Sunday, 27 January 2013

Ozombie

Imagine if as part of the war on terror the Americans decided to pollute water supplies in Afghanistan with a biological agent that messed with people's DNA. Imagine if this went wrong and resulted in dead people coming back to life as zombies who feed on other people. It no longer takes polluted water to infect one, now all you need is a zombie bite and bingo! five minutes later you too are a zombie.

Amongst the undead is Osama Bin Laden.

This is the concept for the film 'Ozombie'.

I hadn't heard of this film until I spotted the DVD in the supermarket. It sounded pretty stupid but one of the things I like to do is assess how Islam and the Middle East (and the 'stans) is portrayed in Western media and culture.

I watched it last night. Here's a brief synopsis of what happens (I won't give away the ending).

As the zombies multiply, the West, keen to keep the zombification of Afghanistan quiet, withdraw most of their troops, but leave a few crack units behind on zombie blasting duty. It seems that when zombies are shot in the head or have their head chopped off they become really dead. One of these units is tasked with finding a militia base where there is a suspected zombie breeding programme (prisoners are fed to the zombies, thus becoming zombies themselves) in operation. It is also suspected that this is where the undead Bin Laden is being kept.

Enter an American brother and sister duo who both hinder and help one of the special forces units. The brother, Derek Miller, was a firefighter in New York and was the only survivor of his unit on September 11th. He's on a personal mission to find Bin Laden and ensure he is really dead. He's manic, likes big guns and is determined to see his mission through. His sister, Dusty, has come to look for him and persuade him to go home. She had obviously been in a hurry to get started on her brother saving mission and hadn't had time to research the terrain. If she had, she might have worn something more suitable than high-heeled, over the knee boots and bulky fingerless mittens that must surely make it difficult to hold a gun let alone pull the trigger on one.

Scene after scene involves fighting between the unit and the zombies or local militia units and the zombies. It's all very bloody and surprise, surprise, there's very little storyline. It did make me jump several times though, so I should give it credit for that. 

As for the impression it gives of Islam and Afghanistan? Well as there's little more than blood and gore, it could be anywhere in the world and if it had been set in Russia, Vietnam, the Balkans, Nazi Germany or any other 'us and them' location, I doubt anyone would have noticed.

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