americas perceptions of its own Middle Eastern citizens, views on homosexuality and human rights; the movie aims high and hits low. Most of the jokes consist of tired one-liners, delivered by some fairly average acting talent. That’s not to say that these guys aren’t trying they just don’t have good enough material to deliver with any conviction. It seems that they are trying to be irreverent but all attempts at clever social satire just fall flat.
On a positive note, the gore and effects are pretty good for this type of lower budget movie, over the top rather than gorily accurate. They work well with the attempted tone and help lift the humour levels with sight gags such as Toms mother eating her own eyeball and a young girl ‘helped’ across the road only to be wiped out by a speeding truck.
The one scene that really stands out is the abduction, questioning and torture of Frida by her idiot right-wing neighbours, played relatively straight; this was Hamedani’s inspired moment and deserved to be part of a better movie. This was the moment that he should have built the movie around or perhaps saved for a more serious look at a racist, insular, reactive America… set against a zombie apocalypse naturally.
Probably not as awful as this review makes out; it’s shot quite well and I’ve seen much worse, but I’ve also seen much better. As with so many low budget horror movies (horror comedy in this case) there isn’t any excuse anymore for lack of ideas and poor delivery it’s the ‘comedy’ that draws this one down. The short film ‘The Living Want Me Dead’ was done on a low budget but is fun, funny and has some great horror moments.
Top 10 accessible Zombie movies here
Quality: 2 out of 5 stars
Any good: 1 out of 5 stars