I find few things more enjoyable than sitting down, watching a zombie movie with a craft beer. The surround sound rumbles as bullets rip into undead bodies. Foam from the Belgian Tripel slowly slips down the sides of the glass. It's a moment worth savoring, worth sharing, and worth writing about. This blog is dedicated to zombie movies, beer, and the times when the two mix perfectly.
I read the description and passed by this movie the first time. It doesn't fit into my cookie cutter zombie movie formula, then i usually have no use for it. As soon as i found out the zombies in 'Return of the Living Dead' couldn't be killed i hated it, as soon as Bub picked up that gun in 'Day of the Dead' i gave up, and the first time i saw Land of the Dead i was ready to punch kittens. You need to go by the formula!!! Right? But then i watched the trailer for this movie and was pretty impressed. It looked witty and gory enough. Maybe i had the wrong idea about this movie? I decided i would give it one sceptical viewing to see if it was worthy for purchase and immortality in my collection. The idea is that a group of friends are taking their recently divorced buddy to this village (English movie) where women outnumber the men 4 to 1 to get him back on the horse. It's going to be some sort of revitalizing man retreat. I'm sure most men have encountered some sort of similar situation so right away there's a basis for connection with the characters. I recognize several of the actors from other decent real life movies. The divorced guy is Tommy from Snatch and his womanizing friend is in the straight to DVD (sensation) Severance. It plays through with the rhythm of all other mass produced horror. There's the slow moving build up where you start to connect with the characters while getting hints of the disaster with some strong and obvious foreshadowing. It's fun at first so you can relate and get a good case of the giggles before the horror begins!!!
In the spirit of breaking away from the normal i went with another of Brewdog's beers. Not just any of their beers, a complex ale brewed with guarana, kola nut, poppy, and Scottish Heather honey. I don't normally like beers with fruit, honey, or heavy spices but i guess you can't write off everything that doesn't fit in the narrow window of your preferences. I break out my lucky snifter to once again serve me in my beer adventures. The beer is an orangish red color with an off white foamy head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma is pungent flowers, honey, and a bit of citrus hops. There's also slight peppery notes that fade with each sniff. It has a great big mouthfeel with medium high carbonation. Husky and sweet maltiness fills the beer with a strong base. This malt is evident from the first sip. Thers' also some citrus and caramel swirled with a peppery bitterness. This beer really has an astringent bite underneath the honey and hops. It's not a particularly drinkable beer. It feels much hoppier than it's 65 IBUs and much stronger than it's 7.8% abv. It's not a perfectly balanced beer or a face smacking good beer. It's a unique and wild experience than you need to try to understand.
There's a lot of testosterone fueled man rants in this movie. One guy pays their van driver to go by the name Candy instead of her real name Ruth. It's hard to capture the cockey sexist way that he did it without showing his flashy mannorisms. For the record I think this guy's AWESOME!! This movie does a great job showing the obvious behavioral line in the sand between men and women. It makes the movie more fun. They all arrive in Moodley only to find there's nobody there....at first. One by one they discover the "Zombirds", zombie/cannibal women who prey on men. These are not the zombies I normally like. They use tools, look more like demons than zombies, and get into cat fights. That being said i love it! I can't believe i love it but i do.
The zombies all are characters more than people. For instance there's a horseback rider, one-eyed witch, dentist, butcher, etc, etc... It reminds me of Day of the Dead or Land of the Dead, Romero style zombies (except they use weapons). This movie has it all. A head being split with an axe, golf balls taking out eyes, severed heads being driven around on remote control cars, and squirt gun flame throwers just to name a few. This movie takes its humor in a direction i didn't expect. It justifies sexism and promotes men's freedom. It's so brash and done in such an obvious fashion that one could claim they show the absurdity of the neanderthal like male, or you could take it for what it claims to be. A man movie belonging in a similar category as Fight Club. Take that collar off it's time to fight dirty.
It's best summed up towards the end of the movie where our recently divorced star has his mid life crisis. He rants about how women come upon their men in their prime only to make them more responsible and more conformed to their wishes until they get bored and throw them away. This movie is a call to arms for all men who find themselves being controlled or bullied. This isn't 90 minutes about trials of a military biological weapon designed to decimate a population in a controlled and isolated area, it's about men everywhere keeping whatever it is that makes them men.
This movie will be hit an miss with the zombie crowd. Purists will smugly dismiss this a joke, but those with an open mind will watch this and appreciate it for what it is. Another English volume in the Awesome Library. The characters are all immediately likable, the production is good, the plot is run and keeps you excited, and the humor keeps things light and interesting. To boot the acting is actually pretty damn good. This movie has shown me that a zombie movie can be entertaining and meaningful without fitting into the rigid structure laid out before us by Father George. Thank you England for showing all us in the states what Zombieland should have been more like. A movie for adults.