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“Take the zombies bowling, take them bowling.”
(2007) Dir. Matthew Kohnen (Review by JK)
The great thing about zombie movies is also the worst thing about them: they are so damn easy to make with little more than the desire to do so, a bunch of willing buddies and any liquid that may or may not resemble blood on screen. But that’s also why when a zombie movie comes along which claws its way out of the grave of undead cliché, like Matthew Kohnen’s Aaah! Zombies!!, it is quickly clear that in the right hands, the zombie movie is not just yet ready to take that final bullet in the head. Like some demented, goofy second cousin to both Colin and Shaun of the Dead, Aaah! Zombies!! relishes in its tongue-in-rotted-cheek tone while delivering the darker bits of grue and gore-soaked gags – all the while putting the zombies center stage as the main, mostly sympathetic characters. Using a clever (and until now) unused storytelling device: the dead have no idea they are dead, and remain content going about their daily business, despite their rotting nature and lust for flesh. Kohnen adds a new and interesting twist to a genre seemingly wrung out of any fresh intellectual meat. His delivery of this concept manages to impress as well; when the main characters, now all zombies, see each other or themselves, everything is presented in high-def, crisp color – unbloodied, full speech and not undead at all. But from the still living perspective, the film kicks into black and white, the true nature and appearance of the leads now crystal clear – rotting, grunting and twitching leftovers of humanity – making room for plenty of gags but also allowing the majority of the film to exist as more a reflection on “life” as a zombie, and just how to get around that unfortunate situation and have a normal existence– without making too much of a mess.
Aaah! Zombies!! delivers much more than enough for the average horror and/or horror comedy fan who is just as jaded as the rest of us from undead movie overload. The smoking hot female leads, higherthan average production values and the best (and only) use of Caper VanBeethoven’s “Take the Skinheads Bowling” in ahorror movie close the deal. More brains and more bowlingwith your zombies is never a bad thing.