Movie of the Day – Juan of the Dead
May 6, 2012 Leave a comment
Finally, something other than Communism, Cigars and Baseball pitchers coming from Cuba. I first heard about this movie ages ago, meaning like a year ago since Hollywood time runs on something like 4 months of being new then you are old news. Anyways, I have been looking all over the net, Netflix, any existing video rental places that aren’t Blockbusters and VOD and finally had an opportunity to see this lovely little foreign film parody/homage to all things zombie. While nothing ground breaking, Juan of the Dead is a fun entry into the zombie comedy genre.
Juan is 40 years old, most of which he spent in Cuba doing absolutely nothing. Juan’s only emotional tie is his daughter, Camila, a beautiful young girl that doesn’t want anything to do with her father because the only thing he’s good at is getting into trouble. Suddenly some strange things start to happen, people are turning violent attacking one to the other. Juan was first convinced it’s just another stage of the Revolution. Little by little Juan and his friends start to realize that the attackers are not normal human beings and that killing them is quite a difficult task. They’re not vampires, they’re not possessed, but they’re definitely not dissidents; a simple bite turns the victim into other violent killing machine and the only way to beat them is destroying their brains. Juan decides that the best way of facing the situation is making some money out of it….. — (C) Official Site
From my stance, there can never be enough zombie movies. I love zombie genre and if there is a movie or show out there (good or bad) I will check it out. And since I love foreign films and zombie films, hell, Juan of the Dead pretty much was made for me. I will admit, this doesn’t have a lot of bite as a zombie film. It brings us a lot of familiar themes and tropes of the genre, never fully wowing or making me think, “damn this is one of the best zombie movies around.” It’s hard to compete against some of the classics and this film more so mimics it’s predecessors rather than searching new ground.
While my complaint lies with the familiar retreading of past material, Juan of the Dead is still an entertaining zombie film. Yeah familiar things aside, there is a nice cultural influence in the film itself with the satirical pointing at the countries current rule and Communism. The revolution, people fleeing the country, and ruling dictatorship, all the little cultural hallmarks that get a bit of lampooning and discussion. Most zombie movies have always had that air of satire on the current culture, and Juan of the Dead is no different. It’s funny at times, insightful when it wants to be and overall funny to view their country through the lens of a zombie uprising.
Juan of the Dead is another entry for the Zombie Comedy Genre. While borrowing a lot from the films that came before it, very thin characters and OK effects work, the film still manages to be entertaining and fun to watch. I liked the wanton violence of the zombie kills, the crazy atmosphere of the Castro controlled, zombie filled Cuba and the sharp satirical comedy that oozes through the movie. It’s a fun watch if you can track it down and a good film to add to the zombie enthusiasts collection.