Doc of the Dead, 2014
Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe
The definitive zombie culture documentary, brought to the screen by the makers of THE PEOPLE vs. GEORGE LUCAS.
Walk into your local HMV on new releases day and what do you see? A new batch of zombie movies with a variety of different titles, scenarios and takes on the genre. Like the movies themselves, zombie films have become a pandemic and there seems to be no slowing down (no pun intended) on this dead rising from the graves and taking over horror filmmaking. Doc of the Dead takes a look into the genre’s humble beginnings and how it has become a beloved part of the horror community and at times it’s an interesting look at the history, but it also a touch tedious.
Doc of the Dead features some great interviews from those who really know the zombie genre inside and out like George A. Romero, Bruce Campbell, Tom Savini, Max Brooks, Robert Kirkman, Simon Pegg and many more. When these guys are doing talking heads about the movies that defined the genre, Doc of the Dead is really interesting. It looks back at the early beginnings and how it really came into prominence with Romero’s Trilogy of the Dead and they talk about their impact, the struggles encountered and how important they are to film history. It is perhaps the most in-depth and interesting look at zombie movies – even they are all stories you’ve heard before – and its here when Doc of the Dead is at its strongest.
But like Video Games: The Movie, when it strays from history and looks at the culture its created, Doc of the Dead starts to become less interesting and more of a bore. If you’re a part of this subculture and have partaken in things like zombie walks then it may hold some relevance. Otherwise you’ll be in the same boat as Mr. Romero and World War Z author Max Brooks who think the whole thing is rather silly. Brooks actually has a great line where he says zombie walks are akin to celebrating that you have testicular cancer. Furthermore, it takes a look at people who really are working on “zombie survival kits” which just seems insanely childish and stupid.
Doc of the Dead is a mixed bag. It’s the best recap of the zombie genre, but its also a self indulgent fanboy piece for those who seemingly love the culture more than life itself. It would be unfair to say that Alexandre O. Philippe’s documentary is boring because it isn’t, but it doesn’t offer any new insights into the making of zombie movies and the subculture sections drag on for longer than they need to. Worth a watch if you’re a zombie movie fan, but nothing on show for anyone else.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.