• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Zombies Of Mass Destruction

TITLE: Zombies Of Mass Destruction

YEAR; 2009

GENRE: Horror

The use of the zombie film to make some type of political or social commentary has been done for decades with a varying degree of success. Some of the best zombie parodies were done by the master George A. Romero: the original Night Of The Living Dead made several commentaries about race relations in the United States and its follow-up Dawn Of The Dead threw several zingers at mass consumerism. Modern films have been more hit and miss, although Zombieland took a humorous look at the shallow nature of our world. In the case of the micro-budget Zombies Of Mass Destruction, various messages were attempted throughout the film but fail miserably under the weight of poor production values and lousy jokes.

Port Gamble is an idyllic community that best exemplifies small town America, which is until a terrorist chooses the small town to release a virus. This strain turns the small town residents into blood-thirsty zombies and chaos ensues. This outbreak interrupts Tom Hurt’s (played by Cooper Hopkins) admittance to his parents that he is gay and he brings his boyfriend Lance Murphy (Cooper Hopkins) to meet the family. The twosome end up hiding out during the apocalypse with Reverend Haggis (Bill Johns) and his congregation of homophobes, and the religious nuts decide to cleanse the gay couple of their sinful nature. On the other side of town, Iranian-American Frida Abbas (Janette Armand) is running from the zombies, her Iranian father who believes that she is becoming too westernized, and a patriot crackpot named Joe Miller (Russell Hodgkinson) who believes the virus must be her fault because of her nationality.

There are several topics that could have been lampooned into a great script, but unfortunately Zombies Of Mass Destruction attempts to be too many things to too many people and the final product is more of a mess rather than a political statement. The gay rights topic comes through all the bloody mess, but suffers from some of the worst one liners I have ever heard in an independent film such as “Don’t shoot! We’re gay!!” The Middle Eastern stereotypes issue was also brought up but again suffered from some poor writing and production. There is plenty of blood throughout like most zombie films, but none of the effects are effective, none of the kills are creative, and it is apparent that the special effects budget was several gallons of Karo’s syrup and limbs from the 75% off after-Halloween sale at Spencer’s Gifts. The production values are also lacking especially in the lighting which was way too dark on numerous occasions. On the brighter side, Armand is a quality actress and she should have the opportunities for better roles. Unlike most independent actresses, Armand does have the potential to move onto better films and hopefully she will be able to escape the shadow of this debacle.

I appreciate the fact that the film makers attempted to make more than just a bloodbath, but Zombies Of Mass Destruction should have centered attention on just one of the topics at hand and developed that storyline instead of multiple ones. Director Kevin Hamedani has another film called Junk coming out at the end of 2011, and that title is a fair assessment of his previous work. Here is hoping that Hamedani has learned from the process of making Zombies Of Mass Destruction and is able to create a better finished product this time.

* 1/2

–Mark

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