Go, go Washington State Film! I went to the Los Angeles Film Festival last night to check out the movie ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction, and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was filmed in Port Gamble, WA. Having lived in the Northwest for 8 years I hold Washington near to my heart.
I enjoy horror, and zombie movies are my favorite because of their tendency to be serious social commentary delivered in an audience pleasing package of suspense, explosions, and gunfire. Going into this film I was a little worried that it was going to be too overtly political without the gore to back up the allegory. However, with the first bloody face peeling human slaughter I knew I had better get ready for the plasmagasm about to come.
Director Kevin Hamedani an American of Iranian heritage was inspired to make this film after the events of September 11th. When he witnessed a change in the treatment of Middle Eastern Americans within the United States. Ignorance of culture and the sudden increase in aggression directed toward this group of people concerned Hamedani, but he did not want to address this issue through a serious film. So, in the tradition George Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead) Hamedani uses the zombies as a device in his film to force his character’s into small spaces where they would be forced to talk out larger social issues.
The tone of this social dialog is what is particularly refreshing about ZMD. Co-Writers Hamedani and Ramon Isao cleverly juxtapoz the tension of impending armageddon creeping in on the main characters with hilarious one-liners. The cast fires off rapid comedic quips, paired with campy slapstick gore that will make any Evil Dead fan titter with delight.
ZMD producer Yahya Sinno was hesitant to reveal in a Q&A the budget was less than $500,000 for the film. Which for the quality of the make-up, effects, and scenery is hard to believe. Although, at times the limitations of the budget could be felt, the film feels incredibly resourceful and intelligently produced. The filmmakers hardily and graciously thanked the Town of Port Gamble for their collaboration with the production.
ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction — 4 of 5
Go see it if you have the chance.
Playing this Saturday at the LA Film Festival