JUAN OF THE DEAD (2011)
Directed by Alejandro Brugués
I have been waiting for this some time now, finally got my hands on it.
The Uk got the DVD and Blue Ray kinda early, US and German releases follow suit in August and September.
When I first saw the teaser trailer, it looked like a lot of fun, and it is.
But expectations tend to get way overblown , especially when you are judging from a trailer only.
The genre has its highlights and films in the zombie-genre will always be compared to them.
With a title like Juan of the Dead, surely one must come to think of SHAUN OD THE DEAD, of course.
And it is similar , the most exotic thing about it is the country it takes place in: CUBA!!!
Juan is a normal guy without a real job, he seems to live off whatever he can get his hands on..
His wife left him, and his daughter isn`t too fond of him, either, despite him trying to convince her he`s changed.
His best friend Lazaro isn`t the brightest of them all, but also a likable loser.
They hang around with a colorful bunch of other guys( and guy-dolls).
The zombie plague creeps upon them slowly, despite the fact that they have an early encounter, which they don`t think all too much of and agree to keep that incident between the two of them. But soon it is apparant that something is going on. Neighbours start turning to zombies, the number of cases grows fast. The tv station calls the zombies dissidents, and blames america. They don`t use the word zombie until very late in the movie.
Once they killed a few of them succesfully, Juan gets the idea to make money killing them: “Juan of the dead, we kill your loved ones-how can I help you? That`s how they answer the phone, charging for each kill and diposing of the bodies, foreigners cost double. The kills are often very funny, lots of different ways are used , each of the guys (n dolls) has their own unique way of dispatching the zombies. Sometimes CGI is used, but not too much…I hate when GCI blood is overused.. there is also some CGI for scenes with explosions and some for backgound shots. The zombie make-up is pretty damn good, the level of blood and gore somewhere in the medium range, but some great scenes still. I liked this a lot, it is refreshing to see non-american zombie flicks, or even non-english ones. Spain has come out with a lot of great stuff horror-wise, and now their cuban brothers (with the help of an argentinian director )add their flavour of horror comedy into the mix. There is some amount of Castro critique in this, but in the end, at least for Juan, the love to his homeland/island prevails. The end credits contain some nice comic animations, and with the Sic Vicious version of “My Way” this first cuban horror comedy finds a fitting end!!!
A fun ride, I totally recommend this !!!! I think I like this even more than Shaun of the Dead.