Kill Zombie! Blu-ray Review
Directed by Martijn Smits and Erwin van den Eshof
Written by Tijs van Marle
2012, Region A, 86 minutes, Not Rated
Blu-ray released on June 10, 2013
Yahya Gaier as Aziz
Mimoun Ouled Radi as Mo
Gigi Ravelli as Kim
Sergio Hasselbaink as Jeffrey
Uriah Arnhem as Nolan
Nadia Poeschmann as Tess
Zombie flicks are starting to become a tired story line. With so many undead-dramas that ask the question, "What do you do when survival is the paramount concern?", there is a lot of overlap in these types of films or television shows. One will often see the same over-used character archetypes again and again; a protagonist who is taken aback from the ordeal but ultimately raises to the task to protect himself and his loved ones, a stoic loner who has survived on his own but desperately needs human connection again, a goofball who is trying to remedy the situation with some humour, or an army official who is drunk on power and fed up with society. With that being said, whenever something becomes clichéd, it opens the opportunity to make fun of it, which is why I welcome any comedy zombie flick with open arms. Kill Zombie! (originally titled Zombibi) has enough laughs and creative twists to not be regrettable, but unfortunately errs towards farce too often to be very memorable.
Aziz is a quiet, docile man who works in an office. In love with his co-worker Tess, whom he just sealed a date with, he is happy with his safe state of affairs. His brother, Mo is a party-animal drunk who implores Aziz to taste the sweeter fruits of life and regularly calls him at work to talk about the fantastic parties that he is attending. This barrage of personal calls eventually causes Aziz to get fired by his boss, who has an ulterior motive because he is attracted to Tess as well and wants to limit the competition. A frustrated Aziz crashes the party that Mo was boasting about, where the two get into trouble almost immediately and find themselves incarcerated by that afternoon. Unbeknownst to them, while behind bars, a Russian space station crashes in town and releases a deadly virus that turns humans into zombies. When the locks on their jail-cells open after a power failure, Aziz, Mo, the criminals and one feisty cop form an unlikely group of survivalists.
Although Kill Zombie! is not without its laugh-out-loud scenes, a lot of the jokes are groan-worthy moments of slapstick or schlocky reoccurring gags that aren't very funny even the first time. When I started the film, I was expecting a semi-high-brow level of smart wit à la Shaun of the Dead, but as it progressed, the brow just kept dropping lower and lower to the point where I was expecting a fart joke or two. There is also a running gag of using video game-esque graphics on screen, such as in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, but it doesn't establish the arcade-universe like Pilgrim. When the graphics are on screen they just appear as out of place as if you were watching the Oscar winning film Her, and a massive "FINISH HIM!" comes up after Theodore's wife is mean to him. Although the writing in Kill Zombie! is primarily comprised of cheap gags, there are some very clever moments, such as where the film plays with the cliché in zombie movies that whenever there is an army safe base, it is always much more dangerous than the walkers outside of it.
Although this is not a particularly memorable or rewatchable movie, it is still more inventive and original than any recent episode of The Walking Dead or overdramatic zombie apocalypse movie that is the same story as every zombie movie before it.
Video and Audio:
Presented in 1.77.1, Kill Zombie! is primarily bright and crisp, which is suiting to the film's playful story. The cinematography successfully establishes the difference between the saturated life that Aziz left before he was fired from his job, and the outrageous, vibrant mission for survival that happens after the Russian space station crashes.
The DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack capably handles the differentiation between action scenes and calm moments of dialogue by not being too loud or too quiet.
This Dutch language film is available with English subtitles.
There are no special features available on this disc.