18 June 2011

Aaah! Zombies! (AKA Wasting Away) 2007 - REVIEW

The ZomCom has quickly developed into a subgenre that's wildly over used. Let's face it folks, it's getting old. With so many zombie comedies coming out, it's hard to tell what to watch and what to stay far, far away from. Usually there's no in between, they're either really good: Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland or really bad: Redneck Zombies, Zombie Strippers. So how do you tell? Fuck, I dunno. It seems like any and everybody with a camera, some slight makeup skill and too much time on their hands is putting something out these days. Half the time I'm not even sure who the hell fronts the cash from some of the shit that's out there but I just do what anybody else does... watch and listen then form my own opinion.

So, here we have the usual setup, the military is trying to bury a failed project when everything goes awry. A container of goopy green stuff ends up contaminating some ice cream and bing bang boom, you've got zombies. Problem is, these zombies don't actually realize they're zombies. They know something isn't right but have no idea what it is or how it happened. Enter the under appreciated Army dude (Colby French) with tons of useless knowledge and they're off to search for answers encountering the usual pitfalls along the way.

This film has a lot going for it, one of the best things being it's strong cast. Matthew Davis is consistently funny and the most likable brain eater (literally) of the bunch. Michael Grant Terry and the amazingly cute Betsy Beutler carry their weight well as the couple who after 10 years of friendship finally "hook up". In the beginning, Julianna Robinson's character seems like it was thrown in simply to give Davis someone to banter back and forth with. As the film goes on, she is given a lot more to do and she does it very well. French meshes well with the rest of the cast and helps carry the film in a big way.

The other thing going for it is director Matthew Kohnen and co-writer Sean Kohnen. Together they crafted quite a unique tale of life as a zombie. There is some clever and very witty dialogue throughout the entire film. The plot races along pretty fast but just fast enough to keep the audience from getting bored. It's well paced and gives you plenty of time to get to know the characters. Throughout most of the film the characters have no idea they are zombies which leads to some genuine comedic moments. You're given two different perspectives, theirs (in color) and ours (in black and white). I'll admit, I started watching it then walked away (sigh... real life) for a couple minutes and had no clue what the hell was going on. It wasn't until my second viewing that I understood the transition and why "humans" were walking and talking at a very rapid pace. But, nevertheless, my brain finally caught up with my eyes and I figured it out (yes, I'm a little slow sometimes).

By no means is it perfect. There are some pretty significant plot holes and no doubt the horrible title will scare people away from watching it. But this is one ZomCom that delivered much more than I thought it would. The uniqueness of this concept really made this film worthwhile. It doesn't rely on flashy lighting or over the top blood and guts, it's purely a character driven film that will have you seeing zombies in a whole new way. If you're a zombie fan and you like comedies, and/or a mixture of the two then you should definitely give this one a chance. "KITTY GO BOOM"


  1. I saw this on Netflix but didn't get very far into it before I fell asleep, been meaning to go back to it at some point. Will take your recommendation and give it another go.

    As for your comment about anybody with a camera putting something out, I agree completely. It's almost impossible to figure out what's worth watching and what isn't. There was a time when those little "festival winner" symbols meant something, but now it seems as though even those are no indication as to what you're getting yourself into. There are so many festivals these days, every movie can win one.

  2. Not saying it's for everyone but I enjoyed it. I hope you enjoy it as well!!