Tuesday, 12 June 2012



At least with They Saved Hitler's Brain they waited about twenty years after he was dead; this silly zombie movie has arrived barely a year after Osama bin Laden was killed. Full marks for speed - it's beaten Kathryn Bigelow's dramatisation (which may or may not be called Zero Dark Thirty) to the screen by at least six months - but to be honest we don't expect movies to be that instantly topical and spending a little more time and money would probably have resulted in a better film. You're making a film, not crafting a handful of gags for this week's Have I Got News For You. Immediacy is not the object.

The basic idea behind the monumentally daft Osombie is that Osama injected himself with some kind of top secret serum just before he was killed, and came back to life with the intention of creating a zombie army of undead terrorists. A Special Forces squad of bickering badasses and hunks has been assigned to deal with the zombie outbreak in the region: they chance upon an idiot American woman searching the desert for her equally knuckleheaded brother who's travelled all the way from Colorado, by himself, on the basis of whacko conspiracy theories he found on the internet (which, admittedly, turn out to be true) and is determined to really kill Osama himself.

Although it's bolted together efficiently enough for a DTV quickie, the central idea is not a clever enough joke to last the 80 minutes, and most of the movie consists of these clowns shooting countless Afghan zombies in the head with unconvincing CGI blood spurts pasted on afterwards, and to be honest that gets pretty dull after a while. The two dumbass civilians seem remarkably unfazed by finding themselves under constant attack from the living dead and the Special Forces team apparently have an inexhaustible supply of ammunition. There's little threat and thus little suspense, and after the opening the Osama bogeyman doesn't actually show up until the last reel of the film. And when he does, he's just another drooling zombie: he can't speak, he's just a figurehead for his living followers.

It's too stupid to be any good and too obvious to be satirical: the "satire" is on the surface but there's nothing underneath it. In the question of what zombie movies are supposedly "really" about - Night Of The Living Dead is "really" about Vietnam or racism or whatever, Dawn Of The Dead is "really" about consumerism or capitalism or something - Osombie isn't "really" about the War On Terror or America's presence in Afghanistan, it's just about the zombies and a zombie Osama. It's the Troma idea of satire, though it's clearly far better made and less overtly obnoxious than most Troma product. Moments amuse, but that's all.


I'm not putting an image link, for reasons of taste, but:
Osombie [DVD]

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