Originally released as ZBurbs back in 2017 the horror comedy Zombae has, like zombies themselves, risen from the dead to take another bite out of your wallet. Does the film, which resembles a gender swapped version of the popular Netflix show The Santa Clarita Diet which premiered several months prior to its original release deserve to be resurrected? Or should its distributor have made sure to double tap?
Shelly (Marieh Delfino, Jeepers Creepers 2, Isolation) lives in the suburbs and works a never ending series of temp accounting gigs while she looks for something permanent. Her husband Bill (Ian Alda, Seven Hells, Velvet Buzzsaw) does work around the house while he looks for work. That changes one night when someone breaks into their house. A scuffle ensues leaving Bill dead and the intruder, who doesn’t look very healthy either coming after Shelly. Until a revived Bill rips his brain out, and eats it.
Writer/director Greg Zekowski (Bloodline: The Devil’s Game) starts out aiming barbs at suburban life before Bill gets bit and Zombae switches gears and becomes a macabre relationship comedy as Shelly tries to deal with the new Bill. This version is cold to the touch, doesn’t like bright light and has an insatiable hunger for raw meat, the fresher the better.
It’s all mildly amusing in a slightly gory sitcom type of way, especially after Carrie (Courtney Scheuerman, Haunted Boat, Wishes), Shelly’s somewhat psychotic BFF enters the picture. “It’s like stand your ground, and once he finishes eating the body there’s no evidence.” Zombae has a fair amount of sight gags and physical humour as well, body parts that won’t stay dead, Bill finding out the hard way he can’t eat normal food anymore. There’s the morbidly funny sight of Bill reverting to thumb sucking as he sleeps peacefully. The only problem is the thumb is on a severed hand.
Then, just as the viewer gets used to this, Zekowski ups Zombae’s body count and the stakes as Shelly’s conspiracy obsessed brother Charlie (Gabe Greenspan, Wayward Guide) shows up. And then there’s Agent Baxter (Clint Carmichael, Big Bad, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult), Agent Morse (Gina Hecht, Mork & Mindy, Night Shift) and Pick (Bill Oberst Jr., Circus of the Dead, The Good Things Devils Do) who may have something to do with the original zombie.
Shot on what must have been a tight budget, Zombae takes place almost entirely in Bill and Shelly’s kitchen and living room. This means that potential victims have to come to them, but the script manages to make that reasonably credible. And when they do show up, there’s not a lot in the way of effects or gore beyond some rubbery looking props. And when Bill chows down on their lecherous landlord (Dan Coplan, A Journey to a Journey, Hell Comes to Frogtown) the gore is covered by animation that was obviously inspired by Bugs Bunny’s buddy, The Tasmanian Devil.
While it’s rarely laugh out loud funny, Zombae is silly enough to be entertaining and makes a nice change of pace. Unfortunately, while Indican Pictures sent out screeners that seems to have been all they’ve done to promote the film. It’s in IMDB under two titles, neither of them the current one, and to find almost any information you have to search for ZBurbs. They don’t even have the film’s poster on their website, I had to Google for it. It’s too bad, because the film deserves better than to be resurrected only to be dumped in an unmarked grave.
Indican Pictures will release Zombae on DVD as well as On Demand on February 15th. You can check their website for more information.