Thursday, July 10, 2008

American Zombie DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Mockumentary on DVD Delivers Message That “Zombies Are People, Too!”

Grace Lee (The Grace Lee Project) shot and co-stars in this silly mockumentary based on the proposition that the undead are people, too. The picture is set in Los Angeles where she and her faux co-director, John Solomon, do their best to track down zombies to find out who they are, where they come from and why they exist.
The film focuses on the day-to-day lives of four functioning, if socially-ostracized ghouls in their struggle to be accepted as normal. There’s Judy (Suzy Nakamura), who says she’s just like everybody else and just wants to get married. Ivan (Austin Basis) is a convenience store clerk who self-publishes a comic book called American Zombie in his free time.
Activist Joel (Al Vincente), meanwhile, runs ZAG, the Zombie Advocacy Group, an organization which seeks a guarantee of every reanimated creature’s fundamental rights. Relying on a variation of the Act-Up rallying cry, he and his cohorts demand equality with warm-blooded humans by chanting, “We’re here! We’re dead! Get used to it!” Finally, we have Lisa (Jane Edith Wilson) a florist whose specialty is funeral arrangements.
If the idea here was to have fun while delivering a subtle statement about tolerance and discrimination, that aim is achieved by the end of the first hour. Unfortunately, the story starts to drag a bit at that juncture and virtually runs out of steam until the plot belatedly thickens to make a secondary statement shortly before the closing credits roll.
Overall, American Zombie Is a cleverly-comedic, high-concept adventure, artfully-executed, and thought-provoking, too. How else can you describe a flick which presumes to answer everything you always wanted to know about Zombies but were afraid to ask while simultaneously suggesting that our fascination with creature features might merely be a reflection of some sick human desire?

Very Good (3 stars)
Running time: 91 minutes
Studio: Cinema Libre

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