Do you believe in
Ghosts, yes. Zombies, no.
A person can only deal with so many paranormal issues at one time. But believe in them or not, zombies are coming to Costa Mesa, sort of. Not real zombies — movie zombies, and their fans, some of whom are wannabe zombies.
Here's how it all works. On April 28, the
This year's festival offers a staggering 350 films from 40 countries, but none more loopy or fun than the world premiere of "DeadHeads," a zombie
Are zombie comedies big box office? Not really, but what their fans lack in numbers, they make up for in enthusiasm. Think Trekkies or
Just days after tickets for the premiere of "DeadHeads" went on sale, it was a sell-out. It is not easy being a zombie, especially when you can barely walk and for some reason your elbows no longer work, but zombies love movies.
"DeadHeads," which has nothing to do with the
Both the festival and the filmmakers are expecting a brisk turnout of zombie fans from far and wide, some of them decked out in their undead finest, which brings us to the zombie comedy genre.
The first hint that audiences could find zombies both scary and funny was a 1945 film called "Zombies on Broadway." But the real seeds of zombie comedy were planted 20 years later by the father of
Intentional or not, the whole "do we laugh or do we scream" thing is unavoidable when you're watching onscreen zombies. Not only do zombies look goofy, but a toddler with a pull-toy and an ice cream cone could outrun them. The Romero legacy continued with remakes of "Night of the Living Dead" in 1990 then
I'm sorry. How does that work exactly? If someone who is dead doesn't survive, they are, what, double-dead? Really dead? Dead again? I don't get it.
Once Hollywood realized that there was an audience for funny zombies, the floodgates were open and the genre became so popular it even got a nickname — "Zom Coms."
There was "Redneck Zombies" in 1986, then "Night of the Creeps," "Zombie Strippers," "Bio Zombie," "Tokyo Zombie," "Zombie Dearest" and "Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead." But here is the all-time funniest Zom Com title ever — "My Boyfriend's Back."
Ironically, from that totally whacked collection of films came two Zom Coms that were not only monster hits but got critical raves:
In "Shaun of the Dead," which was actually marketed as a romantic zombie comedy, or "Rom Zom Com," Shaun is a young Brit who is a lonely loser, trying hard to deal with his mom, stepfather and girlfriend but doing none of it well. He spends most of his time at the local pub, where he learns that the entire neighborhood has been set upon by zombies with, of course, no explanation.
Incredibly, it is Shaun of all people who beats them back to wherever they came from and utters this million-dollar line … "I will kill every zombie and save me mum."
You go, Shaun. If a son can't save his mum from zombies, what good is he?
It is impossible to explain "Zombieland" but we'll try. An especially virulent strain of mad cow disease has turned most humans on Earth into zombies, and for some reason people only use cities as their names.
Don't ask. If there is a zom com as funny as "Zombieland," I am unaware of it.
I think that's it. "Zombie Dearest," Twinkies and "Shaun of the Dead." If someone could just explain to me why their knees and elbows don't work, I would be grateful. Keep your doors locked. I gotta go.