Movie Review: Zombies Anonymous

Over the weekend, I watched the 2007 horror film Zombies zombiesanonAnonymous.  It was pretty good–definitely one of the best lower-budget zombie movies I’ve seen in some time.

ZA imagines a world in which zombies have risen from the dead, yet remain more-or-less functioning members of society.  They walk and talk, and even hold down jobs.  Angela, the protagonist, becomes a member of the walking dead when her boyfriend shoots her in a domestic dispute.  Angela retains her home and employment, but must rediscover her self as a zombie.  (The murderous boyfriend, intriguingly, goes on to join an anti-zombie hate group, and so faces the prospect of “killing” Angela a second time.)

Early in the film, Angela attends a support-group for zombies.  At one point in their meeting, the host suggests they all eat doughnuts.  A zombie responds: “Why would we eat doughnuts?  They make us sick.”  The host replies: “Because that’s what normal humans do.”  This desire to “be normal” gets at the heart of the film for me.   ZA’s central question seems to be:  Is it imperative to conform to a society’s norms and rules even if one entertains strong natural inclinations to the contrary?  (It’s a difficult question, and ZA provides a variety of answers.)

Was ZA perfect?  By no means.  It is too long (104 minutes, when 80 would have sufficed).  The fight scenes are the likely culprit for this, dragging on and on beyond gore and screams into a dull grey void where you just want them to be over.  Also, as in many zombie films, the acting is uneven.  Some roles are well-rendered and compelling, while other portrayals are amateurish and flat.

However, all-in-all, I thought ZA was a good film.  It’s well-plotted, generally well-cast, and features enough zombie-gore to sate any horror fan.  (And the zombies themselves look great–pale and scabby and terrifying.)  Here’s the trailer:

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