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There’s No Such Thing as Zombies (2020) Review

There’s No Such Thing as Zombies isn’t so much a comedy about the zombie apocalypse as it is the story of three people, Carlotta (Luana Ribeira, Dead Walkers: Rise of the 4th Reich, My Bloody Banjo), her husband Paul (Rami Hilmi, Video Shop Tales of Terror, Artifacts of Fear) and his old school friend Colin (Rudy Barrow, Edge of Extinction, Toxic Apocalypse).

When Colin’s bragging gets on Paul’s last nerve, Carlotta gives him a “vitamin” which Colin recognizes as Troxidil, a powerful antidepressant that also doubles as male birth control by decreasing sperm count. This really doesn’t sit well with Paul, not only was he being lied to, he was being prevented from starting the family he wanted.

At this point, we cut away to The Hunt and Christina Show, whose hosts are also talking about Troxidil, specifically allegations that it causes the dead to rise. They’ll soon be joined by Victoria Winkelhauser (Lynn Lowry, Those Who Deserve to Die, The Crazies) a representative from the drug’s manufacturer who’s there to deny the allegations and threaten to sue anyone who says differently.

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Director Eddie Bammeke (The Essex Warriors, Confusion and the Survivor) and writer Michael Haberfelner (First Impressions Can Kill, The Night Monica Came Back) also show us commercials for the Zombie Investigation Association, ZIA for short before introducing us to two of its agents Anthony Small (Scott Hillier, The Rizen, The Facility), Abigail Tall (Debra Lamb, Showdown in Yesteryear, Blood Covered Chocolate) and their DeLorean, complete with Flux Capacitor.

The first half of There’s No Such Thing as Zombies, is told in a nonlinear manner, shifting back and forth between revealing more of the evening we saw in the original scene and the present when a zombified Paul is making his way home to Carlotta only to find out she’s now married to Colin. She doesn’t believe there are zombies and wonders where he vanished to. Colin on the other hand knows there are zombies, and why Paul vanished. Once the situation is fully revealed, the film switches to a more conventional timeline.

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While this is a zom-com don’t be expecting something like Shaun of the Dead, or even Witness Infection for that matter. There’s No Such Thing as Zombies is a somewhat hit-and-miss bit of satire aimed at the pharmaceutical industry, government agencies, the media, and, most of all, relationships. Much of that is dialogue between Colin and Carlotta, with zombie Paul serving as a prop and something to argue over.

Indeed, most of There’s No Such Thing as Zombies revolves around talk. There’s little gore beyond a few splashes of CGI blood, and the zombie makeup is merely greasepaint on the actor’s face. His hands aren’t made up, and there are scenes where the makeup has been rubbed off his neck by his shirt. It’s too bad the budget couldn’t have been stretched enough to afford some decent zombie makeup.

An even bigger problem however is the lack of likeable characters. Much of There’s No Such Thing as Zombies is a two-person show but Colin, apart from being a murderer, is physically abusive to Carlotta. But she is psychologically abusive, manipulative, serially unfaithful and so far removed from reality that she actually suggests a threesome with zombie Paul. The two ZIA agents are barely in the film, and are more annoying than funny when they are on-screen.

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Such Thing as Zombies’s two name actresses, Lynn Lowry, has a potentially great character as the corporate spin doctor, but is barely on-screen. And as one half of the ZIA team, Debra Lamb has a few funny lines but spends way too much time repeating the line about their mission being to prevent zombies, not kick zombie ass. I wish she and her partner had been more involved in the plot rather than just standing on the sidelines commenting.

If you don’t mind the fact that the film isn’t just dialogue driven, but, apart from a couple of physical gags, all talk, then you’ll probably find enough laughs in There’s No Such Thing as Zombies to keep you amused. If not, the lack of action and annoying characters will probably get to you before you get to the credits. And speaking of credits, there is a post credits scene that’s actually funnier than much of the film.

There’s No Such Thing as Zombies is available on Digital Platforms, you can check its Facebook page for more details.

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