Greetings, all. This is Simon, the temporary new writer for HM from now until the beginning to mid-august through the Montreal Fantasia International Film Festival. This is the 16th edition of the festival and it gains more attention and fame each year, presenting movies of the “fantastic” genre, going from horror movies to science fiction, some action, and the likes.
I am going to a TON of movies this summer, having the summer off, and HM asked me to write up reviews of the horror movies I’ll be seeing there this year, as many of the movies presented at this prestigious festival are often world pemieres and we get to see them months before they come out at the movie theatre or on DVD. First movie of the festival I watched, “Juan of the Dead”.
“Juan of the Dead” is a comedy-horror straight out of Cuba, in Spanish, subtitled in English.. When a zombie invasion spreads throughout the country faster than an indigestion epidemic in an all-included trip, most of the citizens attempt to flee by sea. But not Juan and his buddies. Instead, they decide to set up a zombie-elimination brigade who charge their customers money for the zombies they kill. “Juan of the dead, we take care of your loved ones. How may I help you?” is how they answer the phone, from then on. A little bit of capitalism in a socialist country, huh?
With similarities to Shaun of the Dead (idiotic gang of friends, including a chubby, not-too-bright replica of Ed), the movie still contains plenty of originality. With some sweet killing scenes, laugh-out-loud moments, political stabs and jokes, and surprisingly impressive make-up and special effects, the movie will keep you entertained from beginning to end. You grow attached to the characters and wonder how the story will turn out.
I have been critiquing films for over a year, and “Juan of the Dead” deserves a solid 4 stars out of 5. You’ll have more fun watching this great zombie movie than watching irresponsible parents on “The Maury Show” being told “When it comes to 2 year-old Laura… Michael, you ARE the father!” I guarantee it.