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I think the other reviewers may have expected this movie to be a lot more screwball than it was. The fact that it wasn't doesn't constitute a failure. The slapstick zombie movie is only one type of a surprisingly complex subgenre of cinema. And this ain't it.
American Zombie asks viewers to suspend disbelief to its very limits, and assume that zombies are both real and that they are deserving of deeper consideration. For anyone who ever spent more than an hour in discussion of zombie physiology, cause, and social consequence, this movie is like candy.
The movie (which is conducted like a documentary) follows four "high-functioning" zombies living (also dating, consuming, and working) among regular humans in Los Angeles. Each subject has his or her own take on his unique "condition."
The general feeling of the film is the same as that of a documentary following people diagnosed with an untreatable medical condition. Ivan begins with the statement (paraphrased), "I don't know how long it will be before my body decomposes, so I'm living each day at a time.Read more ›
First off, let me say that it is a very well made film, a very slick production that captures the feel of a documentary exceptionally well (as I suppose it should, since Grace Lee apparently makes documentaries). I also think the concept of the film is very clever (that zombies live among us, but they're just another misunderstood and downtrodden subclass...or are they?).
Having said that, it's kind of an odd mix of styles and I'm not sure who will ultimately enjoy the film. I'm not sure how many people who are attracted to the zombie film genre will also be interested in a film which is at its heart a media and identity politics satire. And I'm not sure how many people looking for a media satire will be interested in the zombie subject matter.
I see there is a bit of a debate raging as to what this film actually is: mockumentary, faux documentary, horror movie, etc. I don't really know what the difference between a mockumentary and a faux documentary is. If the difference is that mockumentaries are comedies and faux documentaries are not necessarily comedies, I have to say I think this is intended to be primarily a comedy (or at least, as I said, satire...and my understanding of satire is that it's generally intended to be funny). True, it's a relatively dark and low key comedy, but still a comedy.
Part of the film's problem may be how it is promoted (to the limited extent that it has been promoted); the Netflix capsule review of American Zombie opens: "Part mockumentary, part unabashed gore-fest...Read more ›
The low budget made for very few special effects or zombie make-up. The zombies they follow live boring if not pathetic lives. The real action in the movie starts at a festival called "live dead" which reminded me of a Grateful Dead parking lot. At this point the movie is well past the half way point. Feel free to tell people the surprise ending.
The saying of "We're Here, We're Dead, Get Used To It!" is the motto by which the undead of this documentary live by while trying to become the equals of the living that they once were. The 'documentary' starts as just a rough idea of the two filmmakers Grace Lee and John Solomon (who play themselves) that show how John sells Grace on the idea that they should work together to make a film about zombies. He wants to explore the culture of the living dead and while he is very much under the belief that they do live on human flesh and are the stereotypes of horror films he has seen she wants to show how they actually survive in society and are taken advantage of and abused.
This being the case they find four zombies that are some what connected to follow around.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting take on the genre. Well worth $.01 plus shipping.Published 4 months ago by phillip durbin
This one made it to the bottom of my favorite Zombie Movie's List. I wanted my money back long before the credits rolled. Sorry to say you will too. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Vernon D. Ewer
This is one of those "documentary" ideas where zombies are real...and cognizant. The premise is so-so (coming from a big zombie fan) but tries to get a bit deep and feels like a... Read morePublished on January 18, 2013 by TW Brown, Author, Editor, and Reviewer
Scary? No - fake documentary, yes. Take the assumption that zombies, from low function and almost feral, to high function that can almost pass --and a movie idea, is born (or... Read morePublished on December 6, 2012 by S. Banzhaf
I found it to be a creative interesting concept. i just feel that such a unique plot shouldve been pushed much further than the subtle direction it took. Read morePublished on August 19, 2011 by kaoskitty
This is a movie about zombies. There is nothing in this film that remotely relates to the genre with the exception of the last 15 minutes. Read morePublished on June 7, 2011 by ZombiEFAN
hard to find anything original with zombies but this one finds higher ground. A mocumentary, two very different indi film makers decide to do a study on the zombie population... Read morePublished on April 15, 2011 by Patricia P. Surrey
This movie was god-awfully boring and pointless. Where's the gut-munching, society-ending horror that's supposed to accompany zombie movies? Read morePublished on June 19, 2010 by Michael Gmirkin
I cant believe they even made this ridiculous movie. It looks like they made it with a home camera. The acting is amateurish and the story is just plain silly. Read morePublished on January 30, 2010 by bbrockRailFan
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