Arrowstorm Entertainment has made a movie about Osama bin Laden coming back as a zombie.
There are several different ways you could imagine hearing that sentence. The first is with excitement, as if this idea is so wonderfully irreverent that you assume this film will push boundaries of acceptable humor and possibly end up as a genius piece of satire.
The second way is to assume the voice is meant to be aghast. As if this idea is so horrendously irreverent that you assume it will push the boundaries of good taste, managing to trade in “entertainment value” for “shock schlock.”
But there is a middle way, my friends. And that middle ways is how I want you to read it. Because I typed that sentence with utter indifference.
At first I was ready to react with either delight or horror at the whole idea. It was something I assumed would cause some kind of reaction from me. But as I watched the just-over-a-minute long teaser trailer, I was, to be honest, pretty bored.
Granted, that trailer isn’t much to go on. It just sets up the idea that a group of soldiers are hunting down zombie bin Laden in order to stop the zombie apocalypse. So I can’t tell you why there are zombies, why Osama bin Laden specifically is a zombie or even who this girl is and why she has both a katana and a lollipop.
A bigger problem with the trailer was that I couldn’t feel a TONE for the movie. I had honestly wandered into it expecting something more towards Troma. I wanted deliberately cheap-looking special effects, bad to the point of amazingly good acting, the works.
So, instead I got a relatively polished trailer, complete with headshot special effects and wide shots of fight scenes potentially to disguise the use of obvious stunt doubles or maybe just because watching someone slice off a head in silhouette is pretty cool looking. Which just raises the question: is this sincere? Is this not MEANT to be funny? Or is it taking itself so seriously because we’re supposed to find THAT funny?
I could not find an answer to any of those questions. Also, I could not find a single reason I would be interested in watching the full movie.
Nope. Still stumped.
However, I can’t label this one of those “movies that no one asked for.” Because apparently a bunch of people did. The film was funded via Kickstarter and raised almost double its original goal of $15,000. That’s almost $30K worth of asking for it. So it’s entirely possible that Osombie DOES have a potential audience, I’m just very clearly not part of it.
I can, however, take issue with something from the press release I was sent for the movie. I was promised that Osombie is “another film for the cult classic pile.” I don’t know if this was the choice of the filmmakers or the publicist but it doesn’t matter. I have to say this.
You can’t declare something a “cult classic” until it actually has a cult following. And that is not something the filmmaker or the publicist really gets to decide. In this case, it feels like you’re trying too hard to make this some kind of underrated piece of genius. Maybe it will be. But you don’t know that yet and using it as a selling point is eye-roll inducing.
Cult classic or not, offensive, satirical, sincere or whatever, Osombie is a thing that is happening. Yay?
-Ashly (Twitter: @newageamazon)