LA Zombie (2010)

Directed By: Bruce La Brue
Written By: Bruce La Bruce
Starring: Francois Sagat
  Rocco Giavanni
  Wolf Hudson
  Eddie Diaz
LA Zombie

What the hell is he doing? That will be the response to the character of Zombie (François Sagat), when he squats down and f*cks a corpse… then brings it back to life with his magic black semen. Welcome to L.A. Zombie. And this scene is tame.

L.A. Zombie comes in two versions – the 62 minute theatrical “soft” version and the feature-length hardcore version. This reviewer was fortunate enough to only see 62 minutes of L.A. Zombie. That’s not to say it’s terrible, it’s just awkward viewing, and doesn’t need to be any longer than it is. Especially when the feature length version can surely only involve extended scenes of “f*cking men back to life” and include actual anal penetration, something this reviewer neither relishes nor thinks is required.

The storyline is simple. A bizarre alien zombie emerges from the sea and walks into downtown Los Angeles. It finds dead people, takes out it’s weird fleshy member, and then f*cks them back to life. Often in the wound hole. Told you it was simple.

L.A. Zombie certainly makes an impact, but what that impact is will be entirely up to the viewer. If you don’t mind watching monster/dead person homosexual intercourse then perhaps it might be acceptable, but when four leather-clad men in bondage gear get gunned down by gangsters, even the most liberal of people will wince in advance at the glorious necro-orgy about to commence. During this most will secretly wonder if, instead of having any deep meaning, L.A. Zombie is in fact someone’s demented sexual fantasy committed to film, and the only thing deep about it is where François Sagat’s balls are.

It feels that whatever message director / writer Bruce La Bruce was trying to portray could’ve been done more effectively with a decent script and some semblance of storyline, pace and depth. There are embarrassing continuity errors – from the Zombie’s constant and unexplained make-up changes to the fact half the “dead” people are clearly breathing, even before our undead extra terrestrial bones their life-force back. Although its creators have claimed they’re exploring issues as diverse as drug addiction, poverty, crime and the redemptive power of love, you have to question why only homosexuals are involved in this redemption and why it doesn’t feature more dialogue or a clear storyline.

It is not brilliantly crafted or cunningly designed either – it is cheap-looking and mildly confused. Despite these grumbles, the ending is genuinely moving and finally reveals La Bruce’s overall intentions, and the soundtrack is very well designed. Yet L.A. Zombie is an extended short at best, and La Bruce’s soft-porn theatrical version simply feels unnecessary. The feature length version is surely just twisted titillation.

Some might find it closed-minded to call L.A. Zombie pornography, but the majority of the film’s actors are porn stars, having starred in such delightful titles as Buttman’s Odyssey, Storm Squirters 7 and Paging Dr. Finger. The fact there is also a feature length pornographic version coming out doesn’t do it any favours either. The Australian Film Classification Board actually banned it from the Melbourne International Film Festival, it felt it was that distasteful. This is not to say it’s correct in doing so, but it forces the question of whether L.A. Zombie has been made for a thought-provoking reason or simply to garner controversial headlines.

Although occasionally funny, visually arresting, well scored and smartly provocative, L.A. Zombie is horrendously flawed. The direction is scattershot, the acting sub-standard, the continuity non-existent and the pacing utterly defunct. L.A. Zombie, however, clearly and boldly doesn’t want to be a Hollywood feature film. Whether this is genuinely profound or simply profound arrogance is also up to the viewer, because L.A. Zombie is incredibly hard to judge.

Rating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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