Osombie Movie Review
Directed by John Lyde
Written by Kurt Hale
2012, 90 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 14th May 2012
Corey Sevier as Chip
Eve Mauro as Dusty
Jasen Wade as Derek
Danielle Chuchran as Tomboy
William Rubio as Chapo
Paul D. Hunt as Joker
A bullet in the head isn't what it used to be. Osama Bin Laden is a zombie now, and emerges from his watery grave to unleash a very different kind of evil upon the world. They should probably have called it Osama Bin Zombie instead, but Osombie puts a refreshing spin upon the Nazi zombies cliché by having its soldiers fight Al Qaeda zombies instead.
Too soon? There will be those who argue that Osombie is tasteless and exploitative. Those people would probably be right, but Osombie is still a lot of fun. I started watching it with the lowest possible expectations, but it's surprisingly competent. It's hard not to warm to such a silly movie. The action mostly follows a squad of soldiers behind enemy lines in the deserts of Afghanistan. Those expecting Jarhead levels of realism will be sorely disappointed; these are the sort of soldiers who carry samurai swords and do most of their fighting topless. They call themselves names like 'Tomboy', 'Whiskey' and 'Joker' and explain the rising zombies by saying things like like “after somebody farted under the covers, the party was over.” They manage to be at once a gang of bad-asses and incompetents. For every topless fistfight or beheading by katana, there'll be a moment where a zombie manages to sneak up on them and bite someone on the neck. It takes a spectacular level of incompetence to allow a zombie (characteristics: slow, smelly and groans loudly all the time) to sneak up to you in the middle of a desert (characteristics: being completely empty) but somehow everyone in the film manages it at least once. Even the dimwit National Guard of The Hills Have Eyes 2 wouldn't have fallen for that. Perhaps inspired by old Resident Evil videogames, these soldiers are incapable of moving and shooting at the same time.
Tagging along with the soldiers is Dusty, a young woman searching for her brother – an AWOL fireman hunting down Bin Laden in revenge for the man's crimes against humanity. Osama Bin Zombie is a lot easier to find dead than alive, although he's not in the film as much as you'd expect given its title. Also unexpected is the level of wit exerted by the script. It's stupid, granted, but knows that it's stupid and doesn't take itself too seriously. Its sounding like an episode of Ultimate Force or Call Of Duty cut-scene is thankfully averted and the meathead talk is kept to a minimum. It actually manages to be very funny at times. The acting is a little amateurish, but the chaps have a scruffy charm and charisma. It's no Dog Soldiers, but the characterisation is better than most men-on-a-mission movies. Particularly fun is the always topless Colin Farrell lookalike (this is a horror flick with something for the ladies too). The Al-Qaida that aren't zombies are amusing stereotypes, shouting "Allahu Akbar" all the time and wishing death upon the West. Osombie is Team America: World Police without the marionettes.
The special effects are a cut above marionettes, but only barely so in places. The more personal action works really well, with plenty of gory swordplay and gunfights. The team behind Osombie must have been really proud of their head shot mechanics, since the film doesn't let two minutes go by without someone or something being shot in the face. It's not stingy with the zombies either. This Afghanistan is the busiest desert in the world. Osama Bin Zombie isn't really recognisable as such (he looks just like every other zombie in the film, although his beard is a bit longer) but the zombie make-up is impressive. This goodwill is all undone with a series of horrible CGI explosions and a finale that sees the sky filled with a number of ugly CGI helicopters.
Osombie could have made more of its concept and villain, but is still a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it's also too long and drawn out with little plot or point. It's better than most straight to DVD zombie movies, but could have been so much better.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.