With a name like “Zombies Anonymous,” it’s easy to overlook this curious movie as yet another shlocky zombie film. And in many ways it is: there’s plenty of neck biting, eyeball-popping, intestine-tearing, and even groin stabbing to keep any zombie fan entertained. But “Zombies Anonymous” has a higher fare in mind: domestic abuse.
Zombies are a known quantity in “Zombies Anonymous.” They are a new race, a new social class, a new oppressed group to be spat on, abused, and randomly killed in the street. The zombies still feel — they are not mindless killers — but they’re hardly human either, as their growing taste for raw meat slowly consumes them. These contrary states of mind — a civilized people thrust into a lower order — are embodied by Angela (attractive Gina Ramsden) who is shot dead by her psychopath boyfriend Josh (Joshua Nelson). Months later, Angela must deal with a world in which she knows her murderer; and Josh must find his way where the past can physically come back to haunt him.
They both take different paths: Angela tries hard to fit in with “Look-Alive” makeup at her day job and visits a support group called “Hugs for the Mortally Challenged” at night. Josh joins a radical hate group with his friends, Richie (J. Scott Green), Peter “Gooch” Guccione (Gaetano Iacono) and Malcolm (Constantine Josiah Taylor). The group is led by a woman, The Commandant (Christa McNamee), who leads terrorist attacks on zombies.
But the zombies aren’t innocent either. Angela is introduced to a fringe group who believes in eating raw flesh, led by The Good Mother Mary Solstice (Mary Jo Verruto). It’s inevitable that these two groups will clash, with Angela and Josh caught in the middle.
Josh grapples with hating and loving his girlfriend, continuing the abusive spiral that led to her death. He covets her and is disgusted by her — and it’s easy to see he felt this way before she was turned into a zombie. Angela, alternately tries to find her voice in a world where she no longer has to fear death.
The movie culminates in a face-off between the two ethos, the two genders, and the two lovers. Nobody, “Zombies Anonymous” tells us, really wins a war of ethos. It’s only at the end of the film that Angela learns being true to yourself is all that really matters, however imperfect (or dead) that might be.
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