Dead and Loving It: American Zombie

Frankly, I am getting a bit bored with the recent crush of independent zombie films, most of them are less than original, and, for me, they've sort of taken what was once one of the most frightening movie monster staples (the shambling, flesh eating ghoul) and turned them into a dull cliche.

Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this little gem; Director, Grace Lee's straight faced mocumentary, American Zombie, ...what a pleasant surprise!

Apparently Los Angeles has a rather large population of living dead citizens, and some of them have joined forces and are demanding equal rights, fair housing, the right to vote and everything else an oppressed populace might crave. They even have their own organization, ZAG (Zombie Advocacy Group) which is lead by a well spoken young male zombie. Indeed, most of the revenants, especially the "high functioning" portion hold down jobs, speak eloquently, and, for the most part, could pass for living.

During the course of the film we meet a slacker type-night clerk zombie; a wide eyed, red haired, somewhat loopy female zombie who works as a funeral floral arranger; and, my personal favorite, a sweet faced Asian American female zombie who loves cats, organic gardening and scrap booking. With the exception of some facial boils, bad teeth, patches of rotting skin and the occasional maggot infested wounds, our three main living dead subjects seem like perfectly pleasant folks.

Sure, some suspect the living dead of dark doings, but for the most part, that could just be based on people being suspect of others who are different from them...uh, then again, maybe not.

Are the zombies just like us? Is ZAG nothing more than a political group working for the common good? And what about the yearly Live Dead Festival? Is it nothing more than a Burning Man for zombies, or is something much darker afoot? I'll never tell!

By all means, check out American Zombie - its a terrific little film with just enough of a bite to keep horror fans happy.


monsterscholar said...

Zombies are people too!
They're just...umm...dead people. So do they round up the non-functioning zombies in internment camps and force them to do manual labor? This film has my interest piqued.

Pax Romano said...

Would love to get your take on this one!