Osombie (2012)

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The war on terror. It’s a tough, ongoing fight and this movie looks at a bunch of people caught up in the middle of things in Afghanistan. We all know that war is hell but it’s even worse when terrorists are able to create zombies and use them to swell their numbers and to add an extra layer of threat to the situation, as if it needed it. The soldiers (Core Sevier as Chip, Danielle Chuchran as Tomboy, William Rubio as Chapo and a few others) are at least trained for combat whereas Dusty (Eve Mauro) is just a yoga instructor looking to find and rescue her brother Derek (Jasen Wade).

Osombie is, as you can guess from the title, a very jokey movie (with that joke simply being “what if Osama Bin Laden became zombiefied?”) but I have to say that it’s got a little more going for it than I initially thought it would have. It may not really make the most of the situation to comment on the real atrocities of war and the difficulties of fighting zombies in such a harsh environment  (for that kind of smart take on the zombie movie you have to look to The Dead) but it does have at least one or two moments that take the central idea and place it in a very real context. One scene, in particular, involved a booby trap that led to some interesting thoughts about just how many uses a zombie terrorist could have.

The script by Kurt Hale works well in keeping things pretty lighthearted and even as the cliche moments pile up you can’t help but smile – the movie plays out, intentionally or not, as a parody of gung ho war movies as well as a zombie film and certainly kept me amused from start to finish, even if it was far from the most sophisticated film that I’ll ever see. Having said that, Hale still manages to crowbar in some comment on the overall situation in Afghanistan. It may be clumsy but it’s nonetheless appreciated.

Director John Lyde works well with the material, keeping the pace zippy and the fun interspersed by occasional gunfights and CGI blood. The effects aren’t too bad but don’t go into this thing looking for realism in any department. In fact, if you DO go into this movie expecting anything beyond a fun 90 minutes of Operation Desert Zombie then you only have yourself to blame for the inevitable disappointment.

The cast aren’t the best known, or best equipped, people in the business but they all do their job adequately and there’s a decent amount of chemistry and a good group dynamic. I’ve seen a lot worse onscreen and I didn’t expect to hear any Shakespearean soliloquies in a movie about a zombie Bin Laden anyway.

In summing up then, Osombie is the dumb movie that you think it will be. It doesn’t have any pretensions and doesn’t stray too far from its self-imposed remit. Yet it would be unfair to dismiss it as JUST a dumb movie because it incorporates just enough intelligence and self-awareness to put it ahead of numerous similar, sillier outings.

DIRECTOR: JOHN LYDE
WRITER: KURT HALE
STARS: COREY SEVIER, EVE MAURO, JASEN WADE, DANIELLE CHUCHRAN, WILLIAM RUBIO, MIKE BLACK, PAUL D. HUNT
RUNTIME: 90 MINS APPROX
COUNTRY: USA

Film Rating: ★★★☆☆

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