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Zombie Town

Directed by Damon Lemay

Written by Damon Lemay

Starring Adam Hose, Brynn Lucas, Dennis Lemoine, Philip Burke

Produced by Zorinah Juan, Mary Beth French

Rated R

88 minutes

***

Considering that Zombie Town is brought to us via a production studio whose name translates literally into the English as “Shoes for All” (Zapatos Pour Todos), you’d think that Zombie Town might be a somewhat tongue-in-cheek affair.

The plot isn’t something you see too often—a small-town mechanic in the tiny town of Otis, Vermont must turn to his ex-girlfriend and snowplow driving rival to survive a zombie apocalypse in the making.

And it was, in at least a small part, a tongue in cheek affair, though they could’ve gone a bit farther with it. For instance, where Alex asks “What do you mean, they’re all dead” when Jake talks to her early on, it would’ve been great if Jake could have looked up at her and said something like “Dead! As in no longer living! They have ceased to be!” in the best Monty Python style. However, the old lady zombie brawl down at the Saturday night bingo hall was definitely worth the price of admission.

Which isn’t to say I don’t approve of Zombie Town—it’s very much a Romero classical-style look at a town in the grips of the earliest stages of Zombie Apocalypse. From the disbelief of the civil authorities to the gradual nature of the infection and its spread, it’s very, VERY Romero. I’m just convinced that “Zombie Town” could have been quite a bit more than what it actually was. I’m a bit disappointed—there’s potential here that’s simply not being observed.

Granted, these zombies are a bit more twitchy and aggressive than the Romero variety, but they don’t run, and they don’t talk. This puts them well ahead of most Romero knockoffs. And I’m significantly less than pleased by the whole “zombies as transport for some kind of bug / slug-thing” either. Too much Night of the Comet for my tastes, but there wasn’t that much wrong with Night of the Comet. So again, I approve.

I spent most of the movie approving of Zombie Town—for a low-budget zombie flick it was actually quite palatable. Often funny, and quick on the draw, it kept up a solid pace and yet still knew when to get serious.

The ending spends a little time being introspective before wandering straight into a bang-up brawl with a horde of zombies. This strange diversion gives a little extra credibility to the ending, and is a welcome surprise. Plus, a twist ending awaits, which is not half bad.

The special features include Spanish subtitles, a making-of featurette, a featurette on the special effects of Zombie Town, and trailers for Zombie Town, Dead Lenny, All In, Arachnia, Ice Queen and Illegal Aliens.

All in all, Zombie Town may be just a huge knockoff of Night of the Comet, but it’s still a pretty damn good knockoff of Night of the Comet. That, and when’s the last time you actually saw one of those? Funny, scary and action-packed, Zombie Town is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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