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The Real Glory (1939) movie review

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It’s 1906, The Philippines. After America took control of the region following the Spanish/American War of 1898. The indigenous people, the Moro, have long resisted outside forces and their reaction to the American occupiers is no different. Rather than go “full nuclear” in taking down the treat, the US military decide to send in a few officers and train up the locals to deal with the problem.

Things start relatively calmly as the locals begin their training. Then, a fanatical Muslim hacks down the camp commanding officer, inciting fear in the camp. What are the residents there supposed to do? It took several bullets to put down the Moro attacker. What happens if more follow the same path?

A reasonably dark start, but one that soon, unfortunately, degrades into whimsy. People get killed and there’s the sense of drama on occasion – a chase across a rope bridge in particular – but otherwise it’s a tonal mess. Is it a comedy, a drama about Christianity vs Islam, an expose on Western colonialism? All three of these things?

The inconsistencies don’t end with the tone. A woman shows up for a bit, serves no purpose, and then gets ready to leave again. It’s all about the soft focus, really.

It’s actually quite insensitive by modern standards. One scene sees Gary Cooper threatening to bury a devout Muslim inside a pig skin, as revenge for attacking American soldiers. While the scene is effective, it makes your skin crawl at the same time.

Then again, it’s 1939 depicting 1906, so it’s going to be insensitive to modern notions one way or another.

Then, you know, there’s an outbreak of cholera, resulting in a montage that wouldn’t look out of place in a horror film. Mad scientists would delight in this sort of thing. There’s a plan to un-dam the river so that the camp can get fresh water again, but there’s a lot of indecision about whether this is viable. Turns out, with the Moro infesting the forest, it isn’t that great an idea.

Some class and verve is provided by David Niven. I mean, it has to have class – it’s David Niven. With that said, seeing him effortlessly manning a machine gun is one of the film’s highlights. In a close second is watching the Muslim attackers using catapults to fling themselves over the defending walls. Some of the catapulting… doesn’t work out. To unintentionally hilarious effect, I have to admit. An interesting tactic, but one that definitely looks ridiculous in practice.

Gary Cooper is our lead though, the camp doctor (not a camp doctor, the camp doctor). This is the first time I’ve seen him in a film, so I can’t say anything about his performances elsewhere yet. Here though he’s the only other genuine standout performer besides Niven, and clearly talented enough to carry much of the film. Without him I’m sure The Real Glory would be less notable in the annals of film history.

So an interesting film for its setting and historical context, not so interesting in terms of its execution.

Safe House (2012) movie review

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Safe House is a film I picked up in a bundle of DVD’s on eBay. It seems whomever I bought the films from is a big fan of Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington, as there were a few starring vehicles for them both in that bundle. This is slightly different in that they’re both in this film. You know, rather than in separate ones. So Reynolds is Matt Weston, a young cop who is responsible for a safe house. He has a wife who doesn’t know exactly what he does, just that he’s a cop. His days are spent doing very little, but he’s about to be struck by a ridiculous amount of adventure and excitement. Brace yourselves. Meanwhile Denzel Washington is Tobin Frost, an underground special ops type guy who has a bunch of bad guys on his tail. It also happens that the authorities are after him and he’s taken into custody.

Guess which safe house he ends up going to?

When the safe house he’s in is attacked, both he and Weston have to go on the run. On their way, they have to try and work out what these bad guys want and, well, not die. Just to add an extra air of frisson, both Weston and Frost are at loggerheads. As a result their investigation is slowed down, but not at the expense of the film’s pace. Instead what happens is that there is little to make the true villain of the piece obvious until the very end. With that said, if you have half an eye for thriller twists and turns and the misdirection they often throw in, the identity of the bad guy is almost blatantly obvious from page one.Frost is under suspicion for betraying US secrets to other powers, so understandably it turns out that there’s a little more to it than that. To be honest, the actual safe house is only in use for a few minutes in the film, so the title is a bit of a misnomer. Clearly, Weston isn’t very good at his job, because the house is only safe for 2 minutes before the bad guys arrive. The same goes for the other safe house that shows up in the final act, but in terms of story structure it’s actually quite good. The narrative is bookended by these two completely different safe houses and the agents responsible for running them.

