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Juan of the Dead

   The inevitability of Shaun of the Dead comparisons to this film is almost as certain as gravity, so purely for the sake of avoiding redundancy, I'm going to do my level best to steer clear of any and all unnecessary associations between the films. I feel, as strong as this movie was, it would be a grave injustice to try and make it meet the kinds of successes its nearly perfect British counterpart met.  Juan of the Dead is obviously and defiantly its own film, and anyone disappointed by it's lack of similarity to Shaun.... is completely missing the point.

   From the opening scene of this film on, it is abundantly apparent that the characters in this film are not going to be the usual type of protagonists one may have gotten used to seeing on screen over these last few decades in which the zombie revolution has slowly but surely taken hold. This ragtag band of Cuban heroes are much more prepared for a bloody end through their already unstable and semi desperate lives. Living under the banner of 3rd world communism has given these cats a survivors leg up and enough of a skewed moral compass to be perfectly suited for the environment they are soon to be thrown into. They knock the Zomedy ball out of the park as well, line after lulzy line of goofy, language barrier crossing wit fills this movie to bursting. All of the characters are wildly over the top, but in an endearing and easily relatable way that makes this movie all the more fun to watch.
   Plot wise, there's not a lot of new stuff going on here. You've got a band of survivors on a zombie infested, communist run island. After a few tries to monetarily gain from the situation, they decide it's not worth it and that maybe it's time to get the f**k off of said island. Standard, solid and unapologetic.

  Gore, oh that zombie flick gore, it really is the brightest part of an already glowing genre. This film does nothing to change that, great scenes of limbs flying, jaws ripping, faces being lacerated, torsoes getting crushed are all through this movie, complete with ridiculous action sequences resembling some sort of slapstick Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon hybrid in which these wounds are delivered. All in all, despite some minor CGI issues that really aren't worth getting into, the action, visuals and violence in this film lived up to every other part.
   In closing, I'd like to mention that this film may get a few zombie purists up in arms, as it doesn't always perfectly fit with the exact mold of what a zombie film should and shouldn't do. But I'll tell ya right now, anyone complaining about those aspects of this film is splitting hairs. This movie is a comedy...... a comedy that's chock full to exploding with "Dissident" zombies, but a comedy first and foremost. And a uproariously entertaining one at that. Put any preconceptions you may have about this film aside, open your mind, watch the hell out of it and be all the better for it. Cheers.

8/10 detached retinas

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