Review: KILL ZOMBIE! / Cert: TBC / Director: Martijn Smits, Erwin van den Eshof / Screenplay: Tijs van Marle / Starring: Uriah Arnhem, Wouter Braaf, Noel Deelen, Jan Doense, Yahya Gaier / Release Date: September 12th
You’d be forgiven for thinking - or possibly even screaming - ‘Oh God not again’ at the prospect of another micro-budget zombie horror; this reviewer certainly had good cause to roll his eyes and lower his expectations. But the good news is that Kill Zombie! - in which a Russian satellite crashes into an office tower block in Amsterdam leaking green ooze which turns people into ravenous flesh eaters - takes its lead from Shaun of the Dead rather than the po-faced string of cash-in nasties which followed (and continue to follow) in its wake. Kill Zombie! is big, loud, non-stop nonsense full of over-the-top unsubtle European slapstick style humour and a commendable amount of extremely-creative gore and eye-opening splatter FX.
Office slacker Nolan (Arnhem) gets sacked from his job for spending too long pining for the girl of his dreams. A visit to his lay-about brother Joris (Deelan) leads to an ugly encounter with two hopeless thugs and the four of them end up in jail. The following morning they emerge from custody in the company of foxy cop Kim (Ravelli) to find that all Hell has broken lose, the city’s in flames and its population have become zombies which have to be… well, killed. And killed they are in some spectacularly inventive and gruesome methods. Heads explode, electric fans slice and dice, bodies are routinely dismembered and devoured (with the zombies eventually munching on each other). The story devolves into familiar we-must-rescue-my-girlfriend territory - but even this cliché gets turned on its head as Nolan finds his heart may belong elsewhere and his girlfriend might not actually be his ideal woman after all.
But amidst all the running and shooting and general zombie pandemonium there’s time for some comedy too. Much of it might be a bit too rich and unsubtle for more sophisticated palettes - and irritatingly highlighted right across the film by a silly ‘this is comedy, folks’ quirky musical score - and inept homeboys Aziz (Yahya Gaier) and Jeffrey (Sergio Hasselbaink) are decent value with their broad banter and comic buffoonery and there’s surely warped genius at work somewhere when our heroes take refuge on a playground climbing frame as zombies swarm all around them.
Across its brief running time (around eighty minutes) Kill Zombie! manages to put flesh on the bones of its main characters (even as it’s being stripped off the flesh of everyone else) and there are a couple of character deaths which are genuinely emotional and when our survivors flee the carnage of the city for the safety of a military quarantine zone, they find a delicious, if entirely illogical, twist in the tale which may well have you rolling in the aisles.
Kill Zombie! is delightfully daffy fun which might lean a bit too heavily towards the comedy for serious gore hounds but its refreshing change of style and pace manage to breathe new life into a now dangerously oversubscribed genre.
Special Features: None
Kill Zombie! will have its UK premiere at London’s Frightfest on August 25th before being released on DVD in September.