‘Juan of the Dead’ Review – Zombie Killing and Havana Nights

juan-of-the-dead
Juan de los Muertos (original title)

Directed by Alejandro Brugués 2012

How can a film go wrong when you include Sid Vicious crooning Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ on its soundtrack I ask you? Answer is you cannot.

This film actually had my approval with its title, ‘Juan of the Dead’. Remember that cool little British film, ‘Shawn of the Dead’? Of course you do, it was fun! Staying in the vein of slacker turns hero, Juan of the Dead, also mixes in a political slant. The film takes place in Communist Cuba. We are introduced to Juan, and his side-kick, Lazaro. They are a couple of guys getting by day to day being a petty criminals, neither of them really showing any ambition to do any really productive with their lives in Havana, just seeming to be if you know what I mean. Juan are Lazaro are content to drink tequila and relax.

But wouldn’t you know the universe has other plans for them. Juan and Lazaro go to a neighborhood meeting that goes horriably wrong. Suddenly one of the meeting’s participants, whom mysteriously resembles a zombie out of nowhere starts attacking people. Juan not being one to aid people in their time of need of course leaves. Only to discover the next day, while watching the news there are other attacks by what the media is calls dissidents. Dissidents sent by the U.S. government nonetheless, because get it Cuba is a Communist country, and anyway read about Bay of Pigs for more information on that. I always get side-tracked, I’m a history nerd – sorry.

After a couple of days of the unrest of the undead, Juan, Lazaro, Lazaro’s son Vladi California (he is really cute btw) and Juan’s estranged daughter discover they have a knack for zombie killing. Fun and as Juan and Friends discover lucrative. The merry band of zombie killers start a business killing ‘your loved ones’. Some of the good things about this film are its humorous take on the zombie movie just like ‘Shawn’. ‘Juan’ also has its collection of flawed, yet likable characters, which includes a 6-foot tall man made literally of muscles, who is so afraid of blood he faints at the site of it, but he’s a good fighter. Juan himself is pretty much the slacker, but once he faces a bad situation he proves that he actually is not a bad guy.

As far as zombie films go, Juan of the Dead’ pretty much falls in line with the standard fare. Bloody gooey kills happen throughout the film and as always I appreciate the good old fashioned make-up and prosthetics used gave the movie an awesome look. Now, the film is not without its problems, for one we are never really told where or how the zombie outbreak started or if it was isolated to just Cuba. I know these are not important plot elements, but I was a little curious. The ending also annoyed me just a bit, but since I’m not here to spoil, let’s just say Juan is not this person. Yes, he loved his daughter and friends, but REALLY?

Juan of the Dead is currently available on DVD. See it!

[REC]³ Génesis – A Different Venue for the Continuing Story

Directed by Paco Plaza 2012
Pretty wedding dress? Check. Lovely Estate? Check. Cheesy music for reception? Check. Zombie flesh eating infectious disease? Check.
[REC]³ Génesis-poster
Making its entry into the REC franchise is [REC]³ Génesis. This time the story has finally departed the apartment building from the first two films. In this chapter we are invited to the wedding of Koldo (Diego Martín) and Clara (Leticia Dolera). The wedding goes off without a hitch, pun intended, but the reception is a whole other story. Unfortunately for the party goers the reception is attended by Koldo’s infected uncle, whom at first glance appears to be drunk. However, the uncle says he has been bitten by a dog. Remember the dog of the little girl way back from the first film? In other words this is the tie-in to the first two REC films. If you’ve seen the first films you already know this is bad for everyone involved, especially when Uncle starts attacking everyone spreading the infection quickly.
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‘Juan of the Dead’ Available On-Demand or Pre-Order Today

Juan de los Muertos or Juan of the Dead graces us with its presence on DVD on August 14, 2012. You can pre-order it at Amazon.com below (pssst, help us out) or it’s available On-Demand and ITunes.

JUAN OF THE DEAD, a fun horror comedy set in the streets of zombie-infested Havana. Juan is a slacker who has never quite managed to get his life in order until a zombie invasion takes over Havana, Cuba, and an unexpected opportunity to capitalize on the situation presents itself. Joined by a ragtag group of opportunists, Juan becomes a zombie killer-for-hire until it becomes increasingly obvious that escaping from the island is the only option.


[REC] 3: Genesis Opens Today On-Demand

REC-3-One-sheet[REC] 3: Genesis opens today On-Demand.

Koldo and Clara are about to celebrate the most important day of their lives: their wedding.
Everything appears to be running smoothly and the bride and groom and their families are enjoying a wonderful day; that is until some of the guests start showing signs of a strange illness. Before they know what’s happening, the bride and groom find themselves in the middle of a hellish ordeal, as an uncontrollable torrent of violence is unleashed on the wedding.
Amidst the chaos, Koldo and Clara become separated and begin a desperate search for one another. What started off as an idyllic day quickly descends into a nightmare of the worst kind…


[REC] 3: Genesis will open in limited release on September 7th. Check your local listings for theaters. If you are so inclined check out the red band trailer after the jump. Continue reading

About that ‘Piggy’ Trailer – Revenge Gone Wrong (Doesn’t it Always?)

Sweet Sixteen star Martin is Joe, an ordinary, mild-mannered lad who is bored with his life in London. But he gets an unwelcome taste of drama when his beloved brother John, played by Neil Maskell, is murdered. At the height of his anger over the killing he meets the mysterious Piggy, who offers him friendship and the chance for revenge. But Piggy’s violent vengeance soon spirals out of control.


The film stars Paul Anderson as Piggy and Martin Compston as Joe.
Piggy hits the U.K. cinema May 4th. Check later for your local listings.