Doc of the Dead
Let’s face it, the walking (un)dead are everywhere these days, from Brad Pitt blockbusters and cuddly slippers to porn parodies and shooting ranges. The smelly masses of corpses have never been more popular, so a documentary like Doc of the Dead was inevitable. This is the definitive documentary guide to zombie culture, covering pretty much anything you can imagine. All of the familiar faces are in there (including Bruce Campbell despite the fact that he’s never technically made a zombie movie) as are all the familiar facts, debates, and stories. If you don’t know anything about zombies, this movie is the perfect intro.
The trouble is that the film is also hitting screens at the peak of zombie fatigue. The explosion of zombie culture after the 28 Days Later/Shaun of the Dead fueled revival has officially hit a wall and it’s hard for anyone but the most adoringly obsessed zombie fan to care. Thankfully, Doc Of The Dead comes from the folks at Red Letter Media (aka the people who made those massive, scathing, and hilarious YouTube reviews of the Star Wars prequels), so not only do the filmmakers spend much of the second half of the film discussing zombie fatigue, but they fill the movie with a sardonic sense of humor that helps smooth over its most familiar elements (in particular, one zombie fan’s almost tearfully shocked reaction to learning that George Romero doesn’t understand why someone who participate in a zombie walk had me in stitches).
So, while Doc of the Dead might feel a few years too late, at least the filmmakers acknowledge that fact and deliver a more interesting movie as a result. Expect this to be playing on every possible glowing screen within eyeshot around Halloween. (Phil Brown)
Saturday, April 26, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 11:59pm
Sunday, April 27, Hart House Theatre, 9:30pm
Saturday, May 3, Royal Cinema, 9:45pm