Zomblogalypse (2021) Review

Since Shaun of the Dead changed the game (and added some Rom) British Zom-Com’s have come thick and fast onto the horror scene in all shapes and forms.

We have had East End gangsters fighting the undead in Cockneys vs Zombies (2012), office party apocalypse Stalled (2013), period literary parody piece Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016), boobs blood and Brit’s abroad in Ibiza Undead (2016) and all singing all dancing zombies in Anna and the Apocalypse (2017).

Just when you thought there couldn’t be another variation on the tried and tested theme, out comes Zomblogalypse. Low on, budget high on ideas this homemade hilarious and horrifying expansion of the original web series of the same name is the best British Zom-Com to come out in years and will cause you to laugh, scream and vomit in equal measure.

Written, directed, produced and staring the insanely talented trio of Hannah Bungard, Tony Hipwell and Miles Watts with their web series running for 4 years and 4 seasons clocking up over a million online views a feature adaptation of the gory dark zombie comedy seemed a no brainer and so Zomblogalypse the movie was born.

Made and set in York the narrative sees the inane and chaotic flat mates Hannah, Tony and Miles coming to the realisation that it has been 10 years since the start of the zombie apocalypse. To celebrate their survival and relive the increasing monotony they decide to make a film documenting the decade and themselves.

As the subject and stars of their own story the motley bunch are in need of a crew to enact their every whim and end up duping a bunch of innocent and inexperienced survivors with a fake Kickstarter campaign promising such luxuries as a tank and a ton of loo roll for anyone willing to contribute their time to the immensely narcissistic project.

At a highly amusing production meeting the ridiculous threesome reveal their ineptitude dealing out duties such as Health and Safety officer, costume designer and sound man at random to anyone who dares question any part of their badly thought out plan, a plan which involves a complete lack of direction, an improvised script and using real life zombies to play the zombies.

As predicted by the sensible and scared witless folks making up the production team things go from bad to worse with sets overrun, stunts proving fatal and the crew mortality rate climbing faster that the scenes can be filmed. The question everyone asks is can anyone make it to the end of Hannah, Tony and Miles epic biopic alive and will the final film be worth dying for?

The perfect blend of comedy and carnage Zomblogalypse ridiculous set up of filming an apocalypse movie during an actual apocalypse is as stupid as it is ingenious. Balancing the zom with the com there is plenty of gore and splatter which although done on a shoestring actually all looks amazing when compared to the deliberately shoddy makeup and effects the amateur horror auteurs comically concoct in the film within the film.

With discussions on whether fast zombies exist and the myth of brain munching this horror is Meta to the max packed with references horror lovers will eat up. Deconstructing the low budget filmmaking process the demanding divas constantly flip the script, reimagining their own history and inflating their importance forcing more work onto the already out of their depth crew who quickly regret ever signing up to what us fundamentally a filmic suicide mission.

In fact the films bumbling trio of buddies slot seamlessly alongside David Brent and Basil Fawlty into the very British comedy architype of autocratic idiots you love to hate. When Zomblogalypse works best is when their uncaring and reckless attitude is slammed against the far more realistic concerns of the people around them played with aplomb by some familiar faces such as Book of Monsters Lyndsey Craine, Bait’s Joanne Mitchell and TV legend Andrew Dunn.

Seemingly oblivious to all the death and destruction they gleefully order people to wrangle flesh eating ghouls and catch real life weapons being hurled at them without a care for the consequences. Flabbergasted reactions are met with a blank smile and some encouraging words leaving the terrified and expendable extras to simply get on with whatever insane demand has been made.

Seeing as they have no regard for anything other than elevating their own ennui in many ways Zomblogalypse and its central anti-heroes could be seen as the perfect satire for our times, dealing brilliantly with desensitisation, self-obsession and the disconnected indifference the internet has now created, something we all got caught up in during lockdown while trapped in our own bubbles of boredom.

A truly independent horror comedy made with blood, sweat and tons of passion for the genre, Zomblogalypse is a massive achievement and proves Zom-Com’s are as everlasting as their principle subject matter given a creative force such as Bungard, Hipwell and Watts behind them. With so much gore and so many laughs who knew the zombie apocalypse could be so funny.

Movie Rating:★★★★☆ 

Trailer:

YouTube video
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Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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