Pop Punk Zombies (2011)

Zombies go pop.
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Pop Punk Zombies - Zombies Go Pop

With the zombie movie market being quite saturated it must be difficult to come up with an original concept for a zombie movie without somebody having already been there and done that, also, with the popularity of high quality cult zombie movies from the masters in the genre, attempting to infiltrate this market with something a bit different is a brave endeavour. Steve Drayton, writer, producer and director attempts this act of bravery and achieves an original and noteworthy entry into the zombie movie bazaar with Pop Punk Zombies. Considering the usual budgetary constraints that independent filmmakers are faced with Pop Punk Zombies has some top-notch gore scenes enhanced by some nice camera work and effective lighting. There is the occasional unconvincing nugget of splatter but on the whole (and some times on the hole) the effects are of a very high quality and considering some of the atrocious CGI that permeates mainstream big-budget horror the effects people who worked on this need to be commended on the quality of their work.

The story revolves around a greedy, high-powered music agent who has found the secret to re-animating the dead and decides to use undead ex-rockers brought back from the grave as the next cheap source of pop entertainment. Exploiting lifelessly-brained wannabe pop-stars to fatten the pockets of music executives is no new concept, as Pop Idol has proved over the past few years, but when dealing with contagious undead in an semi-uncontrolled environment is bound to be a potential hazard.

The first concert performed by "The Vicious Vegans", the first re-animated trio of punk rockers to perform dead on stage soon becomes a disaster when the H.J.P. protesters sabotage the performance in a bid to stop the exploitation of the dead before zombies are utilized to perform menial tasks and take away jobs from people that want to work and make a difference to society (as there is no threat towards lazy people that just want to protest because it's easier). After the necessary shouting of "They took our jobs" and "Dey duk arr jaabz", one of the protesters releases a performer with a swift swing of an axe and chaos ensues. Soon the club is on lock down and Eddy the rock fan and his friends must find a way to escape from the building and the increasingly growing horde of zombies before the government gasses the place to contain the threat.

The storyline is occasionally weak, firstly the general public's ability to just accept the first ever zombie musicians without batting an eyelid could maybe have benefitted from a bit more pre-story to explain this eagerness to accept the undead within society and secondly the zombies ability to go from brain-obsessed dumb automatons to talented singers and instrumentalists when given a guitar and a stage without six months locked in a house being trained by failed musicians. This second point becomes more plausible as the story progresses and it is indicated that some of the zombies are more intelligent and capable than the rest but personally I feel that this distinction should have been more prominent within the story and possibly cover versions of Sepultura songs would have been more befitting to a zombie group. It is apparent that Pop Punk Zombies does not take itself too seriously and the underlying subtle humor allows for some "taking with a pinch of salt" and these criticisms do not detract from the fact that this is an entertaining and well made chunk of zombie horror.

The movie culminates in a fantastic gorefest which once again pulls out all the stops with regards to some nice and convincing bloody gore that rounds off the film nicely and leaves the viewer with that satisfied feeling that all horror movies should create. There are also a couple of vomit inducing scenes with brain munching and vomit inducing scenes with vomit which are always worthy components in a movie of this kind.

Pop Punk Zombies is a worthy admission into the independent horror scene and a worthy admission into the zombie genre and deserves to be seen by a wider audience... although please don't allow Simon Cowell to see this or even provide him with a synopsis as that could start the ball rolling on the apocalypse and society has already been punished enough with his exploitative and twisted take on reality!
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