A favourite from the eighties that hasn't aged all that well though remains a cult classic to many. O'Bannon's direction rides the line between horror and comedy quite well and the majority of the practical effects still look good. The oft kilter performances add to the mix with interesting turns by Gulager, Calfa and especially James Karen.
One of the finest purely entertaining horror-laced comedy films ever. It's vibrant with laughs and creative momentum that both parodies the zombie genre and forwards it in terms of energy and humorous wit. Funnier than Re-Animator in laughs, and nearly as manically excessive. It has even less characterization and dramatic depth, but it's faultless and top tier in what it sets out to do. Midnight movie brilliance.
The staging is both expectedly and unexpectedly minimal, with the action mostly being restricted to a couple of locations (typical for a zombie movie, but not necessarily a zombie comedy). The movie also complements its genre as far as the way the zombie phenomenon is rooted in militarism, which results in an ending modeled on that of Dr. Strangelove. Still, it executes itself with unexpected restraint.
I had a blast. There's a certain brilliance in how the film blends its stiff, cartoonish sense of humour with genuinely scary moments. Also admired how it made the most out of its stupid premise, getting better while going all the way - no development too dreadful or absurd to be shown.
I have always wanted to dress up as Ernie the embalmer for Halloween. I'm just worried I'd spend all night explaining my costume. But then I'd meet that one person who would recognize the costume and we would become friends forever, or at least until the zombies rise from the dead!
Though persistently over-the-top on paper, O'Bannon's surprisingly nuanced, Hawksian directing pushes many scenes to play out more relaxedly than the viewer expects. His frames persistently have multiple planes of action, & the acting is full of unexpectedly subtle, touching gestural details. At times, a shot overwhelms by way of symmetrical beauty as when the entire police department meets its collective demise.
A fun and zany zombie comedy with a righteous soundtrack. The acting is hammy and all over the place and the effects are suitably hokey. While the narrative drags in places and the comedy and horror aspect misses the mark sometimes, the movie still works. Worth your time if managed to miss this one!