Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

22 September 2008

American Zombie

Director: Grace Lee
Writers: Grace Lee, Rebecca Sonnenshine
Released: 2007
Cast: Grace Lee, John Solomon, Austin Basis, John Durbin, Suzy Nakamura, Al Vicente, Jane Edith Wilson

NIKKI says: Something made me think I'd hate it. Possibly the bad taste in my mouth left by Brutal Massacre, that other recent horror mockumentary we watched. I expected another one-note movie, with a little joke stretched long.

I was mistaken, thankfully. This was a really good movie, which took it's premise -- that zombies exist in daily American life and here's your chance to see just how they interact and assimilate -- and injected it with intensity and drama. This is not a comedy. It's a dramatic portrayal of fringe communities struggling for recognition. Sure, elements of it are lighthearted, but you'd be fooled to think of this as some kind of throwaway addition to the ZombieFilmRevolution. Interesting minds are at work here. This is a multi-layered piece that looks at the documentarians as much as it does its studied subjects. It questions motives for each, and through this viewer/viewee keyhole, we get to see the zombies from a range of sides. We see them as maligned and desiring respect, we see the potential for their exploitation, and we see changes in them depending on what the filmmakers offer (introspection and compassion vs. the need for discovery and full lifestyle disclosure).

It's very clever how the film sets things up to show us these things. The structure was brilliant, and I am so thankful the filmmakers resisted pop culture pandering and stereotypes and really managed to present new kinds of zombies and zombie life.

Enjoyed it immensely.


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