When it comes to specific genre’s of horror, the one that seems to be the hottest right now is the zombie genre. With shows like “The Walking Dead” and “iZombie” it’s no wonder why people are obsessed with the undead. The liege of walking dead has spanned throughout numerous decades and movies ranging from serious sociopolitical films such as George Romero’s classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD to horror/comedies such as SHAUN OF THE DEAD and FIDO. The latest zombie horror/comedy comes to us from down under and features a slew of comedians fighting off hordes of zombies during an apocalypse. Unlike the other films mentioned above, ME AND MY MATES VS. THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE falls flat and find itself in the category of forgotten cinema.
ME AND MY MATES VS. THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE is the latest film from writer/director Declan Shrubb and features well-known Australian comedians/internet sensations Jim Jefferies (FX’s “Legit”), Alex Williamson (LA’s radio show “The Hot Hits Live”) and Greg Fleet (“Greg Fleet: Thai Dye”). The story focuses on a group of friends, Joel (Jim Jefferies), Darryl (Alex Williamson), and Roy (Gregg Fleet), telecom tradesman, who trap themselves inside a telephone exchange during the zombie apocalypse. I really wanted to enjoy this movie and I think had there been more focus on better dialogue and character development it would have shined above other similar films but instead we are left with jokes that are crude and unoriginal with character that leave little to be desired. I hate writing bad reviews so don’t mistake this as something that I enjoy but I left this film feeling empty with nothing to compensate for the 90 minutes of viewing.
I don’t want this review to be completely negative because I do believe that there is a silver lining in almost every film that I watch. If there is something to be said about ME AND MY MATES VS. THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE it’s that there make-up department was on point with the design of the zombies. From the first moment that one of the undead walks (stumbles?) on screen I was impressed with the meticulous detail that went into making these zombies as dead and grotesque as possible. This was an area that the film could have scrapped and but instead they went above and beyond to make the zombies look as realistic as possible (no pun intended). Also, I enjoyed the death scenes and the gore, even though it was over-the-top at parts, it fell in line with the ridiculousness of the film. Though the majority of the film’s humor was not my taste, I did find myself laughing a few times, especially at the expense of Alex Williamson’s character. His character reminded me of that goofy friend that we all have at one point in our lives that needs some major guidance in getting through this thing we call life. Lastly, another aspect of the film that I didn’t necessarily hate, was the light-hearted tone of the movie. Usually when watching a zombie flick, the characters are deadly serious and there is a sense of urgency to find safety. With ME AND MY MATES VS THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE I found myself slightly enjoying the nonchalant attitude that our three characters had. There was no sense of urgency or no feeling of immediate threats. To them, they just wanted to hang out, drink beer, and maybe if they were lucky escape the zombie apocalypse. This whole attitude gave the film a different feel and I liked that spin on the tone of the movie.
Overall, this film wasn’t for me, but I think that’s because I wasn’t the target audience. I wasn’t familiar with Jefferies, Williamson, or Fleet prior to this film and maybe if I was more acquainted with their comedy I would have liked the film better. However, if you enjoy zombie flicks that focus more on over-the-top humor and gore and less on character development than this might be the film for you.
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