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Una de zombis
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by Kevin Thomas

"The sheer energy almost covers up the wandering plotline"
3 stars

Sometimes a movie can just try too hard. There is such a thing as simply trying too hard to accomplish too much, and, despite it being excellent fun, Una De Zombis (A Film About Zombies) falls victim to this.

It tell the story of two aspiring film makers; the nerdish, hopeless Aijon and the arsehole radio DJ Caspas. Caspas loses his job after his incessant heckling of an underground criminal gang of zombies known as the Antichrists puts the station in danger, and Aijon is kicked out of his house (moments before his mother stabs him to death) and forced to live in a squalid flat. They join forces, get pissed, throw up lots (again, and again, and again….) then decide to make a film.

But, being inspiration-less, they quickly run onto dry ground. To get them back on track, they enlist the help of the sexy Carla to act as their muse. As the film goes on and the film within the film gets written, both are sucked into the middle of an undead gang war that they have unfortunately set off and must bring down.

It’s even more stupid than it sounds on paper, which is a fair achievement, but it’s great fun for it. During the first half of the movie the quick fire rota of brilliant characters is enough to keep you interested. The jokes about directionless post-teen life are spot on and enough to raise more than a few smiles. However, when the movie finally has to get on with playing out the absurd premise it has constructed, it gets bogged down in a plot that is just the wrong side of coherent. Once the messy threads are dealt with and the brilliant (if cheap) ending starts to unravel it gets back on track, but the long second act can be a bit of a drag. Especially if it’s five O’clock in the morning and the Red Bull is wearing off.

As far as foreign oddities go, this is certainly much easier to swallow than most fare, but this could be a result of the fact that there is very little (other than the dialogue, obviously) that is noticeably Spanish about the execution. It certainly won’t be the culture shock of a Takeshi mess. The humour, script style and characterisation is all very Hollywood (though they’d probably still want to make their own remake because, you know, subtitles require you to read) so it’s very easy to swallow for all those who fear the foreign.

Overall, it’s a slick little tale of completely insane pseudo-zombie madness. Though it’s a little too crazy when it comes down to actually having to play out its own script, it still manages to create a series of characters who are genuinely loveable for all their faults and put them through an ordeal that’s, at least, one of the most energetic and imaginative you could hope to find.

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originally posted: 11/17/04 00:09:41
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Leeds Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Leeds Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/27/04 Matthew Armitáge A darkly funny zombie/gangster romp, well worth seeing! Can't wait for the DVD 4 stars
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