Daniel Espinosa is in the director’s chair, and he proves to be competent with both character beats and action sequences. The script offers commentary on US interrogation techniques, in particular the use of waterboarding. Aside from highlighting just how brutal this is, it also makes two points about Weston and and Frost. Weston is righteous, and Frost is a bad–ass.

And finally there is the cast. Washington and Reynolds I find are always good value for money, even if the script isn’t worthy of them. In supporting roles we have the likes of Liam Cunningham, Brendan Gleeson, Vera Farmiga, Robert Patrick and Sam Shepard.

I would say that Safe House is an engaging thriller, but unlikely to be one that will be lauded in future “best of” lists. It does it job and it’s competent in doing it, that’s all you need to know.

Monster Brawl (2011) movie review

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What caused the outbreak: A brief outbreak caused by Zombie Man’s loss.
Obligatory disembowelment scene? No
Zombie rules: Traditional head shot rules apply
Fast or Slow Zombies?: Slow
Running Time: 90 minutes

Sigh. When it comes to horror films we are usually willing, even happy, to put up with sub par material and/or performances. Therein lies the key issue with Monster Brawl. That and there’s quite a good idea lurking somewhere behind this disappointing feature.

So, the premise:

A couple of well known monsters and a bunch of unknown ones fight one on one matches to the death in an abandoned graveyard. I’m almost certain that the unknown characters are there for copyright reasons. So Frankenstein and The Mummy are in (even if it should be Frankenstein’s Monster…), plus Cyclops, Swamp Gut (er…), Lady Vampire, the generic Werewolf, Zombie Man and the Witch Bitch.

All of these are played, as far as I can tell, by professional wrestlers. It’s therefore a shame that the in-ring action is as woeful as it is. I don’t think it comes down to the performers as such, more the direction of the film. Each of the first round matches is preceded by a character introduction establishing how the creatures came to be at this fight. Some work, some don’t, so that’s a better position than the matches. It could have gone much further with the wrestling side of things, making the characters motivations… well, better written.

Matters aren’t helped by some lacklustre commentary. Non-wrestling fans won’t necessarily appreciate how a successful commentary team can make all the difference to a match. It’s especially helpful if they sound invested in the product. Here that is most definitely not the case. Dave Foley is joined on commentary by Art Hindle as Buzz Chambers and Sasquatch Sid respectively. Hindle’s not bad as the grizzled cowboy, but Foley is clearly reading a teleprompter. He doesn’t make much of an effort to turn the material into something entertaining, so more often than not you’re just waiting for him to shut up for a bit. Which never happens.

Don’t get me wrong. There are some half amusing gags throughout, and the presentation is quite solid. The gore, the practical effects – all impressive in isolation. They’re simply let down by poorly presented wrestling action and obviously polystyrene tombstones.

I’m only including this in my zombie reviews because there’s a brief moment where the dead rise in the graveyard, and one of the commentators gets bitten by a zombie. The zombies stick around and cause a bit of mayhem until the end, but otherwise they are most definitely presented as the main attraction. Their appearance is a welcome distraction regardless.

And then it ends on a cliffhanger. Because everybody wants to see a zombified Kevin Nash battle Frankenstein’s Monster. There’s more fun to be had in buying the DVD and watching The Mouth Of The South Jimmy Hart talking about his wrestling career. I think that tells you all you need to know.

13 Hours – The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016) movie review

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I was quite surprised to find that I have watched almost every single one of Michael Bay’s films. The only ones I’m missing now are The Island and Pearl Harbor, after that I’ve seen everything. Now there’s a scary thought.

But bear with me, because this is slightly different from his usual shenanigans. The story told in 13 Hours adapts a real life attack that took place on a US CIA base in Libya on 11 September 2012. Over the course of 13 hours those inside the compound defended it against numerous insurgent attacks, and it is in those 13 hours that much of the story is told.

A bit of context for you: after Colonel Gaddafi was deposed a few years ago, attempts were made to democratise Libya. That hasn’t panned out all that well as it turns out, resulting in many attempts from overseas powers to try and bring stability to the region. Right now, as set out in the text introduction, it’s a hotbed for ISIS related activity. Needless to say, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Lucky for us there are heroic Americans in the area to offer some resistance, eh?

While the flag waving aspect of his filmmaking hasn’t gone away, Mr Bay is on restrained form compared to what you might usually expect. Yes, it is more of what he has done previously, but tonally it’s much more appropriate than, say Pain and Gain. In fact this happens to be a decent film. Gasp, shock horror and etc – yes, I said it.

