Sunday, August 18, 2013


Here's the deal... not all zombie movies are great. Harold's Going Stiff is not all that spectacular and quite honestly, I only had interest in it due to the title and maybe the tag line. It's a zombie comedy layered with social commentary and a new spin on the genre. It's a zombie movie alright, but the zombies are blah, the social commentary is obvious and redundant, and it's not all that funny. I feel bad saying that because the movie is put together well, shot well and looks fairly good. Within the first five minutes of watching a zombie picture these days you can get a good idea about how it's going to try and lure you in. This one tried comedy and failed. Bummer. The one thing it has going for it is that it's a mockumentary. It isn't enough to make me enjoy the picture, but I've been seeing this style more and more as a way to use found footage techniques to reach an audience. Sometimes though... just sometimes... it's used to hide potential flaws in story and shooting.

Synopsis from Level 33:

HAROLD’S GOING STIFF takes place in grey-skied, rural England and centers on Harold (Rowe) who is suffering from a new disease that is slowly transforming him into a zombie. A young, lonely nurse, Penny (Spencer), is sent to help ease the symptoms of Harold's frightening illness and they quickly and unexpectedly become very close. After an experimental treatment fails, Harold's condition deteriorates rapidly and the two end up on the run from a group of violent vigilantes seeking to rid their town of zombies.

I urge you to make up your own mind about films, but there are plenty of movies that I would recommend ahead of Harold's Going Stiff. Start with Cockney vs. Zombies for a comedy. Warm Bodies if you need to feel lovey dovey but have a heart of ice. Juan of the Dead if you want social criticism though I found it somewhat dull and just... dragged... the fuck... on.  The Dead if you want a serious movie about zombies in Africa (which I think is a metaphor for AIDS).

I dislike writing negative reviews unless I'm convicted about a particular issue surrounding the movie (Soap Box reviews). I'll leave you to be the judge.

Comic “Mockumentary” available in Select Theaters (very limited) and on VOD August 20


1 comment:

  1. For comedy, I'd say it's hard to beat SHAWN OF THE DEAD.

    THE DEAD is, I think, about more than AIDS. I read it as the death of African culture as the continent is consumed in genocide, civil war, disease and poverty.

    JUAN OF THE DEAD never seemed dragging to me. It mirrored the slow pace of change in Cuban society. But yes, that is damn slow.