Zombie Driftwood (2011)

Posted: March 18, 2011 in Movies

This is a film that I knew was coming to The Nutwork the second I heard about it. The reason for this is because not only is it a comedy zombie film, but it was also made and distributed by Plastic Head, indie music distributor, rather than a film company. Plastic Head are one of the largest UK distributors of rock and metal and have been doing it all for over 15 years. Surely a mix of zom-com and rock can only be a good thing.

Zombie Driftwood is set in the Cayman Islands. The story goes that a cruise ship has recently vanished in the infamous Bermuda Triangle and returns mysteriously one day, totally abandoned. Unfortunately for the residents of the island, and a group of rock loving tourists, the ship’s crew and passengers are now zombies and run rampant across the island. For the most part the story follows the group of tourists who end up besieged by the zombies in the Driftwood Bar, along with some of the locals and the bar owner.

The film is actually quite inventive, giving a lot of screentime to the antics of the zombie horde. These zombie inserts act as comedy sketches and use subtitles to translate the zombies’ groans. The zombies give us puns, slapstick and a lot of attitude, raising the overall entertainment value of the movie greatly. One of the best of these inserts involves the zombies taking over the local TV network and producing their own zombie programs, such as The Z Factor and their own sports show.

Visually the film and acting play out much like a B-rate movie, but with some pretty strong scripting that doesn’t take itself too seriously and focuses more on entertaining and making us laugh than moving us with melodrama. The gore, and there is lots of it, is well implemented and there are some great splatter scenes for any horror fan to get their teeth in to. As you would expect from a movie made by people that appreciate the genre, the is a strong sense of the classic sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll motto throughout and even a performance from metal group October File.

However, despite all of this the film does suffer a bit from the amount of product placement and advertising. For example, the film was sponsored by a brand of beer and rum and there a few times when the characters not only drink the beer and rum, but also comment on how ‘great and refreshing’ it is – I found it cheesily amusing, but I can see where it could be annoying for most viewers. The film also has some rather excessive plugging for Plastic Head merchandise, such as the bar owners collection of classic rock T-Shirts (but you can’t go wrong with a “Rainbow” shirt.)

In this day and age of financial uncertainty, it is clear that low budget movies have to make a few compromises in order to get their funding. So in this case, Zombie Driftwood has obviously had to rely on sponsorship, and it is a shame that a promising movie had to resort to such “plugging” through a pretty decent movie. As a viewer, it is important to be a bit understanding when it comes to such things and remember that this film was not made with a huge cash flow and despite everything, still has a lot to offer that you would not get from a big budget blockbuster.

If you have some time to spare and want to have some fun with a zombie movie, then go watch Zombie Driftwood.

6/10

http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Driftwood-Various/dp/B0041KOVVO/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1310247799&sr=1-1

IMDB: Here

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