AmericanZombieCinema Libre Studios
2008
NR

Faux documentaries are always fun. Some of the best ones blur that line where you’re in on the joke, but still wonder if this couldn’t still be real – This Is Spinal Tap and Blair Witch Project being the best examples, there.

American Zombie takes the concept of zombies dwelling among us, just trying to, um, “live” normal lives among society; as a result of a virus that reanimates the brain functions of the dead, apparently many of these zombies can still function as they used to, with some obvious alterations to their lifestyle. There’s a growing subculture of the living dead, becoming the new minority class in America. Four Undead Americans are spotlighted: a slacker convenience store clerk, a depressed florist, a bubbly vegan (irony), and a zombie rights activist. Each has a unique perspective on being undead, how it has affected their lifestyles, and their philosophies concerning the whole thing – from acceptance and embracing their unlife, to full-on existential meltdown. Along for the ride are the two living producers of the documentary, determined to go deep within the zombie subculture and uncover their world.

American Zombie is a pretty decent movie. It has some rather dark humor and good zombie-fueled wackiness, with a nice tongue-in-cheek feel to it. The different takes on zombie life keeps things interesting and is a relatively fresh take on the zombie genre. There is very little by way of gore, and the dead look only slightly dead; more like a skin condition. The pacing could have been tightened up a bit in a few places, but overall the dark humor – which gets even darker halfway through the movie – the acting and story lines that all converge to one of the coolest and creepiest gathering of zombies near the end makes American Zombie one of the better and more original modern zombie flicks I’ve seen in a great while. The ending, though, did fall flat for me, there.

Regardless, if you’re craving something a bit different in your zombie watchin’, you can’t go wrong with American Zombie.