American Zombie

By Brett Mullins

american zombie Pictures, Images and PhotosReleased: 2007

Directed by Grace Lee

American Zombie is a mockumentary chronicling the production of a documentary that covers the lives of the growing population of living dead in the greater Los Angeles area. Filmmakers John Soloman and Grace Lee (who play themselves) team up to explore the undercovered lives of these ‘zombies.’

This film provides an interesting perspective on zombies: this group has been severely misrepresented by popular culture as savage, mindless flesh eaters. We are shown zombies who can still work, produce art, and effectively communicate as if they were alive.

There are two noteworthy performances in American Zombie: Austin Basis portrays Ivan, a skateboarding zombie that is interviewed several times throughout the film, and John Soloman, who acts as the comically unconventional documentarian.

Though this film is interesting, it is not without its problems. Many aspects of the film feel as though they were not fully thought out. The pacing varies greatly and lags heavily in middle. The ending is abrupt and leaves the audience shaking their heads in disappointment.

It’s not hard to see the attempted metaphor at play in American Zombie. The first half of the film evokes the feeling that zombies are just another stereotyped minority. The second half changes things a bit and illustrates that they are more than misunderstood. Perhaps this film is a commentary on documentary filmmakers in general. However one slices it, this element does not play out effectively.

American Zombie is an interesting take on the subgenre; however, it will likely not appeal to those that are not already a fan of the undead.

Rating: 4/10

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