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Kill Zombie! (Original title – Zombibi) (2012)

Kill ZombieDirectors: Martijn Smits & Erwin Ven Den Eshof
Starring: Yahya Gaier, Mimoun Ouled Radi, Gigi Ravelli, Sergio Hasselbaink, Uriah Arnhem, Noel Deleen
Certificate:  18 (TBC)
Running time: 90 minutes
Release date: 25 August 2012 (UK Premiere, FrightFest 2012), 17 September 2012 (DVD)

The denizens of Amsterdam are about to have a very bad day in directing duo Martijn Smits and Erwin Van Den Eshof’s Dutch horror-comedy Kill Zombie! – especially protagonist Aziz (Gaier), who finds one particular morning going from bad, to worse, to horrific.

Fired from his job (mere moments after securing a date with the office hottie) due to the repeated phone calls from his layabout, ‘man of leisure’ brother Mo (Radi), Aziz finds himself in hotter water when Mo’s antics force the pair into a less-than-skilled bout of fisticuffs against two wannabe gangsters at a pool party. Arrested for the affray, the brothers are locked in a cell alongside said gangsters – the wildly unbridled Nolan (Arnhem) and Jeffrey (Hasselbaink) – by sexy police officer Kim (Ravelli). Unbeknownst to them, a cell is the safest place they could have possibly been as a crashed Russian space station ploughs into the very office building Aziz was summarily removed from, leaving a trail of zombie-creating shrapnel in its wake.

Now, the streets are flooded with green blood-spewing walking dead and, of course, our new-found compadres are going to have to make it through them to get to the military designated ‘Safe Zone’. Naturally, not everyone is so wont to do that – especially Aziz, who receives a panicked phone call from his new love revealing that she is currently trapped and besieged in the upper floors of what is now zombie Ground Zero. That’s not to mention the opposing intentions of his slacker brother who, alongside some of the other survivors, decides to take another route that he feels could secure he and his brother’s futures once all of this has blown over…

Packed full of constant gags, Kill Zombie! is a punchy, fast-paced slice of light entertainment through and through. Distinctly Dutch in its sense of humour, some of the jokes inevitably fall flat (usually the more visual ones) but are easily outweighed by some excellent skits including one hilariously played out mistiming of footage seen on the TV news, and the ultimate revelation that playing the White Knight usually isn’t in your own favour is a welcome, and equally humorous, diversion. The inclusion of an ill-fated badass Russian commando towards the finale is also a definite highlight.

Working with what appears to be a limited budget, directors Smits and Van Den Eshof try to pack in a hell of a lot of style and, for the most part, succeed: Kill Zombie! certainly isn’t lacking life in the visual department, with plenty of garish primary colours, snappy editing and the occasional bout of energy drink cinematography. There’s plenty of gore splashed about – rendered inoffensive for the most part due to the green, goopy nature of the zombies here – but it would have been nice to see more practical effects work at play rather than the frequently sub-par (and obvious) CGI plastered all over the majority of the major set pieces.

Still, the flick manages to keep the entertainment level at the upper end of the scale throughout – sporting a lively and convincing cast, consistently upbeat tempo and, surprisingly, a pretty poignant amount of heart as well. It’s no Shaun of the Dead, but Kill Zombie! makes for a great evening’s sofa-bound distraction that any zombie fan will be hard pushed to dislike.

Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment’s DVD release of Kill Zombie! crashes to Earth sporting only the trailer as a special feature. Which is a shame, as it looks as though the cast were really having fun making this one – something which likely would have made for a thoroughly enjoyable ‘Behind the Scenes’ feature at least.

GARETH JONES

Second opinion

“Kill Zombie! is a fun tongue-in-cheek zom-com with an unmistakably Dutch sense of humour. Its cartoon style presentation, over-the-top characters and madcap jokes make this one of the best zom-coms to come out of FrightFest this year. Perfect for a chilled night in with friends and drinks, but not one to make the z-cinema history books.”

MICHAEL WILSON

“A fun z-comedy romp with over-the-top, outlandish humour and an original idea or two thrown into the zany mixing pot for good measure.”

JO BALDWIN

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