Love and Gore: Zombie Retread Manages Some Killer Gags


If you’re not up to your hairline with the post-Romero zombie mythology already, you might be able to find room in your heart for Dave Gebroe’s indecorously titled Zombie Honeymoon—it’s all about love and death. Gebroe summons a rowdy indie flavor (proclaimed by the “psychobilly” soundtrack) for the setup: Crazy, whoop-happy vegetarian couple Denise and Danny (Tracy Coogan and Graham Sibley) get married (we see them run out of a church alone—it’s a low budget, after all) and head to a rented vacation house for the honeymoon. No sooner has Denise shed her flaming-red wedding dress and the two have retired to the beach than a shambling undead stranger walks out of the ocean, falls on Danny, and drools tar, or something, on him. Danny dies, then wakes up, with a dawning awareness that he must eat, ta-da, human meat.

Gebroe is apparently not interested in logistics and accepts as given the living-dead laws Romero shruggingly dreamed up almost 40 years ago. (Danny does seem satisfied with restaurant beef at one point; why not get Omaha Steaks to deliver? Do zombie cannibals ever eat enough, or overeat, or get fat?) Rather, the semi-comic emphasis is on the fresh marriage under blood-spattered pressure, a curlicue that only recalls countless vampires-with-feelings movies. Gebroe does locate a few wondrous gags—after the initial shock, Denise accepts Danny’s sloppy habit and heads outside for an overdue cigarette, prompting her gore-drenched flesh-eater husband to ask, “Are you sure you want to do that? It’s been seven and a half months.” But if this silly retread works at all, it’s because of Coogan, who comes at the creaky premise with almost Streepian commitment and who is destined, it would seem, for better things.

The Pioneer Theater does not let it go at that—October is awash with zombieness, new and old: Romero, Raimi, Fulci, you name it. The normally marginalized but fierce indie-horror underground is uncorked as well, and amid the fresh freaks are Jeremy Newman’s doc I. Zombi, about a real Kentucky horror-TV host who disguises his disfigurements with corpse makeup, and Ian Allen’s Trapped by the Mormons, a shot-on-cloudy-video silent film that “remakes” a 1922 British exploitation feature of the same title but adds undeadness.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 27, 2005

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