Friday, 25 April 2014

Doc of the Dead (2014)

Doc of the Dead (2014)
Director: Alexandre O. Philippe
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Robert Kirkman, George Romero and other zombie aficionados.
Running Time: 81 min

  A few years ago, I saw a low budget but interesting documentary called "The People vs George Lucas" that took a lot of the complaints about the Star Wars franchise from fans and aired them.  It was a fun, cathartic breathe of fresh air to know that I wasn't the only one with some of the same issues.  Anyway, director Alexandre O. Philippe has returned, looking into another cultural outbreak that has literally pulled itself from the grave, the zombie phenomenon.

  Philippe explores the zombie films from the past and present and talks to a number of great panel guests like, Bruce Campbell, Robert Kirkman, George Romero and a ton of great people who in some way have brought this zombie culture to life.  He also looks into the origins of zombies, where the term originated and how we have adapted it into the North American psyche. Finally, he looks at the fans and how things like zombie walks and zombie business have grown from these films and books.

  This is a very good documentary and I was very impressed with the people that he brought in to talk to.  Alexandre O. Philippe interviews pretty much everybody that you would like to hear from about the North American zombie experience.  The guests weigh in on the origins of the zombie, the slow zombie vs fast zombies and a ton of other zombie topics that have crept up over the last ten years and you and your friends have been arguing about online.  The guest I found most surprising was Max Brooks, he seems to be very funny to talk to about zombies.  His interview and some of the filmed panel discussions are hilarious, he is very quick witted and good at telling a story.

  A couple of minor things I wasn't too crazy about were the zombie comedy stuff that seemed to be shoehorned in, to break up the segments.  I don't know, I just didn't find them that funny and found it a bit jarring.  There would be a good discussion going and then a weird music video or some kind of youtube video would pop up.  You would have to suffer through it until they got back to the guests.  Luckily, these were pretty short and forgettable, so they don't interfere with that much with the documentary.  Also, they don't really touch much outside the North American zombie films with the exception of Shaun of the Dead, which is suppose to be the patient zero of love of the dead and 28 Days Later, which some people will argue is a virus film and not a true zombie film.  It would have been nice to touch on some of the Italian, Spanish or Australia films like, Fulci's Zombie or Tombs of the Blind Dead and see how other people in the world deal with the issues of the undead.

  Overall this was an entertaining documentary and worth checking out if you're a new or an old fan of zombie flicks.  There isn't that much new information dug up on these oozing corpses but it's interesting to hear what the people who created them think of this living dead craze.  It's an infectious film that will have you gnawing for more.


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