I am speaking about ‘The Revenant’. Not the 2016 movie with Leonardo DiCaprio (which is an awesome movie), but a 2009 film with David Anders leading the cast as a soldier who is killed in Iraq, and then returns from the dead.
Those of you who know me will be well aware that I do not consider the undead a laughing matter. It has been a grievance of mine for some time now, as writers, producers and directors have turned the living dead into slapstick characters that are of no real threat and are there solely for our amusement. However, there have been a couple (only a couple) that have managed to pull it off.
‘The Return of the Living Dead’ was the first, and probably the inspiration for future dark comedies involving zombies. In my opinion, Dan O’Bannon (the man who wrote the screenplay for ‘Alien’), nailed it with this movie.
‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Zombieland’ added their own stamp to the genre and were entertaining movies, but ‘The Revenant’ was something different, and is the only other zombie/comedy that I would give any credit to. It clearly had a small budget, but the director used the money wisely. He didn’t try to make a shoestring epic, and instead, focussed on the characters and low-level effects. The appearance of the movie, and in particularly the dead, is generally convincing. Some really funny parts too, without going over the top and turning the whole thing into an episode of ‘The Chuckle Brothers’ with zombies.
If you haven’t seen this movie, then give it a watch. Well worth the time. But please, Hollywood, leave it at that now and stop trying to make flesh eating ghouls funny.
‘What the fuck’s the matter with you people? They’re dead, and you want to teach them tricks?’…Capt. Rhodes, ‘Day of the Dead’