The 2010 AfterDark Horrorfest had yet to produce a film this year that I was less than lukewarm about. So far I had watched Lake Mungo, The Reeds and Hidden and was only mildly impressed with The Reeds. The others for all their hype had actually kind of bored me. While I loved the idea of Lake Mungo and the beautiful cinematography of Hidden, I wasn’t even slightly entertained by either. In fact, Hidden was way over my head and I although I appreciate thinking I don’t need to do it while watching a horror movie.
This time for my viewing pleasure, I screened Zombies of Mass Destruction and The Final. Both of which had subliminal messages hidden in their context. Remember, this perspective is coming from a left leaning, Huffington Post reading, MSNBC watching, Sarah Palin-hating, feminist, communist, socialist person and whatever else Fox News has released as vocabulary words so you might not read into the statements about the Bush administration, racism and homophobia that I saw in the film Zombies of Mass Destruction. But, you can’t ignore the title; it clearly speaks for itself right?
ZMD takes place in an idyllic town too picturesque to be believed; seriously, every house was a little quaint piece of white picket fenced heaven. When you see this imagery, you already know you’re screwed. We are introduced to an ensemble of town misfits that have no idea they will be soon infiltrated by a band of zombies hell bent on eating their asses. Now, that’s a party. The story is centered on the character Frida Abbas, who is an Iranian-American who has recently moved back to town after taking a break from school. Although she is of Iranian descent, people keep talking to her about Iraq. There is also a gay couple that I really want to hang out with. Once the zombie action starts, Frida is taken hostage by a local resident because clearly her ties to Iraq caused all of this.
We then meet a gay couple who were actually in town so one of them could come out to his mother finds themselves having to pretend to be straight so they can take refuge in the church. The members of the congregation have decided that it’s God’s will and the only ones to be attacked by the Zombies are the sinners. And by sinners they mean, the non-white, non-straight citizens of the town. The parallels between the town and American climate after 9/11 were somewhat blatant. Now, don’t get me wrong it is a zombie movie for sure and there are some nice kills in this. And they even broke a horror taboo and off-ed a little kid. ZMD also managed to mix in some great comedic moments. See it!
Now this brings us to The Final, awww youth gone very, very wrong. This one had me somewhat confused on how I felt about the characters. First off there are a group of nerdy kids that have been tortured by the popular kids in the school. I say tortured because this is bullying turned up to level 10. Well, the nerds are mad as hell and they aren’t going to take it anymore.
The nerds decide to seek revenge by trapping their popular bullies at a party and let’s just say there is some acid peels and cutting off some fingers that get the message across. I think you will be torn between who are actually the villains in this, when the tortured becomes the torturer how does the resolution work. The characters are so too the extreme on either side you will have a hard time deciding who to root for, which is a great experience in a horror film. See it!