Kill Zombie! (aka Zombibi) DVD Review
Directed by Martijn Smits and Erwin van den Eshof
Written by Tijs van Marle
2012, Region 2 (PAL), 82 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 17th September 2012
Yahya Gaier as Aziz
Sergio Hasselbaink as Jeffrey
Mimoun Ouled Radi as Mo
Gigi Ravelli as Kim
When a satellite falls from space and crash-lands in the middle of Amsterdam, the green space-goo it oozes turns the local population into flesh-eating zombies. Kill Zombie! (aka Zombibi) is piled high with references to classic undead cinema, but disappoints by bringing nothing new to the table.
Downtrodden office worker Aziz (Yahya Gaier) and his wayward brother Mo are thrown into a police cell after after a fight at a party with two gangsta wannabes. After their night cooling off, they discover the rest of the city has been transformed into shuffling corpses by a fallen satellite - and so begin the nods to the most iconic films of the genre. Wearing his office attire (shirt and tie, Shaun of the Dead), he sets off with the other prisoners and the last remaining police officer, the pretty Kim (Gigi Ravelli), to return to his office and rescue Tess, the object of his unrequited affections. But there’s something out there that will make the group’s journey less than pleasurable (an army of the undead, almost every zombie film ever).
It’s not a terrible film by any stretch of the imagination. Indeed, directors Martijn Smits and Erwin van den Eshof pull off an admirable job of portraying a ruined, overrun city on a minimal budget with some clever set-pieces and cheap CGI. My main issue with Kill Zombie! is that the characters are just too slapstick to the point of being childish. The leads Aziz and Kim play it reasonably straight, and to good effect, but everyone surrounding them flaps and squeals and overacts to the point of my annoyance. I did laugh out loud at one scene, involving a rendition of MC Hammer’s You Can’t Touch This and a tazer, but the rest of the time a mild smirk was hard to come by.
And the filmmakers missed a trick here. For some reason they decided to make the zombies’ blood green. Yes, the space-goo is green, but had they chosen red then Kill Zombie! could have been the bloodthirsty battle between good and evil that the press notes suggest. Even the DVD cover is misrepresentative, the characters shown blood-splattered rather than the green-splattered they actually are by the end. There’s plenty of green stuff flying around, but it just doesn’t have the same impact as claret. Heads explode, limbs are torn off and flesh is ripped, all with a spray of green. It’s just not right. Also, if Kill Zombie! is to be believed, zombies can burst into flames when you shoot them.
Shaun of the Dead delivered a perfect blend of horror, comedy and deferential nods to its peers. Kill Zombie! goes for all-out simplistic idiocy in its humour and carbon copying the films that inspired it. Best enjoyed when you’ve just been shopping for beer and your only other option is a romantic comedy or something with a giant mutated CGI shark as the main protagonist.
Video and Audio:
The Dutch 5.1 audio is decent, but unremarkable. The audio on this disc went out of synch for about 10 minutes towards the end, so I hope this is something Kaleidoscope will rectify for its release. The subtitles are easy to read, but suffer from translating lines of dialogue before they’re said on screen. Video is clear and doesn’t seem to be post-processed to hell like a lot of digitally shot efforts.
The extras are made up of just a trailer and it’s one of those crafty ones that doesn’t reveal the film to be foreign language, although if you’re watching it on the disc you already know that.