Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Osombie - review

2012 (USA)

Contains mild spoilers.

Ok, I wasn't expecting much. Maybe a satirical light hearted zombie romp across the Middle East; a few laughs, a few good gory scenes, a bit of a daft plot (obviously); a coherent pop corn flick I could kick back and laugh at with a couple of beers. Osombie, written by Kurt Hale and directed by John Lyde isn't satirical, isn't particularly gory, has no memorable scenes and rambles along incoherently with no redeeming qualities. Now I'd love to end the review there but I've set myself a standard (albeit not very lofty) with my reviews to date so I should elaborate.

Osama Bin Laden wasn't just shot in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan then buried at sea hours later. He was instead found and shot at a zombie experimentation lab where he was chief researcher. During transportation he rose from the dead causing an accident and the helicopter to fall into the sea. Found by loyal Al Qaida followers he's now protected at secret military camp in the mountains bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan where his blood and research are being used to fashion an army zombie foot soldiers ready to topple the godless heathens of the west etc, etc.

Enter our heroes. Dusty (Eve Mauro) a yoga instructor from Colorado has taken it upon herself to head into the mountains to look for her brother Derek (Jasen Wade) who struggling to come to terms with the death of the rest of his fire fighter crew on September 11th, has self funded a trip there where he hopes to uncover the truth to Bin Laden's un-death and kill him once and for all. On their way they run into a small NATO task force sent to identify and destroy the secret camp and the put a stop to the zombie outbreak.

Now I will forgive a film many things when working to a low budget and limited resources; in this case the CGI is overdone, the acting is wooden, the sets and environments are unconvincing and the scope is limited but I can live with these, they make b-movies what they are and lend a certain charm. Here though and rather more unforgivable,  we also have an incoherent narrative full of inconsistency, dialogue that's just plain awful, a plot full of holes and a whole ambience that feels flat and lifeless. Even during the high octane action scenes with wave after wave of not actually that badly made up Arab zombies being mowed down with precision and CGI exploding powdery heads I found myself wondering how long it had to go. It's a problem.

Now I've seen films before that have managed to make an absurd concept work with limited funding and they do this with either brilliant writing and vision or by going down the totally over the top route recognising their own flaws and playing to them. Osombie does neither instead trying to retain creditability and seriousness when clearly the subject matter dictates it can't and shouldn't even try. Everything about the film is ridiculous and absurd yet it plods along with uninspired unmemorable characters sharing trite badly written dialogue and there is never any recognition of this. Like it's style and direction everything about the film is average and mundane; the film has no spark or life. Even if it was a yeehaa isn't America great propaganda piece it would still have been a huge improvement over the lifeless dirge that was produced. To top it all off I had constant audio and visual stutters with my Blu-ray. I'm not sure if it's isolated to my copy and quite frankly I don't feel that impelled to find out.

I went into this with some trepidation but I still fancied I could have a laugh. By the time the credits rolled the only excitement I felt was from knowing it was all over and I had my life back. Osombie is joyless, inept, badly written nonsense and a waste of anyone's time, avoid. While I really wanted to give this a 1 the zombie make-up was nicely done and someone deserves some credit, 2/10.


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