Zombie Honeymoon (2004)
Reviewed by Johnny Butane
Starring Tracy Coogan, Graham Sibley, Tonya Cornelisse, David M. Wallace
Directed by David Gebroe
Let me get this out of the way first and foremost; this movie should not be called Zombie Honeymoon. When I hear that title, I think of a wacky comedy, something that would maybe come our way from Troma or some such indie studio. Though relatively appropriate, Zombie Honeymoon, as a title, is certainly not indicative of the film within.
What Zombie Honeymoon is, is a strange film which serves to illustrate just how far some people will go in the name of love and companionship but overall seemed to me like it wasn’t sure what it wanted to be.
The story is that of Danny (Sibley) and Denise (Coogan), two newlyweds who apparently defied all expectations and got married quickly without the benefit of months and months of planning and stress. Right after their marriage the two head off to Danny’s uncle's place for their honeymoon, where they’ll apparently spend a lot of time screwing and eating (and who could ask for a better honeymoon than that?). One afternoon on the beach, after a quick bit of surfing, Danny passes out next to his new wife. Suddenly a very dead and very hungry zombie comes strolling out of the ocean, falls onto Danny, and proceeds to vomit up some nasty black stuff onto him before finally keeling over.
Danny dies and is taken to the hospital, but instead of being put immediately in the Emergency Room, they take him into a patient’s room to try and revive him, a move that really bugged the hell out of me for obvious reasons. I’m not sure if this was because of budget restraints on the filmmakers' part or to put in a character that later comes into play, but it really made no sense at all and just seemed sloppy.
Anyway, about 30 seconds after being pronounced dead, Danny wakes up and feels fit as the proverbial fiddle. Denise is, obviously, overjoyed, and within a few hours they’re out of the hospital and back at their honeymoon spot, ready to continue with their screwing and eating. Denise goes out to get some groceries to assist in the second part of these events, comes back to find Danny happily munching away on a jogger in their bathtub, and freaks out.
Seems that Danny didn’t just have a quick death experience and find his way back to his body; nope, Danny’s still dead, and he needs to feed on the flesh of the living, a lot, in order to keep going. He’s not some brainless, shambling zombie, though. He’s fully cognizant of what he’s doing; but, as is evident when they try to book a flight to Portugal at the last minute to get away from it all and Danny ends up eating the travel agent, he can’t help himself.
The story isn’t really about zombies though; it’s about love (awwww). Denise knows what Danny is and, eventually, accepts it, hoping that he can just get some people food in him on a daily basis and they can go back to being a happy couple. To make this easier on her, Danny swears he’ll never hurt her; she’s far too precious to him. All this is carried fairly well by the leads, who’ve got a great chemistry together during their "normal" phase that slowly peters out as Danny becomes more and more the mindless eating machine he’s destined for. The other two characters, friends of the couple, are played by your average indie actors. There’s nothing too spectacular about either of them, unless you count the near non-existent arms on Nikki (Cornelisse), which are just creepy to behold.
Overall, it seemed like Zombie Honeymoon wasn’t entirely sure what it wanted to be. It sure wasn’t a full –blown zombie movie, it wasn’t really all that funny when it tried to be, and the underlying tale of Denise’s love for Danny being stronger than death itself is actually kind of pitiful after a while. I mean, how many of your friends does your husband have to eat before you decide that maybe it’s time to move on? My limit is three.
Not that Zombie Honeymoon is a bad movie, just one you probably won’t think too much about after the credits roll, unless you happen to remember one of the many, many horrible songs that make up its soundtrack (especially the one Denise gets all mushy about Danny over). For an indie film I have to give it credit for not taking any sort of traditional route; I just wish there was bit more substance to it in the end.
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