Friday, October 2, 2009

Zombies Anonymous

Zombies Anonymous
Written and Directed by Marc Fratto

Angela...Gina Ramsden
Josh...Joshua Nelson
Malcolm...Constantine Taylor
Richie...J. Scott Green
Louis...Kevin T. Collins
Gooch...Gaetano Iacano
Commandant...Christa McNamee

In the world in which this movie takes place, an unexplainable zombie plague has swept across the world. Only the recently deceased return as the undead, and the infection isn't transmitted by being bitten. Simply dying is enough, as every single person who has died since the plague began has come back. At the very opening of the film, there's an excellent television montage detailing this all in no time flat.

Next we meet our protagonist and our antagonist. In an extremely tense scene, the out-of-control Josh (imagine a smaller, crazier version of Dominic Purcell) bursts through a locked door and executes his girlfriend Angela for some transgression either real or imaginary. But the world being in the state that it is in, she of course comes back as a zombie.

Five months later, and Angela is among the multitude of the undead who shop exclusively at the meat department in their local grocery store and attempt to fit in with the world of the living. Josh, on the other hand, has joined up with a skinhead-like illegal Zombie Execution Squad lead by the elusive Commandant.

With all of the prejudices in the world now directed almost exclusively toward the zombie population, it's only a matter of time until they rise up in revolution, and realize that human flesh tastes better than raw beef.

Zombies Anonymous is an impressive little gem, with good acting, realistic violence, suitable gore and moments of dark humor. I enjoyed the references to how the presence of zombies have affected pop culture (new LookAlive makeup!) and day-to-day life (voluntary undead extermination centers), which is actually my favorite aspect of these sorts of films. Even if you're getting tired of the rotting masses, I suggest you give this baby a look-see.

It would make a fantastic double-bill with the similarly-themed but even better American Zombie.

My only complaint would be that it runs perhaps a little too long, but there seems to have been some difficulty when it came to the editing room. Now pay attention, because this is where it gets confusing.

When it ran at film festivals under its original title (Last Rites of the Dead), this movie ran 118 minutes. It was later re-edited to a Director-Approved 108 minutes. But when released on DVD (under its current title), the distributors (without the knowledge of the director) edited out another batch of footage, this time key scenes which are integral to the storyline, so those who have seen it on DVD claim that it stops making sense after a certain point. The version I watched was the 108-minute Director's Approved version, available to Watch Instantly at Netflix. The 118-minute version is not available on any DVD, and the 108-minute version is only available on DVD in the UK, France and Japan, so even if you rent the DVD from Netflix, you're almost definitely going to get the butchered cut, so be wary. You're much better off just going with the Watch Instantly feature. If you're one of the unlucky ones who have already seen the cut version, head on over to YouTube to catch the excised footage.

(Whew!) I think I got all that right...

View the trailer (with inexplicable French subtitles!) below!

Not Rated
118 Minutes
United States

Zombies Anonymous is currently ranked #25,865 in DVD's at Read more about it at the IMDB, rent it (or Watch Instantly, while you still can) at Netflix, or buy it today!

My name is Jonny Metro, and I'm morally impaired.
Mortally! I mean mortally impaired.

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