Director – Kevin Hamedani
Cast – Janette Armand, Doug Fahl, Cooper Hopkins, Russell Hodgkinson, Cornelia Moore, James Mesher, Bill Johns, Ali Hamedani, Linda Jensen, Victoria Drake, Andrew Hyde
Release Year -2009
Reviewed by John of the Dead
I really was not looking forward to this film, and I admit that the biggest reason behind watching this was to finally get it off of my queue. Long ago I lost faith in the After Dark Horrorfest series, so I really had low-to-moderate expectations for this one, and in a rare event that rarely comes my way my expectations were exceeded. I will not go as far as to say ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction is a great film, but it is one of the few zombie films to deliver genuine commentary since Romero geniusly came up with the idea, and ZMD also managed to make me laugh, a lot.
The quiet town of Gamble Falls is thrown into turmoil when an unexplained outbreak of zombies ravage the town, forcing survivors from all walks of life of band together and survive the zombie invasion. However soon enough their differences get the best of them and each survivor finds him/herself battle both the living and the dead in order to stay alive.
From the get-go I was not expecting this to be a good watch. The low budget was obvious, and the story seemed bleak and had me regretting hitting the Play button on this one. I wish I could have seen the look on my face when the film’s first funny moment came to screen, then the second funny moment, then the third, then the first scare, and then the copious amounts of gore as well. Don’t you just love it when that happens?
The overall storyline is not an original one by any means, and it follows the usual template of zombies seemingly coming out of nowhere and terrorizing a town and its few remaining survivors. What I did not expect was all of the character conflict between the survivors, which definitely came with the utmost of political and social commentary. Our lead in the film is an American girl of Iranian who is constantly referred to by her local townsfolk as a girl born in Iraq, and the rest of the film plays on typical American ignorance as well as the numerous social stereotypes that we associate with certain people, namely people of Middle Eastern descent and Bible thumpers. While I may not agree with all of the commentary that was thrown into the film, it was a nice touch on this often clichéd sub-genre given few, if any, zombie films of recent time are touching base on it. My favorite element of the film though is the comedy, which I found pretty darn funny and enjoyable. There were times in the film where I seriously had to stop the film so that I could finish laughing, which is a rarity in most of the horror/comedy films I have seen. Thankfully, we are also given plenty of zombie action in this story, and writers Ramon Isao and Kevin Hamedani included many gruesome deaths in this well-paced and action-packed screenplay.
Co-writer Kevin Hamedani also served as the film’s director, and in my opinion he made the most out of what little he had to work with. His camerawork was positive, I enjoyed his Dawn of the Dead-esque musical score, and while the acting performances were nothing special he managed to throw in enough comedy and proper execution to sell each character as a legitimate piece to the puzzle of characters in this film. At times Hamedani’s direction can seem amateurish, and that is the reasoning behind ZMD not receiving a higher rating, but he also managed to give me some of the best gore I have seen in a long time. Most of the gore was of the live-action variety, with only few scenes in CGI format, and to make things better the gore was delivered in hilarious fashion as well.
Overall, ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction is a surprisingly fun watch that I expected to suck but soon found myself enjoying due to its great comedy and awesome gore. Keven Hamedani did the most of what he could with what little he had, and while the film obviously has its faults this is definitely a flick deserving of this borderline-positive rating.