A ragtag mishmash of short films from around the world all rolled into one and given a rudimentary linking sequence forms the essence of ZOMBIEWORLD. To be honest, it’s not such a bad idea. With the success of anthology movies like ABCS OF DEATH and VHS, why not do an entire 96 minutes devoted to one of the most popular horror subgenres? ABCS and VHS were planned in advance, however, whereas ZOMBIEWORLD is distinctly retrograde. Rather than an organised attempt to make a zombie anthology film, this is more a case of ‘is there any way we can package all these already-existing short films to make something feature length’? As a consequence the results are even more wildly uneven than you might expect.
|The news is not good|
We kick off with the zombie apocalypse getting started, and a POV shot of Santa Claus eating someone, before we’re off to the KPRS newsroom where anchorman Marvin Gloatt (Bill Oberst Jr) kills an intruder, gets bitten himself in the process, but promises he’s going to carry on broadcasting as long as possible. These interjections from Marvin provide our loose framework as he promises to show us evidence of the zombie holocaust all over the world.
|I want to watch FIST OF JESUS again right now!|
Somehow, this tour begins with him taking us back in time to the ‘very first zombie attack’. But cast logic aside and enjoy the sixteen minutes of Spanish comedy splatter insanity that is FIST OF JESUS, in which Jesus Christ brings Lazarus back from the dead with appalling consequences. After a slightly dodgy start, FIST OF JESUS makes you think ZOMBIEWORLD isn’t such a bad idea after all. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much downhill from there, but at least the producers have wisely put Jesus first so our senses haven’t been dulled by the rest of the movie before he comes along. Other segments include a chap talking to his dead flatmate in Ireland, a lone female survivor in Australia, a little girl who likes to tell stories about her zombie father and zombie brother, and a continuing series of sketches entitled SURVIVING THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. One gets the sense these snippets are supposed to be funny but they aren’t really, despite everyone involved trying really hard.
|More Spanish splatter fun in BRUTAL RELAX|
The movie ends with another segment by the FIST OF JESUS directorial team of Adrian Cardona and David Munoz (they’re the only ones deserving of special mention in this). As BRUTAL RELAX started I realised I had already seen it as one of the London FrightFest short film finalists a few years ago. It’s not as good as FIST OF JESUS (I’m beginning to wonder what short film about zombies possibly could be) but it’s a lot of gory fun, even if the monsters are fangy fish men creatures rather than actual human undead.
RLJ’s DVD comes with a ‘bonus feature’ which is actually just a couple of minutes of someone running away from zombies that must have been cut from the main film. Otherwise you get stereo and 5.1 sound options and that’s your lot.
RLJ Entertainment are bringing out ZOMBIEWORLD on Region 2 DVD on 8th June 2015