Movie Review: ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction (2009)

REVIEW: ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction (2009) (available on DVD as part of the After Dark HorrorFest series)

After 9/11, people from the Mideast often found themselves being given a suspicious eye . That prejudice is still with us, and if anything, heightened, almost ten years later. Zombies of Mass Destruction (ZMD) takes this paranoia and stirs it in with numerous political stereotypes to produce an unusual and uneven zombie flick.

Since Romero pioneered the trend, zombies have long been a great source for social commentary.  Zombies of Mass Destruction‘s producers have embraced the opportunity for commentary, but have done so with a lovingly delivered B movie sentimentality. The result is the film is often over-the-top, and wobbles between horror, social documentary, and comedy.

This is director Kevin Hamedani’s directorial debut. Genre has been a great way to kick-start the careers of directors, writers, and actors. Look at Peter Jackson’s low budget gore-fest Dead Alive. Whether Zombies of Mass Destruction will open the door for this young talent is questionable, but at least it doesn’t slam it shut.

The main characters are mix of quirky individuals. Most are unaware of a zombie plague erupting around them, although the walking dead are stumbling about in plain view (something handled much better in Shaun of the Dead). There’s a  gay couple  trying to tell one of their parents the truth of their sexual orientation, an Iranian-American woman who is being persecuted as an Iraqi, a corrupt mayor who steadfastly stands as a political stereotype, and a religious zealot who not only believes that he can ‘cure being gay’ but that the zombie outbreak is God’s punishment for the America’s sins.

Yes there is a LOT going on in this little town. Animated, it could have been South Park. The only thing missing is the presence of Stan, Kyle, Eric, and Kenny.

Don’t think though that the film has the biting wit of Stone and Parker. Sometimes the social commentary is limp and drags down both the comedic and horrific elements.  The over-the-top stereotypes are flat, the political sub-themes awkwardly handled.

Still, it’s worth a midnight viewing. Although it takes a bit of time to build up steam, once it’s there, the director follows the usual tropes and pacing of a modern zombie film. While the budget is low, the zombie effects are fairly well-handled. Plus, there’s more than enough gore to satisfy people looking for a blood and guts fix.

Comments are closed.