This film is showing on Netflix Instant US. Visit Blog of the Living Dead for details
Zombie movies, possibly the most versatile genre in horror. Ranging from comedy, drama, satire, straight up horror, even Zombie Musicals, there are always new and interesting interpretations of these tales. Currently we are experiencing a period of Zombie Documentaries, which is the category American Zombie probably falls into. However that would unfairly suggest comparisons with “Zombie Diaries” or “Diary of the Dead”, both of which take a more Cinematic, rather than Journalistic approach that American Zombie utilises.
It is very much a documentary in structure employing interviews rather than standard character storytelling. The film focuses of 4 high-functioning Revenants, each of whom are dealing with their undead status in different ways. The 2 documentarians follow these zombies and interview them about their daily lives, how they are treated and what their expectations of life are. Of the 2 directors, Solomon more interested in the ‘guts and gore’ angle, whereas Grace wants to present a snapshot of life as a zombie without all the exploitation. Their filming takes them to a zombies only festival ‘Live Dead’, where the film changes from a standard documentary about the zombies into a horror film in which the filmmakers themselves take centre-stage.
The film is an interesting one, yet again showing the versatility of the undead genre. In this case the zombies are representative of any minority group, although being undead we feel no guilt in assuming them as an underclass. This allows the viewer to arc from disgust through to acceptance, a feat which would be harder to achieve had a standard minority group scenario been under discussion.
Anyway, enough intellectualising. I loved the zombie hunting private-eye, who discusses (and demonstrates) in detail all his favourite methods of dispatching those pesky zombies, and the whole 2nd half of the movie set in the hippy festival was particularly creepy. However, I side with co-director John Solomon – where’s all the gore and flesh eating? Pah! Honestly, it may have quality acting, genuine originality and believable character development but it’s no C.H.U.D.
Gore Score D
Norks Score F
Originality Score A
Overall Score B