Our entry into this world is through John Krasinski as Jack Silva. He arrives in Benghazi to join up with a security team who are helping protect both a secret CIA compound and a US diplomat who is staying nearby. Silva has a family at home, a wife and several daughters – Michael Bay shorthand for telling the audience that this man has something he could lose, but also something to fight for – even if that happens to be a country he doesn’t care about.

There’s a lengthy introduction over the first 45 minutes that allows us to get to know these men. Their hopes, fears, their reasons for being there. We also see into their personal lives, the decisions that have led them to this point.

That this happens to be the lowest grossing film of Michael Bay’s career is a disappointment. He rides close to realism, the story benefitting from both a serious tone and not resorting to cheap humour. Okay, I admit – women are given the short straw again, as they often do in his back catalogue. There are two notable female characters – Silva’s wife (Wrenn Schmidt), who spends a bit of time crying; and Sona Jillani (Alexia Barlier), who spends her time getting angry at the men who keep telling her to move from one place to another. Hardly progressive, but Bay’s making inroads very, very slowly.

I wouldn’t say that it’s an incredible film and awards worthy either, but he pays appropriate homage to the efforts of those men involved in the fight – whether their presence there was right or wrong is unimportant. Where it does succeed is, ironically, in playing to Michael Bay’s strengths as a director. He’s very good at blowing things up, ratcheting up the tension in action sequences, and providing a hefty dose of American flag waving. Unlike the Transformers films, say, this happens to be to the film’s benefit rather than a deficiency.

He even manages to step away from the whole “foreigners are evil” mantra that pervades most of his work, at least partially. It’s a step in the right direction, and I for one would quite like to see him attempt more of this sort of thing in future.

Maybe with less beards next time.

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) movie review

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After an argument with her boyfriend, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) drives off into the night. She has a car accident and wakes up in an underground bunker. She’s told that up above ground there has been an attack, that the air is poisoned and it’s not safe to go out until it’s clear. There are three of them underground, hermetically sealed off from the rest of the world.

So they have to make a life for themselves underground, with enough food to last several years and as many board games, DVDs and VHS tapes as you could wish endure. There’s also that all pervading sense that things aren’t quite right.

John Goodman is Howard, the owner and builder of the bunker. He is excellent at playing loveable buffoons or deeply sinister characters. Here he is both in equal measure. It’s this imbalance that makes you question his motives, whether he is telling the truth. Further shades of grey are introduced through fellow bunker resident Emmett. Does he know anything, or is he as innocent as Michelle? The script twists and turns around these points quite deftly and leaving you with no clear idea who is the villain of the piece. If, indeed, there is a villain to speak of.

There is a very definitive undercurrent to the interactions between the three characters. We see things from Michelle’s perspective, which leaves a question mark over the heads of Howard and Emmett. This disconnect between her thoughts and theirs is where the genuine tension is built. Thankfully if you’ve seen the trailer then you’ve not had too much spoiled. In fact, very little is spoiled, which is a refreshing change in this era of trailers giving us pretty much the whole film.

…and then the last 15 minutes happen and it all falls apart. It’s a real shame, because up until that point things were going rather well indeed. While the final act and resolution isn’t enough to completely ruin the preceding 80-odd minutes, it does tarnish the film’s concept. Perhaps tying it into the Cloverfield franchise wasn’t the best of ideas from a creative standpoint.

I’ve got a few issues with some of the later developments too. There’s a conceit that Michelle has to reach an otherwise inaccessible area of the bunker so they can survive. This feels very much like a script conceit more than anything else, as any sensible person would design and build the bunker so that important systems can be reached with ease, rather than through an air duct. There must have been a better way of doing this which would have made sense.

Aside from the fact the ending feels like it was tacked on and provided by a completely different script, it remains a very good film. It’s just a shame they felt they had to go in the direction they did. I would have preferred it to be a standalone film in its own right, at least then the expectation of using the Cloverfield brand wouldn’t have been so triumphantly besmirched.

Drive Hard (2014) movie review

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Compared to most direct to DVD films, Drive Hard proves to be quite entertaining. Overall it’s a quieter character piece with brief spurts of action. It’s all set off by a bank robbery, as John Cusack’s Simon Keller latches onto former racing driver turned driving instructor Peter Roberts (Thomas Jane). His goal is to try and make Jane see where he has gone wrong in his life, and to perhaps push him away from the safe, boring existence he has manage to place himself into.

