A zombie movie done right, I Survived a Zombie Holocaust takes place on the film set of “Tonight They Come” a corny under funded zombie flick. Wesley (Harley Neville), an aspiring writer who’s just graduated from film school has landed a job as a runner on the project and is nervously excited when he arrives on set. However it quickly becomes clear that the reality of a film set is far from what he’d expected. With the exception of his supervisor Tane (Ben Baker), an ex rugby player turned filmmaker, and Susan (Jocelyn Christian), a pessimistic cook with dreams of becoming an actress, nobody can stand Wesley and his awkward demeanor. Things only get worse from here when a strange illness begins to infect members of the cast and crew, and turn them into real zombies. Desperate to make it out alive, Wesley, along with his co-workers, struggles to find a way out of the carnage, and ends up finding his courage.
A fair warning, this film is gory. Hell, at times it’s downright disgusting, but absurd levels of violence aside, it’s the funniest horror movie I’ve seen since 2010’s Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. The film not only pokes fun at the cliches of the horror genre but also the business of movie making, and all while being consistently frightening and at its core, very romantic. Part of the reason this weird mashup of genres works is that, although it’s very self aware at times it never feels forced or unnecessary. It’s just another part of the larger joke.
Another part of the genius of this film is that the comedic timing and hilarious banter between characters makes you forget that you’re watching a horror film, so that when something terrifying does happen it’s that much more shocking. These sudden changes in tone are only enhanced by characters that are both utterly bizarre and surprisingly believable. Despite their quirks and the bizarre situation they find themselves in, each of them has real hopes and real heart. The exchanges between these characters is wildly entertaining, and at the same time teaches you a few valuable lessons about life. There aren’t any guarantees in life, but just because there’s a good chance you’ll fail doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a shot. As Tane Henare would say, “You should always go for glory.”
Written and Directed by Guy Pigden, I Survived a Zombie Holocaust premiered in the United Kingdom on August 23rd 2014 at Frightfest. Shot in New Zealand, the film stars Harley Neville, Jocelyn Christian, Ben Baker, Mike Edward, Reanin Johannink, and Andrew Laing.
I Survived a Zombie Holocaust is available to rent via Amazon Prime.