Reviews

Review: A Little Bit Zombie

Bride and groom-to-be, Steve and Tina, and their best man and matron of honor take to a cabin in the woods for a little pre-wedding retreat. Shortly following their arrival, Steve is bitten by a mosquito. It’s no ordinary mosquito, however. It’s an insect hosting a virus that turns humans in to the brain obsessed, undead.

A Little Bit Zombie starts out with a very low budget quality and it never completely loses it. But, it definitely grew on me as the film played out. This was a good example of a film that actually gets better as it goes on, rather than starting out good and losing steam at the end. It takes a while to find its footing, but when it does, its pretty good. Everything from the pacing to the dialogue improved in the last 30 minutes of the movie.

A Little Bit Zombie is never scary, at any point, but scary wasn’t what it was going for. The film was going for comedy horror and on most levels, it succeeds. It’s more comedy, with a horror backdrop, but regardless, by the film’s end it is fairly successful at both.

There are very apparent inspirations from the Evil Dead films – most obviously, the group of friends traveling to a cabin in the woods and the slapstick nature of the film and the comedic violence. The cover art bears incredibly striking similarities to the Army of Darkness poster art, as well. The similarities make sense, as the script is co-penned by Christopher Bond, one of the creators of Evil Dead: The Musical.

The biggest miss in A Little Bit Zombie is the dream sequence that occurs about 20 minutes in. It parodies Leave it to Beaver-type 1950s television and it just isn’t funny. There are a bunch of silly zombie jokes that aren’t amusing. The whole sequence is over the top and detracted from the rest of the film. It could have just as easily been cut and the movie would have been better for it.

My other chief complaint is that the pacing was a bit off towards the beginning of the film. It just wasn’t that gripping for the first portion. It didn’t completely lose my attention, at any point, but my interest in the film yo-yoed a few times throughout the beginning of the picture.

Considering the film’s budget, the effects are pretty good. It’s not chock full of violence, but the effects that we do see are done well.

The script is one of the film’s strengths. Like most of the film, it really shines in the second half. There is some pretty funny dialogue (“What the f**k?  You just punched my tit.”) Craig, Steve’s best man, has some fairly quote-able one liners.

Kristopher Turner was terrific as soft spoken human resources manager, Steve. His performance stands out as the best of the bunch. He is the perfect laid back ”yin” to Tina’s bossy and controlling “yang”. It’s fun to watch his transformation from mild mannered and unassuming in to a reluctant, yet flesh hungry, zombie. His ineptitude as a zombie is well done and a unique spin on an overly saturated subgenre.

Crystal Lowe (Final Destination 3) is really good as Tina, the control freak bride from hell. Her refusal to accept that her groom to be could have turned in to a zombie is comical and her dedication to Steve (post zombie conversion) is commendable.

Stephen McHattie (The Tall Man) turned in a clever performance as a zombie hunter. He brings a lot of subtle and dry wit to the film.

Emilie Ullerup, turned in my least favorite performance. She wasn’t completely unbearable; she just wasn’t very believable as a zombie hunter.

A Little Bit Zombie isn’t a bad flick. It probably won’t join the ranks of sub-genre classics like Return of the Living Dead or Shaun of the Dead, but it’s absolutely not a bad way to pass an hour and a half. In fact, I enjoyed it quite a bit. The film is currently screening in select Canadian theaters and playing the festival circuit. A release date has not yet been announced, but as always, we will keep you posted.

Have you seen the film? We welcome your comments in the space below.