I’m not sure I’d consider fighting the zombie apocalypse to be a fun way to spend an evening. But “Enjoy Yourself Tonight” is indeed the subtitle of Alan Lo’s feature debut. And that’s not even the strangest thing about it. ZOMBIOLOGY: ENJOY YOURSELF TONIGHT features what looks like a cross between Spongebob Squarepants and a chicken zombifying people with its breath. There’s exploding eggs that turn people’s heads into skulls. And flying guillotines.
Lone (Michael Ning PORT OF CALL) and Yeung (Louis Cheung KEEPER OF DARKNESS), consider themselves heroes looking for their opportunity to prove it. Unfortunately, they can’t keep their day to day lives from falling apart. Lone has been living with Shan (Carrie Ng, UNDERCOVER PUNCH AND GUN, CITY ON FIRE) a Peking Opera singer who was crippled in a crash that Lone’s father (Alex Man AS TEARS GO BY) went to jail for. On the day she’s moving out of her studio Lone’s father returns from prison and the zombie apocalypse begins. When Shan’s niece Yit (Cherry Ngan MOJIN-THE LOST LEGEND) who Yeung has a crush on goes missing, they set out to become heroes and save her.
Based on a novel and expanded from the director’s short ZOMBIE GUILLOTINES this is an odd beast. It mixes typical Hong Kong comedy horror tropes with absurd elements such as the chicken monster. And an ending that suddenly gets metaphysical and suggests none of what we’ve seen is really happening. There are also a few sequences that are animated, further fracturing the film’s flow. The zom com sequences are well done and kept me entertained. But then the film would shift gears and push me back out of the story.
The ending of ZOMBIOLOGY is going to be polarizing. While some will like it I can already hear the complaints about it not being a typical “final stand” type sequence and being dull and pretentious. It was certainly a change from yet another final battle/daring escape ending.
I was pleased to see there was less CGI in ZOMBIOLOGY than is usual in Hong Kong films. It’s still there but there’s also plenty of practical makeup and effects used as well. It’s a much better situation than I’m used to seeing in films like ZOMBIE FIGHT CLUB. Hopefully, other films will follow it’s example.
A well made but at times frustrating film, ZOMBIOLOGY: ENJOY YOURSELF TONIGHT will be available from Epic Pictures on VOD everywhere on February 23.