Review: The Mad


Another in a long line of recent comedy zombie films, there seems to be a niche in the market for them at the moment. This one, rather sensibly is not a spoof but rather a comedy in which a family holiday is interrupted by an outbreak of food poisoning caused by suspect beef.

After a quirky start in which lots of cows are shown in various situations and the intro music, clearly influenced by 80s electro music, we join the family on their way to their luxury apartment. The characters depicted in the film really work well, of course they are all cliché, but they are written in so well that their mannerism never changes despite the zombie situation. The father a doctor (MD), looking to remarry after the death of his wife is having a bit of a crisis and aiming to rekindle his ‘cool’ image, his interfering fiancé hoping to take the place of the mother much to the annoyance of the daughter, who acts typically spoilt and child like despite the constant reminder that she is no longer a child and last but no least, the stoner boyfriend, who just wants to be liked by the family but is a bit of a dope.

The plot is simple. On the way to the cabin they decide to take an overnight stop at some country bumpkin town. Unfortunately for the family the restaurant in which they eat their evening meal is recipient to some rather suspect beef. Those who consume the beef rapidly loose their mind and begin foaming at the mouth, then want to eat brains. The family must then choose their allies sensibly and aim to escape the town before they become dinner.

The plots nothing original granted but it’s the laughs which make the film what it is. The comedy works on multiple levels. There are some jokes which are basically ‘punch line’ delivered and others which are more subtle that continue without out really noticing until the film points them out. It won’t have you rolling about laughing but most of the jokes hit home and avoid the ‘geeky’ level jokes which are present in so many other horror comedies. Another thing which impressed me was that this film didn’t have any ‘in your face’ ‘homage’ scenes which are getting to be something of a bit of an irritant appearing in so many films of the same genre.

It wouldn’t be a zombie film without a splash of the red, and whilst it’s no Fulci, the level of gore and violence does the job nicely. The deaths are rather amusing as none of the films characters are really the stereotype ‘bad-ass’ (except the black guy with the gun).

Overall it’s nice to see a horror comedy which is actually funny as so many fall short, although admittedly there’s nothing ‘horror’ about it really. If you get a chance to view I recommend that you do. Don’t expect anything vulgar or gratuitous though, I think you could even go as far as to say that this ones for the family.

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