Director: Matt Mitchell
Cast: Vincent Jerome, Huggy Leaver, Fabrizio Santino
Production Company: LMV Productions
Runtime: 88 minutes
There sure are a lot of zombie movies out there, and the genre is definitely a staple for independent filmmakers around the world. So, if you’re going to make a zombie movie, or even just watch one, you may want to go with something a little different. Gangsters, Guns and Zombies (2012) successfully keeps the rotting dead looking fresh.
The movie opens with a group of thieves that are on the run after a bank robbery. Ironically, their getaway is aided by the onset of a zombie apocalypse. Unfortunately, the event also makes the money they stole completely useless. The gangsters decide to stick with their plan to head to a safe house, but things aren’t going to be that easy for them.
Most zombie films focus on the plight of those who hold up in one place, in an attempt to ride out the situation. It was refreshing to see the characters in this movie take it on the road. It was also fortunate that most of the characters were likeable, and that the movie was genuinely funny. The more comical moments were reminiscent of the dark humour found in Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste (1987).
It’s great that this movie breaks away from many of the usual tropes seen in other zombie films. Sure, some of the rules are the same, but there’s a sense of originality here. Mashing up genres is a great way to get this result. Gangsters, Guns and Zombies feels like Reservoir Dogs (1992) crashed headlong into 28 Days Later (2002). You got your gore on my guns, and it’s delicious!
I’ve always enjoyed when zombie movies have rotters that follow a theme. This film has zombified brides, clowns, and even a few others kinds that were more surprising. They certainly set out to have some laughs with the zombies in this one. The end credits include bonus scenes that show how much fun they had making the movie.
The practical effects in this film were wonderful, especially the blood gags. The digital effects were less convincing, though certainly acceptable. Some digital blood was used in place of practical effects, which I always find less effective. The music by Simon Woodgate was perfect. It captured the essence of the action, the humour, and the horror.
Gangsters, Guns and Zombies is an enjoyable film with a lot going for it. It’s difficult to come up with a zombie concept that feels authentic these days, but director Matt Mitchell made it happen. The cast is excellent, and represent a good cross-section of people. Movies like this one help to extend the relevance of the zombie phenomenon.
– John Migliore
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