Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

You can try to run from it, you can try to hide from it, or you could try to scream your lungs out but it painfully clear that the Zombie Comedy is here to stay and there is clearly no avoiding it. Thanks a lot Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. Todayís zomcom is one of those ĎFilms to Die forí flicks from that Lionsgate horrorfest thing they do every year with ĎZombies of Mass Destructioní which, you know, was tolerable as if thatís any kind of praise, but thatís what I got for you.

Welcome to Port Gamble Rhode Island. I donít really know where Port Gamble is but Rhode Island seems as good a place as any to put it. Port Gamble is a sleepy little island community with no traffic lights, one diner, one gas station and hardcore American values. In this town we will meet first generation Iranian-American Frida Abbis, drolly played by actress Janette Armand, who has dropped out of Princeton after her freshman year for whatever reason and is back home to do battle with her angry old man and local diner owner Ali (Ali Hamendani). Ali is none to happy that Frida has dropped out of school, hits the bong on the regular, allows herself to be consistently violated by her slacker boyfriend and dresses way inappropriate for a decent Muslim woman.

Our other persons of note in this movie would be young lovers Tom (Doug Fahl) and Lance (Cooper Hopkins). Yes, Tom and Lance are both boys. Not that thereís anything wrong with that. Tom, at the urging of Lance, has decided it is finally time to come out to his mother and so the pair of New Yorkers are back in Port Gamble to do just that.

None of this nonsense is going to matter in a few minutes because Port Gamble has been invaded by zombies. Though weíre not 100 hundred percent certain how this zombie menace came about, it seems that these zombies have been unleashed on Port

Gamble by an evil international terrorist. One would think that a terrorist organization would unleash this plague on a more densely populated land mass not protected by inland waters, but that does have us pondering the notion that if someone wanted to test a biological weapon under a controlled environment and cause minimal damage, this would be just the place to do it now wouldn't it? Itís all conjecture of course.

Itís a zombie movie and thus zombies are on the loose plodding away to quench their insatiable hunger, no to mention those who are bitten and attempting to hide their impending zombification. There is a political slant to this particular zombie flick such as the local redneck family who is convinced that Frida is somehow responsible and as such have gone completely Abu Ghraib on the poor girl, then there are the gay dudes challenged to subdue their gayness considering some the good people of Port Gamble think that this is Godís punishment against all sins, especially gayness. One thing you gotta like about zombies is that they donít really care about your sexual preference, country of origin, religion, race or party affiliation. They only care that you are edible, the ultimate equal opportunity institution. Brain devouring shall ensue.

I donít know what more fresh and new can actually be done with a zombie movie but to his credit director Kevin Hamendani, working off a script he co-wrote, does his darndest to make his zombie flick a little different than the rest. The standard zombie movie tangibles are here such as slow moving zombies relentlessly stalking their prey, lots of zombies chowing down on this prey that the slow moving beast always seem to eventually track down, and plenty of zombie head bashing, head shooting, chain saw dismembering zombie killing action.

But now we have a political slant to deal with since homophobia and xenophobia have taken center stage as Frida vainly attempts to explain that she is an American and our gay friends try to reason that homosexuality isnít something that can be cured. Despite the majority of the acting being generally subpar, even for a zombie movie, some of the dialog that the screenwriters have written is clever, witty and topicalÖ at least it was topical during this movies time frame of 2003, if not so much now.

The main problem with ĎZombies of Mass Destructioní is that overall itís just a little lackluster. As a comedy itís not really funny enough, even though it does have its moments here and there, as an all out zombie flick it also falls short but as a political satire it tends to shine.

So there it is. With ĎZombies of Mass Destructioní you get one part not so funny comedy, one mediocre zombie movie and one part biting political satire when all combined make for a tolerable movie watching experience. Admittedly tolerable isnít great but itís better than crap.

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