Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Zombies of Mass Destruction and Elysian Loser Pale Ale

Corporate movies suck!  Yes that's right.  I know it's hard to make big sweeping statements like that but for the most part it's true!  When you look at the powerhouse films of the zombie genre almost all of them are indie or low budget films.  Even 28 Days Later is considered relatively low budget.  In that spirit i decided to watch Zombies of Mass Destruction.  This political comedy takes low budget gore and a lot of well meaning enthusiasm and crams it into a feature film.  And what beer would I pair this indie gem with.......LOSER Pale Ale.  This beer, brewed by Elysian Brewing Company here in Seattle, is a strong, kick ass pale ale.  It's brewed as a tribute to Sub Pop Records (Nirvana anyone) who helped bring the underground to the mainstream (thus destroying the underground....a topic better covered by a blog other than this one).  I feel that this beer would be perfect mate for this movie and I'm seldom wrong.
I am not a huge fan of these horrorfest films.  The "8 films to die for" series is okay at best.  But then every once in a while a good one comes along.  This movie has a professional feel with decent production value!  Which is good because shaky camera and inaudible dialog gets old quick.  This movie is classified as a political comedy.  It's an hour and a half of fist shaking at the right wing conservatives and religious crazies, which is tough if you’re looking to pitch to a big audience.  They try and balance it out with a short blurb at the end to make fun of superlibs, but a one liner about liberals with guns doesn't exactly balance out an entire movie of elephant bashing.  I'm not complaining......I'm observing.  The film is pretty captivating with three separate sub stories combining into one hell of an indie film.
The first story is of this peaceful flower child who is running for Mayor against the incumbent, a polished conservative white male with a plastic smile.
The second story is of a first generation Iranian girl (Frita) and her adventures as post 9/11 Muslim.  Dark skin (check).....funny name (check).....terrorist (hmmmm)?  That's the haunting question this film will ask.
Story number three is a couple of big city gays (Tom and Lance) who go back to the island so Tom can come out of the closet to his mom.  Hilarity and a lot of oral servicing jokes result.  Apparently no fruit is too low hanging for the writers of this bad boy.
With a pop of a cap and a quick pour i am filled with this feeling of reassurance.  There's a soft warm hand on my shoulder letting me know everything is going to be okay.  That's what this beer is.  LOSER is anything but.  It's the biggest pale ale I’ve ever seen at 7% abv.  "Well isn't that an IPA zombiebrew?"  You are so ignorant.  I can't believe you're smart enough to plug in your computer never mind actually navigating the world wide web and actually READ something.  NO THIS IS NOT AN IPA!  Just taste it.  It's the most elegant and distinguished of all the pale ales.  Yes it's not in style but that doesn't make it any less of a pale ale.  Let me recreate my LOSER experience.
After a quick peak at the color of the beer in the bottle I pop the cap and take my first sneaky sniff to get those most volatile hop aromas (I'm going to start calling them hope aromas).  It's this fluttering flowery hop aroma with warm sweet baked bread.  I quickly pour into my Great Divide tulip glass and admire.  It's a full and bright orangey amber color with this thick light tan head softer than a baby's ass.  It's not overpowering like an IPA.  It's not a punch in the's a closed door Asian massage.  It's got the sweet smell of orange, lemon, and warm caramel almost like a cow tail!  Then the taste just blows me away.  It's malt driven with a full and smooth mouth feel.  There's just enough bitterness to gently nudge you with a smile.  Those 57 IBUs must be all late addition hops.  The lingering sweetness is pleasant and 7% abv warms the bottom of the belly.  This beer was shocking as I have traditionally low expectations of Pale Ales.  It's a gateway beer to bigger and better things.  Unlike the brutal mouth assault of a Stone Ruination, Elysian's LOSER is a sweet candle lit love making with cuddling at the end.
The movie on the other hand is not as gentle.  There's wildly patriotic American men torturing 1st generation Iranian college girls, Priests with their own special rehabilitation (torture) to homosexuals, and weed whacker zombie carnage.  Honestly it's awesome.  As a recovering Catholic I found the church scenes especially funny.  The two hour services, the declaration of Unitarians as #1 on God's hit list, the intolerance of "the gays", and exercising the right to bear arms while in the lords house all tickled me.  Although, i can see how some people might not find it quite as funny.
The acting at times was sometimes really forced or really awkward.  Especially the scene where Frita is talking to her boyfriend in the car.  Not only is it not very believable (even for a zombie movie) but her boyfriend is just a horrific actor.  He is absolutely appalling.  But more upsetting than that is the awkward conversation between our two gay guys.  When Tom comes out of the closet he goes from terrified to tell his mom to yelling "I suck dick mom" in just a few seconds.  Not normal.
But acting aside this movie was fun.  Killing zombies with a weed whacker was gory and fun.  Frita's father's ability to rip a head off of a fresh zombie was ridicules but enjoyable.  And the boyfriend's face getting ripped off inspiring.  Well done.  But nothing says "I’m pushing all the boundaries" like killing children.  Zombies of Mass Destruction went there.  This little girl grabs Frita and Frita promises she'll be safe and she's going to take care of her.  Not two seconds later as they try to cross the street the little girl is hit by a speeding car sending everything be the arm Frita was holding flying out of the scene.  Now that shows some balls.  Don't worry, don't worry, the little girl comes back..........AS AN ARMLESS ZOMBIE!!!!!! HAAHAHAHAH
Overall I really enjoyed the movie and suggest it for anybody that finds it and as far as the beer goes, if you don't try it your depriving yourself of an hour of full bliss.  Sip with care.  Oh and Fuck ratebeer who only have them a 75 overall and a 66 in style.  You blow.

The Beer:
Aroma – 10/12
Appearance – 3/3
Taste – 18/20
Palate – 5/5 
   Overall – 9/10
TOTAL= 45/50
The Movie:
Production – 3.5/5
Plot – 4/5
Gore – 3/5
 Zombies – 3/5
  TOTAL – 3.5/5


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