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Zombies of Mass Destruction fails to detonate
on 25 July 2012
Another DVD that I was given over the festive period was Zombies of Mass Destruction, a horror comedy written and directed by Kevin Hamedani and starring Janette Armand, Doug Fahl and Cooper Hopkins.
Described as a "political zomedy" and with a cover that doesn't scream high production value, I was a little wary when I started watching this. To be fair, I was pleasantly surprised! Filmed on location in Port Gamble, Washington, USA, the town seems like a picture perfect little slice of Americana and is an ideal location for proceedings as set out by Hamedani, who introduces commentary throughout Zombies of Mass Destruction on the darker side of America's conservative views: homophobia, right-wing Christianity; and Islamophobia and fear of terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11.
Additionally, ZMD has what I would consider a cool retro soundtrack that very much put me in mind of themes from John Carpenter's movies.
Much to my delight, the special effects were largely of the non-CGI variety and well done for the most part. Even when used, CGI was employed sparingly.
Unfortunately, in the first quarter of the movie, ZMD goes for cheap scares with plenty of "boo!" moments which again, are reminiscent of 80's horror flicks. My disappointment didn't end there either... The performances from many of the actors was a little like the acting I'd expect to see on a US daytime soap. Janette Armand, Doug Fahl and Cooper Hopkins; and Bill Johns as the pious Reverend Haggis definitely propped up the whole affair.
My major issue with ZMD is the fact that it tries to encompass too many themes within its sub 90 minute running time; and for me, making this a comedy was a mistake. ZMD could most definitely have been a competent horror film with some excellent social commentary but the message seems to get a little lost in some of the more comedic moments of the story. I did find myself laughing at some of the set-ups in the film but with everything this film has to say for itself, I definitely think it should have been played straight.