CERT: 15 | FORMAT: BLU-RAY (REVIEWED), ARROW VIDEO STREAMING | RELEASE DATE: JULY 6TH
When a pharmaceutical company releases a new medicine for diabetics called NoInsulin, it has unexpected side effects and a zombie escapes from their underground plant, looking for food. After being chased by a dog into a toilet, the zombie bites the father of the quite strange and extremely crooked Park family who own the local gas station. When they realise that the bite hasn't killed the father but instead has de-aged him, they capture the zombie and devise a moneymaking scheme that allows the zombie to bite all their friends and make them look and feel decades younger. There's just one problem; the zombie is actually vegetarian and very partial to cabbage.
Discovering that slathering the arms of their friends in tomato ketchup gives the zombie the necessary push, they rack up the money before the father decides to abscond with the profits and fly to Hawaii. The remaining family members continue the ruse and manage to reopen the gas station anew. Everything appears to be going fine until everyone that has been bitten starts to turn into actual zombies and run amok. Carnage ensues, including at a wedding and the local bus station, until the family are besieged at the gas station and try to battle their way out.
This South Korean flick plays everything for comedy value and, on the whole, it works. The film has a truly whimsical value to it and there are moments that will have you smiling. The third act does add a splash of tension leading to an explosive finale, and there is a charming epilogue that ties things up quite nicely.
Leaning more heavily towards comedy than horror, this is a fun way to spend nearly two hours. It may not be as funny as Shaun of the Dead, but this has enough going for it for you to give it a watch. The make-up effects are nothing spectacular, but it doesn't feel like anything is missing in that regard as the film is more about family and how they can work together, especially in the most bizarre circumstances.
The film has English subtitles and no English dub, but there is an audio commentary which is quite entertaining, especially with what is going on in the world at the moment! The extras are also good, which you expect from an Arrow release, including a Q&A with the director as well as a video essay about South Korea's social satires. This is also available to watch on Arrow Video Streaming.
Good fun, although you'll probably never look at cabbages or false teeth the same way again.