American Zombie (2007)
★ / ★★★★
I thought this mockumentary about zombies started off really well. We get to see zombies being friendly, having jobs, falling in love and establishing institutions so that society can view zombies as a part of them. But as the film went on, I thought it had one joke which gets bad to worse to egregious after its first twenty minutes. Grace Lee’s direction (playing herself) could’ve been effective if the script had been more focused. Instead, her initial friendly portrait of zombies turned sour after Lee’s crew visited a zombie festival where they gather in order to celebrate who they are. Instead of keeping the zombies under a positive light, the zombies became monstrous and ravenous by the end of the picture just like other zombie movies out there. And that’s the problem: It’s obvious that Lee wanted to do something different but she ultimately made a generic flesh-eating picture. I thought the best part of this mockumentary was Suzy Nakamura’s character, a zombie who has “hopes and dreams” (coming from her own words) adn eventually falls for a living human. There was a certain sadness in her character because she doesn’t accept being a zombie. She surrounds herself with the essense of living or being alive such as pictures of people getting married and abstaining herself from eating meat. Whenever Lee confronts her regarding how she feels about being a zombie, she shrugs as if she doesn’t want to talk about it. In a way, I saw Nakamura’s character as someone who rejects her own race and wants to conform to what white America considers as the “norm.” Those scenes are so well-done but the rest of it was weak and uninvolving. It has great ideas about exposing subcultures in a different way and it does relate to how other minorities are marginalized. The fault is ultimately in the script and the execution. If those two elements had been fixed, “American Zombie” would’ve been really good.