DIRECTOR Jesse Baget; Adrián Cardona; Rafa Dengrá; Luke Guidici; Phil Haine; Peter Horn; Jared Marshall; Cameron McCulloch; David Muñoz; Adam O’Brien; Zachary Ramelan; Paul Shrimpton; Vedran Marjanovic Wekster; Tommy Woodard WRITER Jonathan Brown; Alex Chandon; Raven Cousens; Luke Guidici; Peter Horn; Jared Marshall; Cameron McCulloch; David Muñoz; Adam O’Brien; Zachary Ramelan; Paul Shrimpton; Graham Taylor; Tommy Woodard STARS Kevin Allen-Bicknell; José María Angorrilla; Roy Aralios DVD 8 June
If any subgenre has reached complete saturation within horror, it must surely be that of the zombie. The flesh-dripping ghouls are everywhere, from primetime television, big-budget Hollywood, romantic comedy — even Schwarzenegger has muscled in with the (to be fair, excellent) indie drama Maggie. It seems that everybody loves the dead. Zombieworld proves to be good news for those that can’t get enough: an anthology of 13 short films that could well be all the zombie you’ll ever need. As you’d imagine, the shorts are low in budget and high in gore, and work in varying degrees of success. But nothing here is long enough to bore, and just as you’re getting tired of one tale another opens, cleverly done with a wrap-around section that shows a newsroom introducing stories from around the globe under the guise of a worldwide apocalypse.
If anything comes from Zombieworld it’s showcasing Spanish director David Muñoz, who proves to be a talent worth watching out for. Two of his movies feature here. “Brutal Relax” concerns a depressed office worker holidaying on a beach and getting attacked by the dead rising from the sea, while “Fist of Jesus” (without doubt the best thing on offer here) has the double-team of the Son of God and disciple Judas battling the dead in biblical times after the first attempts at resurrection have gone badly wrong. Both are wild, exceptionally gory rides (with a pleasing use of practical effects over CGI) and the kind of thing Peter Jackson might have conjured up twenty years ago. At one points Jesus uses a swordfish to slay zombies. Really, what’s not to enjoy?
Most of these shorts have been doing festival rounds for the last couple of years, and producer Jesse Baget should be congratulated for bringing them together for wider viewing. Not all are as much fun as Munoz’s offerings; there are a couple of point-of-view tales that come across as a video game and have been done better before, and others that rely on the old ‘trapped in a house’ scenario you’ve seen a thousand times. But, to be fair, it’s not easy to take the zombie into new areas of originality, and there’s a lot more here that works than doesn’t. For a Friday night with friends, pizza and beer, Zombieworld is a good time.