Maya Entertainment // 2009 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 8th, 2011
Some things are worse than death.
A woman is desperate for a way out of her terrifying domestic life. Her jerk of a husband abuses her -- both verbally and physically -- driving her to drastic measures, seeking out a renowned voodoo priestess for help.
Unsurprisingly, this turns out to be a poorly thought-out move, as the priestess throws together a mysterious potion, instructs the wife to slip it to her husband and...wouldn't you know...the next morning her spouse has become one of the undead.
Meanwhile, a pair of investigators are scoping out this voodoo malfeasance, and their sleuthing reveals a much larger conspiracy. Actually, it's more like a slightly larger conspiracy; the voodoo cult isn't interested in world domination as much as a successful agro-business model.
Hence, "Zombie Farm." That's right, the villains are stocking their farm with the cheapest of a labor: The Undead. This isn't a bad idea for a horror comedy, but in a bewildering decision, the filmmakers have opted to play this completely straight. How you can make a film about voodoo practitioners busing in zombies to pitch bales of hay and not do it tongue-in-cheek is sort of baffling. Aren't movies about farms inherently funny? (Aside from Depression-era period films, of course.)
While I'm not down with the choice of tone, I'm not ready to bury Zombie Farm. Sign on for the seriousness of zombie barn labor and you'll find a well-executed little gem. The acting is engaging, the production values are solid, and...you know, the more I think about it, I'm grateful this yarn isn't yet another "Army-concocts-virus-and-the-world-ends" knock-off. Sure the villains have their sights set on smaller ends, but if that yields an original zombie adventure, sign me up.
And while it's not technically a comedy, Zombie Farm isn't humorless. The lead investigator is an amiable fellow and cracks a joke here and there, tempering the seriousness of the events.
Finally, this is the least gory zombie film I've ever seen. Even when a pack of flesheaters descend upon one of their own and get their cannibalism on, there's barely any splatter. So don't expect any mess from this surprisingly sanitized zombie go-round.
The DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 surround, and a behind-the-scenes featurette.
Not terrible, but full of perplexing decisions. Let's call it a hung jury.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Maya Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated