A Little Bit Zombie Casey Walker

A Little Bit Zombie Casey Walker
Chalk up a minor victory for team Canada in the zombie wars. I'm referring to the international media initiative to inundate pop culture with every variation on the undead formula fathomable, not an outbreak of tweakers on bath salts. Aptly described as a "rom-zom-com" by Crystal Lowe in a "Meet the Cast" feature, Thunder Bay, ON native Casey Walker's first full-length film is a zany and charming horror comedy that juxtaposes the life-altering event of impending nuptials with becoming one of the living dead. As Tina, the aforementioned Ms. Lowe, most commonly used as eye candy in flicks such as Hot Tub Time Machine and Wrong Turn 2, gets the opportunity to exercise her bitch muscles, playing one of the most psychotic brides to be since Cameron Diaz in Very Bad Things. In an effort to calm the anxious control freak and force a little bonding, her fiancé, Steve (Kristopher Turner), plans a cottage getaway for them, his man-child best friend (Shawn Roberts) and sassy sister (Kristen Hager, Leslie My Name is Evil). Their already strained relationships are put to the gory test when Steve is bitten by a zombie mosquito (somebody has West Nile paranoia) and slowly develops a hankering for brains. Playful and irreverent writing, dedicated performances, a comfortable rapport among the principle cast and whimsical filmmaking techniques that embrace budgetary constraints ― Casey Walker directly thanks Evil Dead director Sam Raimi in a commentary track with Turner and Roberts ― all come together to create a distinct and likeable take on tired conventions. What doesn't work so well is a subplot involving a cantankerous zombie hunter (Stephen McHattie, Pontypool) and a mystical orb-packing scientist (Emilie Ullerup) seeking a cure for the infection. While their scenes unearth some laughs, the mystical element feels out of place in this story and the characters have little bearing on how the themes pay off. How utterly committed Tina is to stubbornly masking anything that threatens her ideal wedding is plenty funny and horrifying. Also included: a blooper reel and photo gallery. (Anchor Bay)