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STUDIO: Level 33 Entertainment
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes
- Music Video
Zombies are people too! Or so the characters of this film believe after they turn into the living dead.
Matthew Davis, Julianna Robinson, Michael Grant Terry, Betsy Buetler, Tracey Walter, Richard Riehle, and Colby French
Four friends unknowingly ingest a green chemical that quickly proceeds to kill them. When they arise, they bumble around trying to find out what happened to them. With the help of a soldier from a nearby military base, they begin to unravel a mystery that will give them the answers they seek, and also help them understand that new craving for human brains.
It’s the newest craze from Japan: Zombukake!!
Everyone loves zombies, right? After George Romero created the walking dead with his beloved Dead trilogy, and Zach Snyder reinvigorated the zombie genre with a quick-cut, running-zombie jaunt, it seemed like every horror movie included our cadaverous reanimated friends. I think it’s safe to say (and I’m not the first) that the zombie has entered the film pantheon joining the timeless horror tropes of the vampire and the werewolf. So, what is a filmmaker to do to infuse something new to the genre? That’s what director Matthew Kohnen has attempted with Aaah! Zombies!!
Aaah! Zombies!! (formerly known as Wasting Away) is a silly zombie comedy with a cleverly developed gimmick. Written by director Matthew Kohnen and Sean Kohnen, the film opens in black and white, with a military test of a super soldier serum and the instant death of the test subject. While trying to dispose of the serum, some of it ends up at the local bowling alley, where our heroes accidentally ingest it. After returning to life, the film switches to color. Our four friends seem normal and walk around wondering what happened and if everything is OK. It’s at this point that the gimmick comes full on.
That’s easy for you to say!
Side note: It’s hard writing this review about the main selling point of this film without feeling a little guilty about giving away Aaah! Zombies!! main reason for watching. Perhaps one day you will watch this, and as I do care about YOU enjoying this film, I want to give fair warning. So, if you want to avoid spoiling the highlight of this middling zombie comedy, skip the next paragraph, faithful Chris Allen review-reader.
As our heroes try to figure out what has happened, the film changes back and forth from black and white to color. Black and white film represents the real world, and in it our four heroes are zombies in every sense of the word: they shamble, they moan, they crave human flesh and brains. When the film is in color, our heroes are normal, coherent people, debating what is going on and trying to find answers to their situation. Adding another twist, every other character (other than fellow zombies) are acting in sped-up mode, running around quickly and speaking in quick, unrecognizable chipmunk-like talk. Representing the sluggishness of the zombies, the color world around them is sped up. It makes for some amusing and unique moments, like when one of the zombie soldiers is captured and scientists are able to converse with him by speeding up his dead brain cells so that they can understand each other.
A day without a zombie wasn’t as successful as the organizers expected.
Unfortunately, as this is a comedy, there are a few times where the humor in the film falls completely flat. There are some good instances where things are handled in a well thought out, comedic way, but some of jokes are so over the top that it becomes unbelievable and eye-rollingly dumb. It seems like they were trying to make Zombie Movie, like the other fill-in-the-blank spoof movies that throw so many jokes hoping that some hit, but most of them don’t work in the slightest. For example, before the characters have realized that they are zombies, the two new lovebirds try to screw but can’t proceed because the dude’s dick falls off. (Bummer!) Well, they shrug it off, thinking that maybe that’s normal, solely so the story can roll on.
Aaah! Zombies!! is a low budget comedy that did not get a theatrical release. It has a few recognizable actors in Matthew Davis, Richard Reihle, and Tracey Walter. Walter and Reihle have been in quite a few films and television productions. The main star of the film is Matthew Davis, who I had coincidentally just seen in Below, the David Twohy submarine thriller. Davis has a debonair, Han Solo-ish quality, which makes him a mentor figure to the younger, dick-less zombie. The two love bird zombies, played by Terry and Buetler, are mediocre, but the real prize if Julianna Robinson. She is funny and attractive, and she was so good in the role that she actually made for a sexy zombie!
Thanks to Ms. Robinson, there is such a thing as a sexy zombie.
For a zombie film with a unique twist, Aaah! Zombies!! is a fun movie with some lame jokes. If they had decided to make it a little less slapstick and a little more black comedy, it could have really worked. In Aaah! Zombies!!, a lot of thought and editing went into the back and forth of the real/zombie world, and yet they settled for some simple, basic jokes. Overall, it’s a film with some wasted potential but worth a look.
You need to calm down, honey! You know we only need two more
strikes to get a perfect game. Don’t get ahead of yourself!
Seeing as this was a direct-to-video film, you will not find much that is special about these special features. You will find a music video by Random Task Collective, who seems to be a group of younger brothers singing a song about zombies called “Barricade”. It’s a catchy tune that’s relevant to the material. Also included are your typical direct-to-DVD trailers.
I can read minds. You’re thinking… hmmm… got it! “Plate of shrimp!”