I’ll admit we had certain reservations going into what has been labeled as the first zombie film from India, but within a few minutes we were hooked. At its core, directors Krishna D.K and Raj Nidimoru, have created a stoner buddy film, like Cheech and Chong, Pineapple Express, and Harold and Kumar’s adventures. We follow Luv and Hardik through their smoke addled lives. Whether they are at work or home, the haze of reefer shapes their decisions. Their roommate, the responsible Bunny, is given a chance to travel to Goa and give a lecture on a presentation he created for his company. Luv and Hardik see this as an opportunity to forget about their humdrum existence for a weekend. While in Goa they search for the ultimate party and find themselves on their way to a secluded island for an underground rave. It is here our zombie comedy begins.
The rave is being hosted by the Russian mafia and they have imported an experimental drug to hand out. The side effects of the drug cause, you guessed it, everyone to turn into the undead. Luv, Hardik, and Bunny don’t understand what is happening until they run into Boris – a fake Russian. Together they must battle hordes of zombies and search for a way off the island.
Luv (Vir Das), Hardik (Kunal Khemu), and Bunny (Anand Tiwari) seamlessly fit their roles. The three of them bypass normal stereotypes and while Luv and Hardik fulfill the stoner trope there are also multiple layers underneath. Bunny, as the voice of reason, also never feels forced. He comments that Luv and Hardik are the stars or the heroes and fears he will die when he is no longer funny. Boris (Saif Ali Khan) was created to be over-the-top. His dyed blonde hair and fake accent almost parody western action stars. Boris is also filled with the one-liners found in 80’s action films, “I kill dead people.” Even though Boris is the prototypical action guy he shows tenderness towards his right-hand man and has compassion for the stoners he saves. The cast may not increase the level of believability in the narrative, but they do successfully provide comedy through camaraderie.
As far as narratives go, the film is predictable but it has all the self-referential moments that make it a direct descendant of Shaun Of The Dead. There is even a line of dialogue that states: “India doesn’t have zombies.” This makes for a fun and entertaining ride. All the normal undead rules apply i.e. “Kill the brain, kill the ghoul.” They’re slow and only deadly in groups and if you are bitten you will turn. There is an interesting twist on the rules that makes for another comedic gem. The blood and gore are top notch. Intestine pulling and flesh ripping are standard zombie fare, but if the effects look terrible the entire film suffers – luckily this is not the case with Go Goa Gone.
The cinematography provides a glossy 35mm look, while the quick and innovative editing gives the film a comic book tone, and the music feels like early Snoop Dog remade as an Indian anthem. Go Goa Gone is never boring and while Western Civilization will recognize it as a B film, it should be noted that it is the most impressive B film in a long time.
The biggest question I had going into the film was if there would be a zombie dance sequence at the end? Unfortunately, if that is what you’re waiting for you will be let down. Instead, they have a music video that should sate your appetite.
Also check out the music video for “Babaji Ki Booty”