Sunday, 30 March 2014

A Little Bit Zombie (2012)

It's another zombie comedy, yes, but it's also another one that's at least mildly amusing for most of its runtime. In fact, zombie comedies have, for the most part, been pretty good over the last few years. Few have ever come close to being, as claimed, "the next Shaun Of The Dead" but a skewed premise often leads to at least half-decent results.

Kristopher Turner is Steve, a man who is trying to enjoy a little break with his fiance (Tina, played by Crystal Lowe), his sister (Sarah, played by Kristen Hager), and her fella/his mate, Craig (Shawn Roberts). Unfortunately, things are a bit stressful, mainly because Tina can never seem to switch off and just enjoy herself. She's actually made a schedule for their vacation, much to the annoyance of the others. Then things start to get worse when Steve is bitten by a mosquito. It's no ordinary mosquito. It is, in fact, a mosquito that had previously been feeding on some zombie blood. When Steve is infected by the blood he starts to turn funny, but battles against it. He is, as the title says, A Little Bit Zombie.

Written by Christopher Bond and Trevor Martin, this is a film that has some funny moments, but it's never quite as good as it could be. There are some laughs, and it's fun to see the zombie problem in the movie treated as more of an irritating obstacle by Steve and his determined bride-to-be, but the comedy is a bit too broad to prove wholly satisfying.

Director Casey Walker does a good job with the cast, the effects and the small set-pieces. The movie jumps about, trying to fit in a number of different styles and framing devices for gags, but that's the biggest mistake. Everything else is at least competent, and often quite nicely done (especially the opening sequence).

Turner is good in the main role, and provides enough amusement as he starts to crave brains more and more. Lowe is the star though, being very hard to like from the very beginning, but also being a woman so determined to do right by her fiance that she will adapt quickly to any situation. Hager and Roberts are fine in their roles, and Stephen McHattie and Emilie Ullerup raise the whole movie up a notch with their scenes, both playing zombie hunters. McHattie is particularly brilliant, and at his coolest, as a man who doesn't even think twice while destroying zombies, while Ullerup is hoping to find a cure (something that perhaps Steven might provide them with, at long last).

It's not great, and it's far from the best of the crop of zombie comedies to have come along in the last decade, but A Little Bit Zombie is decent fun while it's on. Will you remember it a year or two down the line? I don't think so.


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