Sunday, February 27, 2011

Zombie Farm and Devouring Viewers' Funny Bones : A Movie Review

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*A review copy of this film was provided by Maya Entertainment.

Director/writer: Ricardo Islas.

Zombie Farm is an upcoming dramatic thriller release from Maya Entertainment. This title is slated for a March 8th release, on DVD. Previously titled Macumba, this film is not to be confused with the 2007 Zombie Farm, from director Barsuglia. This Zombie Farm has a Latino vibe, with this title being filmed in both Spanish and English. Full of silly Latin jokes and dramatic social commentaries, this film is a light hearted, entertaining time, with zombies acting as a dumbed down version of immigrant labour.

The film begins with a young wife, named Ana Maria (Monika Munoz) searching for a solution to domestic abuse. She is physically abused by her alcoholic husband (Khotan Fernandez) and a snake oil salesman on television (Roberto Montesinos) promises a cure. However, Maria is disappointed to find out that Roque is just another charlatan. Hope rises on the horizon, as a macumba, or voodoo priestess, gives Maria a potion to cure her husband's violent streak. Instead, the mixture turns him into an unstoppable, flesh-eating zombie. Enter in some social commentary on the Latino community and you have Zombie Farm in a rotting nutshell.

There seems to be an inferiority complex running through some of the characters, as they lament of not having blue eyes, or white skin. Yet, Zombie Farm manages to poke fun at itself by substituting Mexican slave labour for zombies. In the film, the macumba raises an army of the undead to work for local farmers and soon, you are realizing that this film is offering a unique perspective on the difficulties of being Mexican in a multi-cultural climate.

The issue of physical abuse is also touched upon, but the subject is not held uncomfortably in your face. Instead, the abusive husband gets his just desserts, by becoming just another flesheater. This reviewer is not trying to dismiss the important topic of abuse, but the film is 9/10 entertainment and only 1/10 drama. With the doughy Roberto Montesinos as your central protagonist, you know you are not entering hostile territory.

The conclusion tries to shift this drama and comedy into the thriller genre; however, the film never enters scary or tense areas. The gore effects are laughable, as simple face paint marks the characters as zombies. Heads come off with comedic ease and any thrills quickly transform back to humour. Zombie Farm is not a film that will turn your hair white, but this film is endearing and inviting on at least a couple levels (characters, writing).

Extra features are sparse on this release, with no director's commentary included. There is an in-depth behind the scenes featurette available, on the production of the film. As already mentioned, the film is available in two languages, Spanish and English. The final special feature is simply Maya Entertainment's upcoming feature film list, with trailers.

To sum up, Zombie Farm is comedic and innovative. Yet, the film tries to cross too many genres. This might have been a much better film by just staying within the comedic and dramatic elements, but instead, the film becomes ambitious, in the final act. This film is not for those looking for spooky delights and instead, drama or comedy fans of various backgrounds are encouraged to pick this title up. By just viewing the film you are ensuring sanctuary from becoming one of the many of the macumba's voodoo slaves!

Overall: 7 out of 10 (light-hearted, sometimes dramatic, a unique look at the Latino community and the issues therein).

More details on Zombie Farm, including plotline, are available at Maya Entertainment below:

Zombie Farm at Maya Entertainment

Become a fan of the film on Facebook:

Zombie Farm on FB

Entertaining for some, but maybe not others:



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