Movie: A Plague So Pleasant
My Rating: 2 stars
I’m pretty much always up for a zombie movie. And, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that good. So, I was pretty interested in seeing the advance screener for this film. It’s an indie, B-movie about a society trying to live with zombies, rather than fighting them. The premise is that apparently, if humans aren’t trying to kill the zombies, zombies won’t try to kill humans. So, in this world, the two groups have come to a shaky cease-fire. The government has given the zombies certain rights that the other citizens must respect (namely, the right to exist unmolested). And, they’ve been shuttled off to the rolling hills of a zombie preserve. Of course, things could go sour at any moment. If even one human slips and kills a zombie, the war will begin anew.
This is a pretty interesting plot device. It focuses on another aspect of human psychology that I really haven’t seen other zombie flicks deal with. It’s kind of a game theory idea. Can humans really trust all the other people to honor the detente? Or, should they distrust their peers, and prepare for another zombie apocalypse that could break out at any moment? I know what camp I would be in. Humans are famously untrustworthy. They’re so fickle, so illogical, so driven by passions. I wouldn’t put away my steel-tipped boots, or remove the barricades from my windows so quickly.
As I mentioned above, this is a pretty low-budget indie flick. But, the filmmakers use this aspect to their advantage as best they can by giving the film a classic, B-movie vibe. The acting, the editing, and the black-and-white color palette all contribute to a “Night of the Living Dead” mood and aesthetic. It’s an inspired choice. But, don’t go into this movie expecting a tight thriller. It’s more of a stylized homage to the first zombie films. And, it could also do with a bit tighter editing.
Go ahead and check out this film if you’re a die-hard fan of zombie flicks. It’s working with some interesting, new material (and plenty of tried-and-true). But, this one may be a bit too esoteric for the casual viewer. It references other films in an interesting way, but I’m not quite sure it stands up on its own. But, I know that there’s always an audience for any film, and I’m certain that this film will find its own.