(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Zombies)
Doug (vo): Zombies: the Musical. (Beat) I don't know. Sure. We've had Disney Villain teens have their own musical, second-born royals get their own movie. Why not give a fad that's already dying down a shot? Honestly, I'm forming a theory that if a Disney Channel movie is being made about the subject, it's probably not popular with adults anymore. People sent me the trailers to this, and like them, I thought this looked awful. Another piss-poor combination of all the things that Disney thinks is successful and is gonna make them a lot of money; musicals, zombies, cheerleading, beautiful teens, which is why you might be shocked to hear, in all honesty, it's...really...not that...bad. Don't get me wrong, it's nothing great, it's not any phenomenal thing you should go out and see, I don't even know if I really recommend it that much for adults, but...for such a desperate idea that was clearly forced on this creative team and cast, they turn out something that's okay...for what it is.
Story[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): The movie opens with the line, "Who would've thought the zombie apocalypse would happen from lime soda?" Already, that's a pretty unique way to start. Soda spilled on this big motherboard in this big, hi-tech place that turned a bunch of people into man-eating zombies, and you know what? It doesn't matter. The movie rushes by it and even it kind of acts like it's not really important. What is important is zombies are apparently like regular people now...for the most part. They still have a hunger for brains and stuff like that, but there's this little...I don't know...bracelet that keeps them under control, unless you hack it, allowing a little bit more of their zombie powers to take hold. It's weird, but I thought that was gonna be the least of the problems. Once you see our main characters...Zed, a zombie who wants to join the football team, and Addison, a girl who was born with white hair, so she has to wear a wig so nobody would be like, "Oh, my God, she has white hair", and, yeah, of course, she wants to be on the cheerleading team...address the camera and tell them how excited they are that zombies are finally gonna be allowed in school but who knows if they're gonna fit in, God, I was ready to despise this. But as soon as they walk outside and you see all the people are wearing these blue and pink pastels, and all the zombies are in this really crummy but colorful neighborhood, and they're right next to each other like a cartoon, I got the feeling this movie was a little self-aware. When they get to school, they see the lead cheerleader named Bucky is obsessed with being #1 because, quite frankly, their football team is terrible. They're so bad, their mascot is a shrimp. Bucky is so egotistical, that he jumps through a picture of himself in the exact same pose while another picture of the exact same pose is right behind it. (Laughs a bit) I'm sorry, but that's funny. Zombies, as you'd expect, are not very welcomed in the high school, in fact, they put all of them in the basement and have another zombie teach them.
(A scene showing a zombie named Mr. Zeck teaching a class of zombies is shown)
Mr. Zeck: Use some grammar.
Zombie student: This is supposed to be chemistry.
Mr. Zeck: Look, 45 minutes ago, I was a janitor, kid, so...
Doug (vo; laughs): I'm sorry, this is good writing. But that changes when they find out Zed, once his arm bracelet is tinkered with a little bit, has incredible strength, and they want him on the football team. Zed agrees, but some changes have to be made, like the zombies are allowed in the cafeteria and don't have to stay in the basement and so forth. The high school agrees, as long as he wins a game. So he and his friends keep fiddling with the bracelet, allowing him to get stronger and stronger, and, yeah, okay, you know what's gonna happen, right? The "liar revealed" story, and everybody's gonna hate him and the girlfriend's gonna hate him...oh, yeah, by the way, they're falling in love, too, you have a Romeo & Juliet thing going on.
Review[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): But surprisingly, they work it in kind of cleverly. When it is revealed that he's using the bracelet, kind of like zombie steroids, everyone goes from cheering to booing him, but Addison brings up the only reason he did it is because he wouldn't be treated like a human being if he didn't. That's a good point. It isn't just a simple "prejudice is bad" story, like I said, I'm so sick of those from Disney, they're just done so poorly now. It actually looks at it from a couple different points of view. It's something that's relatable, and the characters don't always do what you think these characters are going to do. I mean, when he's revealed and everyone's booing him, you know there has to be a breakup, because there's always a breakup at this point. But it's not done for the reason you think. Usually, in a scenario like this, the character finds out something and then has to lie, saying, "No, no, I don't love you anymore", and then the girl finds out the truth. But, no, he straight-up says, "Everyone's against us. This is gonna be too much, it's not gonna be good for us. Let's try to live normal lives." And that's actually kind of relatable. It's a tough thing to figure out, especially as a kid. And on top of that, there's still some really good jokes. I love it when the coach's strategy for the team is...
(A scene showing a coach attempting to teach his football team is shown)
Coach: Move forward, move all the way forward! Don't go back! There's nothing back here! This is empty! You don't need to go back here, you need to go up here!
Doug (vo; laughs): Yeah, as you can see, this actually did get a few laughs out of me.
(Various clips resume showing)
Doug (vo): Now, with that said, it still isn't anything that fantastic. I mean, it is still a Disney property trying to combine all these popular things, and it shows. There's obvious phrases that hammer in the message, like, "Well, one person can't make a difference. What if we all try to make a difference?" Yeah, they're talking about cheerleading, but you know what they're talking about.
Final thought[edit | edit source]
Doug (vo): It's nice that it seems like, going into this, they have an understanding that this is ridiculous, and they're gonna make fun of the fact that it's ridiculous. But it still has to meet those check marks. There's got to be the girl who likes fighting against the man, there's got to be the bullies, there's got to be the kid that has a secret, but doesn't want it to get out there. That secret's not even that bad, there's even a scene where she says, "Hey, if I had white hair in another school, it probably wouldn't be a big deal, but this school, it wouldn't fly", like, yeah, even they're kind of acknowledging it's not really that bad. But even with all that, it never takes itself too seriously. Again, maybe it's because I just saw that Second-Born Royals crap, and that was just so lame and so pretentious and so thought it was saying something amazing, that I kind of like this one's getting out of the way of its own bullshit. When characters are mean, they're mean in a fun way. When a song sequence pops up, they're legit well-danced and well-sung. When the main leads have to be charming, they are really, really charming. And all those check marks they have to hit, they hit them, but they don't focus too long on them. I'd say if you're kind of in that tween age or younger, maybe high school if you're in kind of a silly mood, you'll probably enjoy this fine. If you're any older than that, I wouldn't say seek it out, but if somebody younger than you is watching it, I would say, maybe tune in every once in a while. You might get a snicker here and there. Is that a glowing review? I guess not. But for a film I was expecting to despise, I'm surprised it came out this content. Not great, but not bad either. If you have even the tiniest bit of interest in this, my guess is, you'll find there's more brains behind this than you would've thought.
(A scene showing a group of zombies and humans dancing in an underground area is shown)