We've seen it before, and I won't do this film a disservice by naming the most obvious modern horror comedy it seems to resemble, but Aj Zombies! is still a lot of fun, making up for a lack of originality with a core group of fun characters and some solid laughs.
Emilram Cossio stars as Felipe, not one of life's winners. His mother works for the family of Claudia (Anahi de Cardenas), a lovely young woman who barely notices him, and it's when he goes to visit her at her place of work that Felipe and Claudia both realise that there's been an outbreak of zombiefication. They stick together in an attempt to stay alive, soon joined by an oblivious drunk (Miguel Iza) and a security guard (Cesar Ritter).
Adapted from a web series of the same name, although I am unfamiliar with it, director Daniel Martin Rodriguez does very good work with the script by Pablo Carrillo, Gonzalo Rodriguez Risco and Bruno Rosina, a script that touches on some fun ideas without ever hammering you over the head with them. The opening scenes alone show the size of the class/economic divide in Peru, the isolation of individuals who spend their times on their mobile phones, and how the zombie epidemic can easily start to grow before people even realise what is happening.
The pacing is almost perfect, with a few smaller set-pieces intersperesed throughout the character moments and interplay, but gorehounds may be a bit disappointed by the lack of any serious amounts of grue (although there are a couple of decent moments).
It's the leads that help make this more memorable, however, and Iza should be singled out for his constantly hilarious drunkard, either making sure that he has his alcohol to hand or sometimes breaking out into a random musical moment. Ritter provides some big laughs too, and Cossio and De Cardenas both become more rounded and sweet characters in comparison to their new companions, making the journey more satisfying, and tense.
There are now, I believe, approximately 1,053 zombie comedies out there for you to choose from. This is one of the better ones, thanks to the characters, the Peruvian setting, and a finale that feels appropriate while also maintaining the balance of comedy and zombie threat.
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