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Zombies of Mass Destruction Brings The Blood, Laughs

By Joseph Erbentraut in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 12, 2009 9:30PM

2009_11_12_zombies.jpg Films that simultaneously appeal to one's love of biting satire and bloody gore - with a gay twist! - are a rare fare, but ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction, a horror-comedy being screened tomorrow, November 13, at 9 p.m. at Film Row Cinema as part of the Reeling International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, manages to do just that.

The film, directed by Kevin Hamedani, introduces its audience to a strange ensemble of the inhabitants - current and former - of the sleepy Pacific Northwest town of Port Gamble. There's Frida, an Iranian American college student back in town after taking time off school; Tom, a gay New Yorker visiting his mother with boyfriend in tow, ready to come out and a gamut of other small-town folk of a variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

Their differences - politics, ideologies, religion and sexual orientation among them - are many, but when a zombie virus plagues the town, they are faced with their own prejudices while battling a growing army of undead, brain-hungry folk. A faux-FOX News network blames the attacks on Iraqi terrorists, the community's uber-conservative pastor blames the gays and finger pointing abounds. In a strange way, it all feels strangely true-to-life at times, actually.

While this film does pack a lot of shtick and gallons of fake blood, its take on the classic zombie genre is undeniably unique and makes for an enjoyable watch, owing to its quirky script and endearing performances. That is, if you can handle the bloody effects, which managed to find several truly innovative ways for people to be killed. Seriously: Blood. Blood. Blood. It flows like polyester at a thrift store sale rack.

Reeling concludes this Sunday with its closing night feature at the Music Box: Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!!, which features an all-star queer-tastic cast including Lainie Kazan, Carmen Electra, Jai Rodriguez and Bruce Vilanch. If you haven't made it out to one of the over 150 films, documentaries and shorts being screened during the festival, now's your chance: Visit the festival schedule for information on remaining screenings.

ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction, Friday, November 13, Film Row Cinema, 1301 S Wabash, 9 p.m. $10, 773.293-1447 or here