Their relationship develops from antagonism to a level of grudging respect as they run from the police and the mobsters that are chasing them. The mismatched buddy formula is used to middling effect.

And, somehow, it proves to be quite funny. Not laugh out loud, but enough to cause a brief chuckle here and there. That was much more than I expected from it going in. Usually with direct to DVD films there’s an expectation that it will be universally dire. It’s a good job that the gags were there, otherwise I would have literally nothing good to say about the production.

Thomas Jane and John Cusack are, generally, good value for money in whatever role you give them. In Drive Hard it is no different. Jane’s clearly having fun, even if he feels miscast as the whiny, self-obsessed Peter.

This is one of those strange situations where we’re supposed to empathise with his character. To feel sorry for the fact his wife isn’t sleeping with him; that the future of their relationship hinges on how he feels about her earning more money than him. That he’s soon complicit in Keller’s plan doesn’t sit well. If there was a genuine reason to dislike Peter’s wife, like her having an affair or something, it would have made sense. As it is, she’s a perfectly pleasant woman and any issues they have are seemingly all in Peter’s head.

Put it down to the target demographics. It’s not an excuse for it by any stretch – more a lack of understanding about what makes for a good story. And good characters. And good action sequences. Those are most definitely lacking. To use a driving analogy, it’s like it’s all stuck in second gear and they’re thrashing the engine trying to get more speed out of it. And, crucially, not understanding that they can change gear.

And why does Keller get involved in this? Darned if I know. This is where the script falls on its face. Character motivations are foggy at best. Plus there doesn’t seem to be any genuine point to what’s happening. The closest we get to anything passing for genuine motivation is the gas station guy who, intent on defending his patch, accidentally shoots himself in the face.

Cusack meanwhile is playing to form and doesn’t stretch beyond his usual style. Laconic and hammy he might be, but it does work to the movie’s benefit. It’s not a performance that will go down in the history books as one of his defining moments. But then his delivery emphasises just how much this is supposed to be a lighthearted romp.

So it’s nothing spectacular by any stretch, and the misogynistic background to every female interaction is cringeworthy. But the banter between Jane and Cusack is more than sufficient in isolation. Drive Hard works, but it’s not as engaging as it could have been.


See more about the movie here:
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/drive-hard/
IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2968804/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1

Deep Blue Sea 2 (2018) movie review

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Deep Blue Sea 2 is not a sequel to Deep Blue Sea. It is in fact a remake. A low budget, low effort, low quality remake. It’s almost identical minus the budget, the plot, the parrot and the actors. Don’t let that number two in the title fool you. It’s a mere ploy. It’s like comparing Fright Night (2011) with Fright Night 2 (2014). As in, they are the same film, just slightly different.

So, the plot is near enough the same as the one we got in 1999. Some intelligent sharks rampage through an underwater facility, killing the pesky humans that get in their way. It doesn’t help that the epic facility in the middle of the ocean looks, from the surface, like a shed has been dropped onto it. Why are these people in the middle of the ocean with genetically modified sharks anyway? Because a guy called Durant wants to use said genetically modified sharks to prevent an Artificial Intelligence-led apocalypse. Right, okay then…

It doesn’t help that Durant is on drugs. No wonder he’s worried about an AI apocalypse, he’s probably spending most of his waking hours off his face on whatever cocktail he’s pumping into his body. It does give us moments where he has a Rain Man/A Beautiful Mind flash, with formulae et al appearing on the screen. Honestly, they were some of the least annoying parts.

There are efforts to riff on popular moments from the original film. This breaks up the monotony elsewhere. Most of the run time is as padded as the lead actress’s brassiere. Who, it has to be said, exists solely to be angry at other people and run around in tops that are a size too small. Those same tops are also unzipped or unbuttoned to almost comical depths.

Then there is Trent, a cut price Thomas Jayne replacement. The character leaves almost no mark and now, a few days after watching it, he has left no impression on me whatsoever. What I can recall is that he is another key component in the angry acting school that the producers of this movie were apparently casting for.

