If you’re looking for some exhilarating jump scares and nightmare-inducing gore, then you can definitely strike The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale out of your list.
Unlike the nasty abandoned dystopian setting that most zombie movies have, The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale takes place in a hillbilly filled rural countryside where the villagers there have little to zero knowledge on what is happening far beyond the mountains.
The first few minutes of the film starts off exciting enough as the story begins with a string of local radio announcements being played, detailing a disastrous outbreak that’s threatening to run rampant nationwide. But before we can feel the excitement rubbing onto us, a sense of speechlessness washed over as the movie almost immediately transforms to a questionable large-scale comedy skit.
Somewhere lost in the transition, Zzong-bi (played by Jung Ga-ram) enters and we see him accidentally stumble into a countryside with nothing but discolored skin and a pair of unfocused eyes in tow.
Upon the arrival of this strange unidentified creature “that seemed like a hobo”, the entire village is sent on a whirlwind of a ride as complications and question marks start to trickle in. The first half of the film follows Zzong-bi as he and the people around him, especially the Park Family, struggle to adapt to one another to no avail – Until the patriarch, Park Man-deok (played by Park In-hwan) realizes that Zzong-bi could potentially be his money-making machine.
Throughout the entire film, this is probably one of the most realistic chunks of it as we got to see how each family member attempted to overcome their fear of him. While some were accommodating, there were also others that were apprehensive, typical.
As a whole, the front portion of the film was generally paced a tad bit too slow for my liking because I found it draggy at times but the second act was just a whole new ball game – it was the epitome of chaotic, both in a literal and figurative sense.
After the potion of youth wore off, the humble little town of Poongnam is filled to the brim with zombies and people were just running about and doing things that didn’t make sense. Turns out, the entire country was basically on its way to a catastrophe of massive proportion and nothing could be done to stop it.
Realized how I never mention anything about the comedy aspect even though it’s a “zombie comedy”? But it shouldn’t come off as a surprise because the film’s identity got lost somewhere in the string of events happening in it and soon I found myself wondering when the film would end.
While I appreciate the director’s attempt to stray off the beaten path and venture into the unknown territories of “zombie comedy”, the comedic element in the film was just too lame and forced, it wasn’t even funny.
Even the use of a slow-motion camera to capture all the dramatics of a scene failed to make me conjure up a laugh. The director really tried. Maybe it was the plot, maybe it was the directing but nevertheless, it just wasn’t working out.
But then again, humor is generally a personal preference that differs amongst people so don’t let my review of the film stop you from watching it!
With all that sad, not all is lost. The actors did an amazing job at playing their characters but my heart especially goes out to Zzong-bi’s actor, Jung Ga-ram. Over the course of 2 hours, he was chased, beaten and misunderstood, I can’t help but be amazed at his dedication to the character because his role has got to be the toughest to play in this film. After all, his character had to eat so many cabbages even I lost count.
Not forgetting the other actors, of course. They all did an amazing job at mastering the regional dialects and were able to seamlessly switch from human to zombie at a flick of the wrist.
There were times the plot got very dull but the movie was filmed in a picturesque countryside with an amazing set that is really reminiscent of pre-Y2K, these colors definitely helped bring in more life and authenticity to the film.
Sans the lame jokes and the weird ending, I think Director Lee Min-jae is off to a relatively promising start for his directorial debut and I cannot wait to see more of his works in the future as he improves from here on out once he irons out the kinks.
Personally, I think The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale is either a hit or miss in my books. If you’re the kind the has a low tolerance for jokes and all, then this film might just tickle your funny bone with its eccentric characters and comedic plot. If not, you might be in for a disappointment. As with all movies, never enter the theatre with any expectations, just let the film do the talking!
Actor’s Appeal: ★★★☆☆
Sense of Satisfaction: ★★☆☆☆
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale opens 14 March in Singapore cinemas. Watch the official trailer and find out more about the film here:
(Photo Credits: Clover Films)