Saturday, February 16, 2013

Horror Film Review

A Little Bit Zombie (2012):  Zombie comedy flick from Canada, eh.  They seem to be in fashion these days, and hey, I'm not complaining...yet.  Give it a year and then we'll start seeing crappy knock-offs.  Of course, then I'll be able to write those super fun negative reviews.  So it's a win-win for me.  In the mean time...

Steve (Kristopher Turner) is an HR dispute resolution specialist fixin' to marry bridezilla Tina (Crystal Lowe).  His take-no-shit sister Sarah (Kristen Hager) is married to partying jock Craig (Shawn Roberts), they're the matron of honor and best man, and the four of them head to a cabin in the woods for a relaxing weekend before the wedding.  Nearby, professional zombie hunters Max (Stephen McHattie) and Penelope (Emilie Ullerup) dispatch a mob of brain-munchers.  A mosquito on the scene sucks up some undead blood, flies to the cabin, and bites Steve who proceeds to slowly, and hysterically, turn into a zombie.  After learning of Steve, Penelope thinks he's the key to developing a vaccine while Max thinks the only good zombie is a dead zombie.  Tina is determined to allow nothing to interfere with her wedding plans and so goes to great, and very funny, lengths to keep Steve as normal as possible.  But when she and Sarah dress up like hookers and lure an unsuspecting bar patron back to the cabin for Steve to eat, Craig decides enough is enough and calls Penelope and Max.  It was a good idea.  What happens next...not so much expected.

Turner as Steve reminds me of a young Jim Carrey with his very expressive facial contortions.  There's comedy gold in the blood feud between Tina and Sarah as well as in the odd relationship between Penny and Max (McHattie as you know had a great role in another zombie flick, Pontypool).  As for complaints...Penny uses a mystical crystal ball that points them in the direction of zombies (it's really just one of those plasma orbs), but it's never explained where it came from or how she came to be in possession of it.  We also don't know how the zombie plague started or how widespread it is, although we intuit that it's not global or even national.  Ultimately, you won't care.  You'll be too busy laughing at the crazy goings-on with Steve and company. 


Acting:  McHattie hams it up in every scene and is a hoot.  Turner's performance is just this side of comedic genius.  Roberts as Craig is the only real blight.  He's like the love-child between Carrot Top and Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds.
Story:  I liked the fun-poking at zombie flick conceits.  This is as much satire and straight comedy, and both work in a plot that despite similarities to DeadHeads and Warm Bodies, is wholly unique.
Direction:  Would you believe the name of the director is Walker?  It's like kismet.  No second act lag, no extraneous bullshit to get in the way of the action.
Production Values:  Made for just under 2 million Canadian dollars, so not really low-budget but also not Hollywood slick either, which is just perfect for a zom-com.  Obviously, it's on film and all technical stuff is properly professional.
Gore/FX:  There's some good blood, especially in Max and Penny's first scene where they (well, Max) blasts away first with his sawed-off shotgun and then his Uzis.  There's also some gross stuff.  Max drools whenever someone says "brains."  I'm talking Homer Simpson drooling, here.  And there's an amazing projectile vomiting scene.  Oh, and the scene in the exotic meats shop where Steve samples the brains of various woodland creatures.  And then...
Scares:  I should change this to Laughs.  No, there are no scares. 
Ending:  Not what I expected.  It turns a little bit into a black comedy.  Still funny, though.
Verdict:  Should you see A Little Bit Zombie?  You really should.  It's well acted, well written, and well executed.  Oh...I forgot to warn you.  A pet bunny does die.  As a bunny owner myself, I can tell you it's done in a way that will make you giggle instead of gasp.  Now that's impressive.

Rating:  4 out of 5

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