Events take an unexpected turn for the hilarious when the baby sharks arrive. No doubt inspired by a need to save on the CGI budget, they appear as threatening as a stern look from an elderly librarian. Those baby sharks attack the cast in corridors that all look the same, but have different coloured lighting. See, it can’t be the same set used repeatedly! Look, this one is yellow! And this corridor is blue! Trust us, they are totally different locations!

The positives, as brief as they are, include the pre-credits sequence (quite nicely shot), and the bait-switch (pun intended) that hearkens back to Samuel L Jackson’s ill-fated role in Deep Blue Sea. And that really is it. There is literally nothing else I can recommend besides maybe switching the film off.

Save yourself the time and effort. If you have a choice between watching Deep Blue Sea 1 and 2, or just watching Deep Blue Sea twice, do the latter. You will be missing out on literally nothing.

(Rec) (2007) movie review

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I say it time and time again. Finding a new angle to take on the zombie genre is always a positive thing. Finding that new angle and providing an engaging narrative at the same time is even better. That (REC) succeeds despite being a first person, “found footage” piece is to its credit. I’m not much of a fan of that genre, but here it didn’t annoy me in the slightest. In fact, it’s a very clever piece of cinema.

(REC) opens with news reporter Angela Vidal (Manuela Velasco) preparing a piece to camera about the local fire station. It’s not very interesting stuff and intended for broadcast in the middle of the night. Clearly, there is room for her career to expand from here.

Then, some action. After a callout to a block of flats where a resident is apparently trapped in her home, the building is sealed off by the authorities. The reason? A zombie-like threat that could mean the death of all inside.

The found footage approach does work well in this context. Rather than apply a film-like filter the footage is presented everything is presented in its raw, unprocessed look. It’s the same appearance as if you were using your phone or camcorder. A minor point, but a clever one.

Then there are the more obvious moments of tension and surprise, built up steadily over the course of the short run time. We as the audience are as trapped as those are inside the building, watching everything through the camera. An almost thankless task from Pablo Rosso’s ingeniously named cameraman, Pablo.

We can’t see what’s happening behind it, relying on the person holding it to see what’s happening. When you’re faced with a building of rampaging zombie-like infected, it’s a perfect opportunity to shock and surprise everyone involved – including the actors.

In some cases the cast were, apparently, unaware of some of the jump scares that were coming. Intended to create a more genuine reaction to the peril, it works. Aside from the zombie infection thing (because zombies aren’t real, right folks?), there is a sense that this could be something that actually happened. Featuring actors who are, at the very least, not that well known outside of Spain is a positive factor.

(REC) doesn’t do much to support the advance of gender politics in cinema. Angela may very well be the main character, but she spends most of her time screaming and not helping the situation. Admittedly she does start to come into her own as events progress, but she remains a resolutely scared young woman throughout. Understandable perhaps, but it’s hardly progressive.

With that said, (REC) does copy the plot of most zombie films, where most of the people there are hysterical. The only significant departure is that it inverts the formula. Rather than the dead being piled up outside trying to get in, they’re already inside. And er, probably not actually dead.

Still, it gets away with a lot despite its meagre budget and zombie plot cliches. The sound design is excellent, enhancing the sense of dread that anyone in their right mind would feel if placed in the same situation.

Where it succeeds in breaking away from the pack is in its gore and its element of surprise. Characters are bumped off in unexpected ways and there are effective jump scares littered throughout. It might not cover too much new ground, but it packs a punch regardless.

Find out more about the movie here:
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/rec/
IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1038988/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1

Maniac Cop (1988) review

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Generic "cop in a fistfight with a psycho killer" pose Number 6.
Generic “cop in a fistfight with a psycho killer” pose Number 6.

I love 1980s cinema. It was the perfect storm of special effects and the feeling that anything was possible in film. And, of course, it gave us the low budget, schlocky delights of films like Maniac Cop. A cheesy plot compliments an equally cheesy soundtrack. And it’s AWESOME.

What’s not to like about a killer cop who has a MASSIVE chin? No, really – he does have a massive chin. But who is he? And why is he intent on killing people left, right and centre? You will find out soon enough.

But not by me – you should go and watch it for yourself. This is a spoiler free zone, remember?

On the subject of big chins, there’s a lot of bait and switch thinking from the start. One of the potential suspects – okay, the only other suspect – is Mr Chin himself, Bruce Campbell. Bruce is always a welcome addition to any project – as is Sam Raimi, who shows up in a cameo as a news reporter.

