Published Jul 10, 2014Perhaps the inevitable by-product of the recent zombie boom, Doc of the Dead is a playful and informative compendium of all things undead that eventually runs out of steam and is left spinning its wheels to pad the rest of its 80-minute running time. Succeeding in wrangling together the most influential and knowledgeable minds on the subject, it deals in any and all facets of zombie culture, some of which are more interesting than others.
Tracing the genre back to its voodoo origins with films like White Zombie in 1932, the documentary follows the evolution through B-movie schlock like Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space to the pioneering work of George A. Romero starting with Night of the Living Dead. Along with Romero, we hear from zombie scholars (apparently a real thing) and preeminent voices like Max Brooks, Robert Kirkman, Simon Pegg and Evil Dead's Ash himself, Bruce Campbell.
Discussions about the nature of what makes zombies scary, the merits of slow zombies versus fast zombies and even what constitutes a zombie film at all elicit interesting responses from those interviewed; it's when the talk turns to issues like the likelihood of a real zombie scenario happening and the sexual fetishes involving zombies that its starts to feel like the film is starting to grow desperate for topics. It's here that we also learn trivial information about how the zombie would be the nerd to the jock's werewolf in a hypothetical high school setting and are treated to a few mildly amusing skits.
Die-hard fans might appreciate the depth in which the appeal of zombies is examined but for most, it will sooner or later likely feel like overkill.