Doc of the Dead Film Review

Posted 4 years ago by myetvmedia

Hordes of oozing undead shamble into the spotlight in this brilliantly entertaining documentary on zombies of the silver screen, by Alexandre O. Phillippe. It opens with an amazing faux news report starring Simon Pegg and Bruce Campbell as the newscasters. Philippe’s doc is comprehensive in its scope of the genre and zombie adoration, from the different origins of the zombie, to their current status as pop culture god and go-to monster. Examining the silver screen origins of zombies, running the gamut of movies, tv, games and comics, with cameos from Mr Plinkett, George A. Romero and Robert Kirkland, and footage from Toronto’s Zombie Walk, it leaves no grave un-desecrated. Philippe gets right into the guts and gore, including a debate on slow, shambling zombies or fast ones, and a blueprint of Bruce Campbell’s plan for surviving a zombie attack.

If I had one criticism, it may focus too much on modern American pop culture leaving other fascinating aspects of the history out. It includes footage of a (brilliant) Australian short film called Cargo, and I would have welcomed more international examples, along with a bit more on the history and mythology of zombieism. It mentions a law in Haiti forbidding zombie workers, and I would have liked to see more of this side of the monster. It also mentions its African voodoo roots. ‘Doc of the Dead’ is a short, sharp, funny and informative documentary, with multiple interviews with key figures in the development of the modern idea of the living dead. Showing at HotDocs’14.

Highly recommended for zombie/horror fans.

Donal O’Connor


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