Original Release Date: March 28, 2008
Run Time: 90 minutes
“American Zombie” is a very interesting concept of a movie – a faux-documentary that seeks to explore the plight of the zombie as a minority culture. In the realm of this movie, zombies co-exist with humans in everyday life, but their population numbers are fairly minimal; according to a civil servant in the film, there are an estimated 600 zombies in the greater Los Angeles area, meaning there are probably only a few thousand in the entire country, if the statistics are accurate and extrapolated based on the total national human population.
The movie follows a pair of filmmakers as they follow four different zombies and get a glimpse of the routines and struggles of their everyday lives. It culminates in the all-human film crew being given unprecedented access to shoot footage at “Alive Dead,” a zombie-only gathering of mysterious nature. Things get a little ugly at the end of the story, as things tend to usually do in a zombie movie.
As I mentioned, it’s an interesting concept for a movie, but one that ultimately gets bogged down both in the execution of the film and the basic opposing nature of the two genres being meshed together – viewers of a zombie film usually have a very specific idea of what they are going to get: fairly fast pacing, quick-hitting action, and lots of gore and carnage, and these are all things you just don’t usually get in your standard documentary film.
I really liked this movie, and would give it a much higher rating. The good stuff is in the subtlety — it’s humor, irony, and parody that a lot of people will miss if they’re expecting another Dawn of the Dead 2004.
There are a lot of themes explored here, one of the most obvious being the ridiculous plight of special interest groups.
Where you saw unexplored opportunities and holes, I saw good use of leaving things out for the viewer to fill in themselves. Not everything has to be show/spelled out.
All in all, this is not a “zombie movie” in that it doesn’t follow the same old tired zombie movie formula. It’s clever, fun, and subtle.
Thanks for the comment! I actually enjoy when someone gets something different than I do out of a certain movie, because it helps me see new perspectives, so I definitely appreciate you sharing your views and ideas of the movie. Fortunately, I don’t have the typical “critic ego” and I don’t think my opinion is the only one that can possibly be right. 🙂