Written by: Carroll Jenkins on July 10th, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2012
Director: George Smith
Writer: George Smith
Cast: Alex Hammel-Shaver, Madison Hart, Scott Keebler
DVD Released: September 10th, 2013
Approximate running time: 101 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78.1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Bloody Earth Films / Pop Cinema
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
Synopsis: Zach is the love them and leave them and has littered the past with many ex-girlfriends. His beer buddy Dan gathers six of them together to appear on The Dating Game Show. The show’s sponsor is HAPI herbal water which turns everyone into zombies.
The synopsis is rather contrived, and it is impossible for slacker, selfish, slob Zach to have so many girls still hopelessly in love with him. It’s even more impossible for it to always have been their fault (in his mind). And third wheel and entirely impossible love interest Lilly (obviously patterned after Winnifred ‘Fred’ Burkle from ‘Angel’, down to the braids and glasses) seems to be there just to make it a trio as in Shaun Of The Dead.
Certainly there’s a lot to compare with Shaun Of The Dead, and like it this feature is funny, compelling, occasionally suspenseful and sometimes even scary. The directing and cinematography are impressive, and the script may wander a bit but never goes too far adrift. The makeup effects (some cgi and processing effects but mostly physical) are just about as good as they are plentiful; there are many zombie scenes and many, many zombie extras. Overall a quite impressive debut effort by a novice cast and crew.
There is a running countdown as the zombie ex’s get eliminated one by one, and several of them are absurdly funny ranting and raving after their beloved Zach. The real grabber here, however, is the effortless and hysterical performance by Scott Keebler. Dan is ripped whole cloth from the Ed character in SotD: no job, no girlfriend, no prospects, but lots of beer. He is by far the most polished and natural actor in the entire presentation, and his (improv?) rants and zany bits of business could have sunk the entire project, and in a way it does a bit because the other leads seem wooden next to his charismatic performance.
The presentation is quite fine, though the source varies quite a bit with some sections featuring heavy effects processing. There are no subtitles, which is a shame given the witty dialog but audio is clear. Extras include “Cast Confessions” featurette which consists of 4th wall cast conversations including Scott Keebler with various props. Some of the appearances here are in full makeup under normal lighting.
Does the world really need another zombie comedy? Well, it should certainly make room for this one, a top-notch independent feature made on a very low budget but fleshed out with lots of (unrequited?) love from all involved.