It goes without saying for the film as a whole that it’s standard slasher killer fare. A cop, Frank Macrae (Tom Atkins) is on the maniac’s trail. Meanwhile Jack (Bruce Campbell) and Theresa (Laurene Landon), try to clear his name following the murder of his wife. In doing so, they hope to reveal the true identity of the killer cop.

"What do you mean his chin's bigger than mine?"
“What do you mean his chin’s bigger than mine?”

An interesting twist is that the main character is a cop cheating on his wife. And, just as interesting, that we are supposed to empathise with him. That comes easy because it’s Bruce Campbell. It’s different and somewhat refreshing for the genre. More so because there are no hormonal teenagers in sight.

Maniac Cop represents some of the best you would expect from a 1980s horror movie. There is a mysterious killer, an enjoyable soundtrack, great performances and an enjoyably cheesy tone. It also follows the perfect 80s formula of being a story you can tell in half the time. And yet it only runs for 85 minutes. Even so, it does start to flag in the final quarter as the deaths slow down and the pace along with it.

And the script doesn’t always offer a decent explanation for what’s going on. You can go one of two ways. Leave it a mystery or try and explain what made this person who they are, why they kill and so on. Maniac Cop tries to do this but falls short when providing its revelations. It’s like all the worst parts of the Friday The 13th, Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises combined to form this big bad.

This is a minor complaint though. For the most part Maniac Cop an enjoyable romp that doesn’t need to be taken seriously. Embrace the cheesy, over the top nature of it and you’ll have a blast.

Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies (2016) review

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What caused the outbreak: fake snow machine
Obligatory disembowelment scene? Yes
Zombie rules: Zombies react to music. Destroying the brain doesn’t kill them. Removing the head does.
Fast or Slow Zombies?: Slow
Running Time: 78 minutes

A plan to combat the effects of global warming by creating fake snow leads to a zombie outbreak. It doesn’t help that the creator of the fake snow machine has used a suspicious neon green substance to do it. This is not going to end well.

The slopes were particularly vicious this season.
The slopes were particularly vicious this season.

Meanwhile, a crew of extreme sports enthusiasts are on the piste. But they’re not merely travelling downhill at speed. No, they are making a fancy snowboarding video. Of course, the real plot is the burgeoning romance between Branka and Steve. Because a zombie outbreak is always the way to a woman’s heart.

Despite its low budget Lederhosen Zombies looks the part. Every scene has a high contrast, colourful palette. It’s a throwback to 80s horror films in almost every respect. From the slight tone of whimsy to the gloriously synth-heavy soundtrack. I’m uncertain, but many of the tracks seem like direct lifts from something like The Thing or the 1985 Day of the Dead.

That high contrast approach gives everything that extra hint of the 1980s. There’s no such thing as a dull colour palette here when you can use the giallo method. Reds, yellows, greens and purple gels abound in the lighting.

Bordering on the ridiculous, the ballroom dance sequence was for me the film’s low point. Nobody in their right mind would consider dancing while surrounded by zombies. Never mind that the undead are distracted by the music, it’s still a problematic scene. If Branka and Steve were drunk at the time then you could let this one slip. But they’re not drunk, and they show flawed decision making. So… typical zombie movie territory then.

Case in point.
Case in point.

With that said, it is very well presented. Much like the script too, which is amusing but never quite hits the same marks as, say Shaun of the Dead. As for gore, this is very much in Braindead territory. They throw impressive gore effects into the mix with reckless abandon.

Lederhosen Zombies tries to be too many things at once. Is it a dark, serious zombie horror? An outright comedy, knowingly steeped in zombie lore? Or is it a balanced combination of these things? Well, no. It’s never all that sure of itself and some jokes do fall flat. Plus, the romance angle doesn’t do either of the characters any favours. Meanwhile its self-referential approach to the zombie genre is nothing new. This is quietly dropped after a couple of brief references, which is a shame.

The mixture of tones and influences doesn’t do the finished product many favours. It would have been better to either focus on one tone throughout, or emulate Shaun of the Dead. How? By blending the comedy elements with horror. Shaun worked because the characters were believable and either lovable or loathsome. Lederhosen Zombies never reaches that pinnacle. But the good news is that the gore and cinematography more than justify a viewing.