STREAM QUEEN: three times the infection

I don’t know if it’s the whole Covid thing getting to me, but suddenly I’ve been dragging the hubby back into the zombie/infected world with a handful we’ve not seen before. So here are three more that had some aspects I liked…and some I didn’t.

MAYHEM (2017)

Joe Lynch (director of Wrong Turn 2 and one of the stars of the Holliston horror sitcom) brings us a dark comedy that you could describe as “The Crazies meets The Office”.

Glenn from The Walking Dead is part of the dog-eat-dog world of a law firm. He’s also reunited with the Governor’s sidekick Milton, and teams up with Samara Weaving of Ready or Not, who is made for movies like these. She’s once again a bitch that loses her shit when faced with extreme circumstances, so it is time to add her to my wicked women page.

As soon as a virus hits, the building is placed under quarantine. Everyone has the virus, and you can tell because it turns one eye red. But unlike The Crazies, these infected can basically turn their crazy on and off. They use that immoral willingness to murder to their advantage as they kill anyone who gets in their way of climbing the law firm ladder.

I simply did not find Mayhem as funny and entertaining as I was hoping it would be because there are no redeeming qualities to any of the characters. Rather than being metaphorical, it’s literally a movie about vile, entitled people clawing their way to the top.

Sure there are some funny moments, there’s some 90s nostalgia with references to the Dave Matthews Band and use of the hit “Ants Marching”, and there’s definitely plenty of zany killing, but I had no use for all these pieces of shit. Except Samara. She rocks.

AMERICAN ZOMBIELAND (2020)

 

It’s Redneck Zombies, Shaun of the Dead, and One Cut of the Dead all rolled into one silly, indie zomcom. Originally the film was titled Fat Ass Zombies—a much better name considering that’s what the filmmakers in this meta movie decide to call the movie they’re making.

I guess the powers that be forced the title change to cash in on the faux patriotic conservative movement destroying our nation right now. Or maybe the title wasn’t PC enough. Either way, the original title fits the tone of the film better, as does the original poster art. And hell, it still begins with hefty gun nut types running at the screen. He wasn’t waving his gun around, but this dude definitely had me craving areola big time.

Even though some of the humor falls flat, our four main guys in the movie know how to deliver the comic timing, so there are plenty of strong moments throughout the film. My biggest disappointment is that it moves into Troma territory with excessive, pointless fart humor.

As for the plot, a wannabe zombie filmmaker in a small town is rejected from a film festival, so when an actual zombie outbreak begins, he convinces everyone taking cover at the local bar to film their battles with the living dead in order to make a realistic zombie film.

It provides plenty of slapstick moments zombie fans can appreciate. Their decision is to only mess with fat ass zombies they can outrun, so again—the movie should have been called Fat Ass Zombies.

Other highlights include Big Daddy’s hot young wife from The Golden Girls as the filmmaker’s mother, a redneck getting his dick bit off, and the outbreak’s connection to patriotism and Independence Day.

And I can definitely say now that I like rednecks better than lawyers (especially when they have mondo areolas).

LAST ONES OUT (2015)

This well-made film is only 75 minutes long and has a few absolutely fantastic zombie sequences, but I just couldn’t get into the story arc of the main character.

An American man is about to go into appendectomy surgery in an African hospital when the virus hits. He joins up with some of the staff of the hospital to journey through the wilderness to a rescue location.

Along the way, they have some unnerving encounters with freaky zombies, the best part of the movie. Zombie encounters are used with restraint since this is not a zombie hordes situation, but many of the chases take place in daylight, and I just love me some daylight zombie scenes in foreign lands. Reminds me of late 70s/early 80s Euro zombie movies.

While the zombie action is great, the trajectory of the plot is the usual for a zombie film, and the privileged white dude is such a douche that even when he “redeems” himself I still didn’t like him! I like Rednecks better than him. And I definitely liked Fat Ass Z…um…American Zombieland best out of these three.

 

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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