Friday, 12 May 2017

The Zombie King (2013)

And award for most misleading marketing goes to...

The Zombie King

From IMDB: Samuel Peters once an ordinary man, dabbles within the laws of voodoo to bring his wife back from the grave, he soon encounters the God of malevolence 'Kalfu', where he makes a pact with him to destroy the underworld and bring chaos to earth; in return he will become 'The Zombie King' and walk the earth for eternity with his departed wife. 

Samuel Peters (Edward Furlong - Terminator 2) and Kalfu (Corey Haim - The Lost Boys), pictured in glory on the DVD cover above have, perhaps, 5 minutes screen time between them in this British horror comedy.

Barely mentioned at all are the real stars.


George McCluskey / David McClelland / Michael Gamarano

The Zombie King has the premise above, but is actually the tale of a Postman, a Milkman, and a Traffic Warden trying to survive the zombie apocalypse, and their relationships with the people they meet along the way. 


Seb Castang / Jennifer Chippindale / David McClelland

Hell, three of the players wrote it. George McCluskey, Rebecca-Clare Evans, and Jennifer Chippendale are the credited writers.

I know, I know, star power and all.

Anyway. Played like a semi-sequel to Shaun of the Dead, the gags come fast, likewise the gore, as our intrepid three stumble upon another ragtag group of survivors. Each of them are given a backstory, some funnier than others, until they meet a priest, played with great gusto by Jon Campling who imparts why the apocalypse has happened, and how to stop it.

The actors do well, as many of them have few credits to their names, and although the best gags are written for McClelland, the stand-outs are clearly George McCluskey as squinting hard-nut Postman, Ed, and, drunk priest with a penchant for Voodoo, Jon Campling (who was a Death Eater, Potter fans).


Jon Campling

The film is not without problems, however. It's budget does mean that it is a little rough around the edges. I couldn't help but laugh when in one scene car licence plates are blurred out, for, I assume, legal reasons.

The worst part by far is the jarring transitions between the Feldman/Furlong story, and the rest of the film. The protagonists don't meet with the titled 'stars' of the film until the final reel, and the direction of the two is very different. It was like watching two different intersected movies, and at one point I wondered if either Feldman or Furlong were going to appear on screen with their English counterparts.

But that said the movie is very enjoyable. I was lucky enough to ask Jon Campling about the shoot, who said he "LOVED it. Got to meet T2's JOHNCONNOR!! And play a drunk priest!!"

And it showed. The UK cast are clearly having a blast.

When I spoke with Jennifer Chippendale she said "That was my first experience as a producer, I have learnt so much since doing that film." Well, Jennifer. We say: Good work.

I recommend you check it out if you're looking for excellent comedy horror. Just don't expect to see much of the Hollywood actors.







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