“Let me get this straight: your plan for surviving the zombie plague is based on a movie that’s not even about zombies.
“Well, if you say it like that…”
Man, oh man, oh man…
One of those genuine and unlikely surprises I stumbled across not too long ago was the marvelous little zombie film, Hide and Creep, an affectionate and inventive micro-budgeted comedy which both celebrated – and gently mocked – the entire zombie comedy subgenre. One wishes that most of the horror comedies out there – no matter how much they cost – had even a fraction of its inventiveness.
So I was ecstatic when I heard that they’d made a sequel.
Well…there’s always that sense of trepidation that comes with any sequel, particularly when you’re talking about a film that it is as defiantly original. Will they avoid the bombastic overkill of so many Hollywood offerings? Will they merely try to repeat the original with a few changes? Will they bring anything new into the mix?
And, in the age of Lucas, we have to ask, will they ruin the original for us?
Certainly, that’s exactly what the post-apocalyptic video clerk, Chuck would expect!
Yes, there is a post-Apocalyptic video clerk. Not post-Armageddon. Chuck will give you hell if you call it that. Co-director, Co-writer (and on a production this small, probably co-fetcher of snacks as well) Chuck Hartsell reprises his supercilious video clerk from the first film, only now that everything has fallen apart, he’s holed up in a bunker…watching movies.
Oh, you guessed that?
Mind you, he’s on a mission: to locate and preserve as many movies as he can – and he’s even willing to put up with warm beer to carry it out.
Meanwhile, a Girl with No Name finds a note in a bottle (which arrives in nicely comic way), which offers her some hope that there might be a cure for the zombie plague. A very familiar Militia Man shows up to help, the local gang of Zombie Eaters is after them – and then there’s the mysterious “Chief.”
This is not Hide and Creep. This is a monster of a different color.
And it is one hell of a ride.
It is every bit as good as the original, even if it doesn’t resemble it very much. This isn’t an ensemble comedy, but something more plot driven – and more like an post-apocalyptic action film (although perhaps more Charlton Heston than Mad Max), not that that really does it justice. Along the way they manage to throw in a few nice bits, like the band working on a double album, how stupid the name of one Michael Bay film really is, and the complex plot twists tying everything to the first film.
Once again, the real standout is Chuck Hartsell, who enters the film dressed like Clint Eastwood, complete with horse, and offers us a wry, movie-laden running commentary on the film. He even tries to prevent that one, cliched scene they always have in every zombie movie. But, of course, fails.
That may make Chuck sound like a totally unrealistic and absurd – even fourth wall – character, but instead he is fairly well fleshed out, a guy with a narrow obsession who has spent way too much time on his own – and the sort of know it all who does seem to proliferate behind video store counters.
And, just when we’ve begun to relax, there’s that one last, stunning, final twist, the sudden blinding flash that dumps everything on its ear, and unleashes something which carries the zombie comedy to new depths of crazy.
This is an amazing film. Just drop everything, fight your way through the zombie hordes to the video store, then hole up in your post-apocalyptic bunker with plenty of popcorn and a friend…
“Watching movies by yourself gets kinda dull…
“It’s better with friends.”
(Former member of Mark’s Wish List)
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