Friday, August 24, 2012
Juan Of The Dead -- AKA Juan De Los Muertos (2011)
Do we really need another zombie comedy? No. But Juan of the Dead has a couple of things going for it. For starters, it features a goofy, rag tag group of people you wouldn't expect, fending off the zombie apocalypse in their seaside Cuban town. Secondly, for such a low budget indie production, it effectively uses the country and its landscapes which is nothing short of amazing. The film does falter a bit towards the end and it has more than its fair share of similarities to that other zombie '....Of the Dead' comedy. But the flick is worth your time and for the most part, a heckuva lot of fun.
Meet Juan. He doesn't do much of anything other than trying to scour the bottom of the ocean for lost treasures, lounging around all day, and drinking. His partner in crime, Lazaro, is similarly minded and monumentally lazy as well. When they aren't scouring the bottom of the ocean, they're kicking back on the rooftop of their apartment building drinking rum or meeting up with a nearby lonely housewife who is in much need of some heavy dicking.
When they aren't generally doing nothing, they hang out with Juan's older son (who has dreams of moving to the States), their cross dressing buddy, and his boy toy, a tall, muscular guy whom he bosses around. Together, they look to get involved with their local community, cleaning up the streets, and making life generally better for all the townsfolk. But they'll have a lot more on their hands as *GASP* zombies have invaded their quaint little town. Egads!
Along with Juan's daughter, whom he recently reunited with, the group band together when the proverbial shit hits the fan. To combat the insurgent horde, they grab whatever silly weapons they have at their disposal: a boat oar, a harpoon gun, a slingshot, and burly man is so repulsed by blood, that he has to be blind folded and guided by his tranny man handler and he uses his brawn to destroy the enemy. And when they go to town, slogging through the mass of the undead, it's an all out gorefest as atrophied body parts go a flyin' and heads are split open.
Juan decides to be opportunistic and take advantage of their 'experience' and 'skills.' He begins to sell their services in attempt to make a few bucks. Heck, the police and government aren't doing anything. Might as well take advantage, right? This aspect of the film I wish was explored more, kind of like a version of Ghostbusters but for zombie extermination services. But the film shifts back to the relationship with him and Lazaro as they now face a tough decision to make. It becomes entirely reminiscent of the aforementioned Shaun of the Dead and it's at this point where the film loses a bit of steam.
Regardless, if you are hankering for some zombie action and a decent amount of laughs, you could do a lot worse. There's enough here to like and it's a solid effort from filmmaker Alejandro Brugues. I'll be keeping tabs on what he does next.
Cortez the Killer