When George Romero’s brain-starved hordes first descended on the hapless victims in ‘Night of the Living Dead,’ no one thought that zombie movies would develop an entire sub-genre solely dedicated to making campy zombie flicks for the hilarity of it. While ‘Night of the Living Dead’
started the zombie trend with horror it was up to this year’s ‘Attack of the Southern Fried Zombies’ to take the genre to its hilarious conclusion.
In the finest tradition of the ‘Attack’ films of the recent past, the title gives you a pretty clear idea of what is in store. What may not be expected is just how entertaining it turns out to be.
Following the misadventures of southern charming crop duster pilot Lonnie (Timothy Hoag) who never got away from his home town despite his dreams, inadvertently unleashes a zombie outbreak caused by overuse of the very chemicals he has been spraying the fields with. Now survival depends on Lonnie getting help from his ex-girlfriend Kayla (Wyntergrace Williams), back in town for a visit just at the wrong time, and a handful of other locals before the entire community is served up at a music festival being held in the town square.
Fortunately the entire cast and crew are onboard with an understanding of exactly what kind of film they are making. From the dialogue to the choices of how to represent the characters, the actors that bring ‘Attack of the Southern Fried Zombies’ to life capture the tone of over-the-top seriousness that can be so entertaining. Even the occasional local mixed in with the professional actors, down to their wooden line delivery and near deer-in-the-headlights looks, lend a charming accent to the film. That lack of experience seems to actually work better here than if they had managed a more professional performance.
It is obvious that most of the gunshots and explosions are post-production overlays because any competent CGI would look better, it still fits in with the overall tone of a campy zombie flick. Sure, you could complain about plot holes and an outrageous story but that would take all the fun out of what is otherwise an enjoyably mindless piece of honest-to-goodness entertainment.
‘Attack of the Southern Fried Zombies’ succeeded where so many of this type film falls down – it carries the concept from start to bloody finish with the same energy throughout. Originally released as an indie film by Gravitas Ventures, the film is making limited theatrical releases along with DVD and VOD from mid-March on. So if you get a chance to catch it, you may be pleasantly surprised!