Zombie Dearest (2009)

zombiedearest0120 Movies for $7.50 — Part VIII

I’m dubious due to the gimmicky title, but Zombeavers turned out to be pretty great. However, Zombeavers was not in the big $7.50 box o’ horror.  It also lacked the jet-like marketing response velocity to parody a title made 35 yeas ago. Coming next, Citizombie Kane? Bringing Up Zombie?  A Zombidy of Errors?

Failed comedy writer Gus hasn’t had a paying job in 5 years, but is still married to a wife Deborah who was possibly still in this league 5 years ago.  He blows his first interview in years and decides to go out drinking with his wife’s best friend Gwen.  I was shocked — shocked, I tells ya — to see it was Teri Garr (especially after the butt-shot).  Then I was shocked again — shocked again, I tells ya — to find out it was not Teri Garr, but lookalike Wendy Jewel.

They go back to Gwen’s place and Gus gets all nuded up expecting some of the sex.  Turns out to be the old surprise party gag, but the two women are pretty cute was they witness his revelation of what he has done.  He uses the old “I was drunk” excuse that never works driving, so I’m not sure why it is expected to be a valid excuse elsewhere.

zombiedearest03Deborah moves into a house in the country, near her uncle.  She walks in to find the place run down, but full of good memories as she lived her as a child.  Well, except the memory of someone rolling a body into a grave — that one seemed to sneak up on her. As does Gus, who suddenly appears outside and thinks he’s going to move right in.

She agrees to take him back, but he is going to have to do all  the work to fix the place up, then be Mr.Mom when they have kids.  He will stay at home to write his masterpiece and she will go to work; for Donny — an old flame.  She goes in as a business partner with Donny.

zombiedearest08After berating the plumber for his use of the word “retard,” Gus begins digging up the septic tank.  A couple of feet down, he strikes Zombie.  The body sits up in the pit and looks around but doesn’t stand for a couple of minutes — cuz it really does take a while to get your bearings back.

Gus shrewdly gets the zombie, with a Quinto name-tag, to continue digging the hole for him.  Now that’s good original stuff!

While the dead man is digging the hole, Gus is working on new comedy, material.  He tells the zombie to stop digging and watch his stand-up comedy routine, which is awful. The zombie just stares at him with dead eyes as he performs.  Although, to be fair, a living audience would have given the same dead-eyed reaction to the material.

The next day at work, Deborah drops some files and her boss gives her the rest of the day off, a trick I will try on Friday.  Seeing Gus and Quinto still working on the hole (well, actually Gus is standing above work-shopping some awful new material), she takes them some lemonade.  She drops the tray and runs screaming when she see’s Quinto’s face; or maybe she heard some of Gus’s act.

zombiedearest12Deborah is understandably frightened of Quinto, but Gus plays the liberal card, getting all pouty admitting that maybe he went too far hiring a homeless man whose face was dark and scarred from life in the elements, a mere day laborer just trying to make a few bucks, and to provide a little bit of confidence and self-worth to this poor soul by giving him the job.  Waaaaaait a minute, that’s the conservative card!  A liberal would have just given him someone else’s money and booted him off their land.  How did that get in a movie?

Then he accuses Deborah of being a racist.  OK, we’re back on track now.  My world makes sense again.

zombiedearest05The movie takes a weird, I hope, short-lived detour starting with this scene.  In the next scene that are at a pool party (where Deborah looks awesome even fully clothed) and he tells a reverend that he is working on a book to be titled “How to Get to Heaven Even with Capitalist Consumerist Values.”  Later in the car, Deborah jumps on him for failing to not be a dick for even one night — he had promised “no dirty jokes, no political rants, no Christian bashing.”

When she points out that the man he offended — the reverend — is a very religious man, Gus responds, “What does that even mean?  He has the right to judge everyone and everything around him?”  Well, no, that right is given to him by the 1st amendment, dumbass — something a comedian ought to be a little bit familiar with.

Kudos to the beautiful Deborah for pointing out that he is describing himself.  I swear, this could be her audition tape for Fox News.

She then criticizes him for an argument about global warning and depopulation[1], and how we are all going to have to eat bugs. With a 5 year old.  This was played out for laughs and was funnier than anything in his act — mainly because of the kernel of truth in the indoctrination of little kids.

Distracted by her idiot husband, Deborah runs down a man i the road.  Luckily it was Quinto, so Gus convinces Deborah to just let him slither away.  What could be the harm?

Disappointingly, lovely Deborah has the sex with Gus that night.  Although it is some weird version of sex that requires remaining fulling clothed, and wearing a miners head-lamp.  It’s all fun and games until Quinto suddenly show up in the beam of the head lamp.  Although, the non-sequitur that he is carrying a tire is pretty amusing.

Gus pushes him down the stairs, and Deborah finally realizes that he is a Zombie.  There is a fairly amusing scene when it is revealed that Gus was touching the dead man’s wiener when he wished for a help — it just so happens that 30 years ago, Deborah’s Aunt Ellen had warned her about just that unlikely event:  “Witches wart and demon’s mole, you get one wish on a dead man’s pole.”

Seeing that Gus appears to have been bitten, Deborah flees to her Uncle Pete’s house.  When she sees him through a window sitting with a bottle, a rifle and his pants around his ankles, she doesn’t know what to think.  And neither do I.

Despite some good scenes trying to kill-kill Quinto, the guy just won’t stay down.  Gus turns their barn into a comedy club, and Quinto shows up in the audience.  Somehow, he is a hit.  By the time they get in the car to go to the hospital, though, Gus goes full-zombie and begins chasing Deborah.

In an goofy, but foreshadowed, event the film abruptly ends.  Of course this solution could have been used at any point in the film.

Overall, I have to say I enjoyed it.  I really didn’t care for David Kemker as Gus, but he wrote and directed it, so I respect him for that.  Plus, any lack of interest I had seeing him on screen was more than offset by Shauna Black as Deborah — who should be a huge star.  The other most featured player is David Sparrow as Quinto.  He and the make-up crew created a character that evoked whatever was needed in any particular scene.

zombiedearest16There were several funny scenes, just not necessarily the ones where Gus was doing his comedy.  It also looks great, even in an iffy cheapo transfer.  And the camera work was often creative.  I am a complete sucker for scenes showing action occurring simultaneously inside and outside of a window, and Kemker pulls that off beautifully.

My only non-Gus complaint is the use of certain music as the score.  The music with the vocals just didn’t work.

zombiedearest26It was fun.  This $7.50 box set is turning out to be much better than the $5.00 box set.  You really do get what you pay for.


  • Gus — not good with his hands.  Figuratively, as he paints a window frame bright red without taping the glass.  Also not good with his hands literally as he is wearing a thumb ring.
  • [1] I don’t think most liberals care about depopulation as it mostly occurs in civilized countries.  The less of us privileged, scumbag, colonizing, racist oppressors, the better.
  • Uncle Pete was Diane’s psychopathic blind date Andy Andy on Cheers.

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