Monday, October 17, 2011

Zombtober Movie Review: American Zombie

American Zombie is a mockumentary about zombies living amongst humans. It sounds like a descent premise, but for the most part it falls flat.

The first half of the movie is like watching "Cribs" or "The Real World" with zombies. Two directors follow random characters as they live their lives. The film is trying to build character development, but really you're just watching some people being interviewed. The characters could have had some other traits in common that would have also passed. They could have all had Hepatitis, been left-handed, or lived in Vermont.

In this film, the scenes that are realistic are boring and the parts that are supposed to be suspenseful seem fake. The first half of the movie is realistic because I think the filmmakers are just following some weird people as they live their lives. The second half takes place at a zombie festival, but everything feels staged.

The film keeps trying to show the "hidden evil" of zombies who are trying to merge into regular society. One of the directors keeps trying to find human flesh in their refrigerators, or stumble upon glowing blue vials. It's good foreshadowing, but it doesn't show enough about the "hidden life" of the zombies, so we are left wondering what the real back-story is and what the agenda of the zombies really is.

It's assumed that eating human flesh is their main goal, but there are so few clues that it's not really creepy. One character waves off a mini-fridge with chains around it. There is a scene where a girl is crowd surfing and disappears into the crowd of zombies and you hear her screams, but you still aren't sure what happened.

You can call this a Zombie movie, but it's not a horror movie. I would call it a mockumentary, but I don't think it uses the medium appropriately.

Zombtober horror scale:

Slow (---4-) Fast: Normal people with normal decay.
Dumb (--X--) Smart: 3 stages from low to high.
Passive (1----) Agressive: But it is implied that they eat humans.
Fake (----5) Believable: A zombie documentary makes for believability.
Method of spreading Zombism: Latent virus in a brain of a dying person
X-factors: All Zombies seem to have a hidden agenda, but want to live in a regular society.
Recommendation: Meh. Stream it if you're bored.

- Samuel Frost