Satirical Zombie Flick Bites Off More Than It Can Chew
There's No Such Thing as Zombies
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Year Released: 2020
Runtime: 1h 36m
Director(s): Eddie Bammeke
Writer(s): Michael Haberfelner
Cast: Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow, Rami Hilmi, Lynn Lowry, Debra Lamb, Scott Hillier, Paul Sutton, Alexander Fernando
Where To Watch: available to stream now
RAVING REVIEW: In the crowded genre of zombie flicks, THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS ZOMBIES swings for the fences with a satirical take that targets social and political norms, the pharmaceutical industry, and the media's penchant for distortion. This film teases a concoction of horror, humor, and heart, aiming to carve out a unique niche. However, despite its lofty ambitions, it falters, delivering an experience more likely to elicit sighs than cheers. Within its jumbled narrative lies a parody eager to critique the often absurd dismissal of facts by the far-right. It stands as a glimmer of insight in an otherwise murky execution.
The storyline hinges on an unconventional love triangle amidst a zombie apocalypse, a concept that promises intrigue and innovation. Carlotta's (Luana Ribeira) decision to welcome back her undead ex, Paul (Rami Hilmi,) sets off a chain reaction of events that unfold with less elegance than one might hope for from a genre-bending endeavor. While the film ambitiously tries to meld elements of romance, satire, and societal critique, the result is a narrative that feels undercooked and leaves audiences yearning for more substance.
The acting, or lack thereof, significantly dims the film's potential sparkle. The cast delivers performances so stiff they might as well join the ranks of the undead they're portraying. Coupled with lackluster special effects and dialogue that feels like wandering around with no goal, the film tests the viewer's endurance rather than their wit or emotional resilience.
Despite its numerous pitfalls, THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS ZOMBIES occasionally manage to land some poignant jabs at society's follies, such as our overreliance on pharmaceutical solutions and our stubborn refusal to acknowledge glaring truths. These moments of clarity, though fleeting, provide a tantalizing glimpse of the satirical masterpiece that might have been. There’s a great story somewhere; it’s just a matter of finding the pieces to make a cohesive experience.
Visually, the film flirts with nostalgia, notably by including a DeLorean (which, as far as I can tell, was likely because someone in the cast or crew just had access to one) navigating a post-apocalyptic landscape. This and other narrative elements could have served as a bridge to a more compelling story. However, these aspects ultimately feel like mere window dressing on a fundamentally unsound structure, needing more depth and cohesiveness to resonate with audiences.
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS ZOMBIES presents a missed opportunity to deliver a laughter-filled critique of contemporary society through the lens of a zombie-infested world. What could have been a clever, biting satire that ends up as a disjointed and underwhelming film that needs help finding its place? This serves as a cautionary tale that ambition, while commendable, is not enough to guarantee success. The search continues for those looking for a film that blends satire with the undead (although some options exist…) This film joins the ranks of ambitious experiments that couldn't quite bring their potential to life, leaving it adrift in the vast sea of zombie narratives.
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[photo courtesy of BAMMEKE AND HABERFELNER WORLDWIDE]
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