In ZMD, a conservative island community is under attack! Port Gamble, Washington is being overrun with braineaters, and the people seem powerless to stave them off. A rag tag band of rebels led by Frida (Janette Armand), an Iranian college student suspected of being an Iraqi terrorist, and Tom (Doug Fahl), a gay business man who has returned to town with his partner to “come out” to his mother, tries to turn the tide and push the invading hoards of undead back.(box description)
Wow, what to make of this… ZMD (Zombies of Mass Destruction) is a hodge podge of bad writing, bad acting, and bad effects. It’s the first film by director Kevin Hamedani, and although ambitious, inexperience really shows. Instead of delivering a traditional zombie tale, he tackles sensitive issues like racial profiling, gay relationships, religion, and politics in a slapstick kinda way that doesn’t come off half as funny as he thinks. Hamedani stumbles over his own jokes half the time, not being overly clever, or even creative. The effects are mediocre at its best, but look pretty damn cheap for the most part. What was really impressive about the film was the locations and sheer number of actors (if we can call them that). Also the pacing was pretty good throughout. Hamedani had all the basic ingredients to make a cool zombie flic, but unfortunately he tried to take it in a different direction… a political zomedy? I’m all for comedy… when it works, unfortunately Hamedani gives too much credit to his performers and the film suffers. Comedy is heavily dependent on timing and delivery… this lacked both.
ZMD is like ordering a steak with all the fixins and getting a peanut butter sandwich instead… it’s edible and it fills the void, but is it satisfying… I guess that depends on how much you like peanut butter.
Keep in mind ZMD is classified as a low budget production ($1,000,000), so if you’re into that, you’ll probably dig it. It stands high above a lot of the other straight to DVD stuff out there, but seriously… the next Shaun of the Dead ain’t gonna come on a straight to DVD title.
In the end, I really wanted to like this film, but found it more of a bearable distraction. Zombies Of Mass Destruction is one of the “8 films to die for” in the Horrorfest 2010, and is available now on DVD.