In the neighborhood of Gangnam in Seoul, folks head to work expecting another boring day at the office. Soon, some of the citizens start showing odd behaviors and symptoms. What looks like a COVID-19 issue at first turns out to be much more than that.
Directed by Soo Sung Lee, Gangnam Zombie is an oddball option in the horror comedy world that is rooted in the recent pandemic and the fears it has brought in some people while adding a zombie angle (hey, it’s not a spoiler, it’s in the title!). The film has all kinds of zombies, mostly fast-moving zombies that won’t make some viewers happy, including a breakdancing zombie. It’s mostly kept to one building for most of the runtime and it pits a few workers against a whole horde of the undead. The main thing here is that it’s entertaining. The zombie sub-genre has been done to death and it’s hard to think of new things or new ways to deal with these creatures. That being said, Gangnam Zombie doesn’t rewrite the book on zombies (that’s something better left to actual books), but it uses the subgenre to the best of its ability and by mixing it with current, or at least recent, worries, it makes for a fun, yet somewhat anxious watch. It’s decently written, well directed, it’s got something new here and there, so it’s a successful entry into the zombie world that will give fans of the creatures something new, or at least new-ish, to sink their teeth into.
The performances here are decent, ok, solid, well, it depends on who is on the screen, but generally speaking, it’s good enough for a few watches, a few laughs, and a few scares. The cast isn’t perfect, but they clearly are giving their all and making sure that the audience has fun here. The Il-Joo Ji is a good reluctant lead, one man against the world who is not quite ready to face it. His work here really sells the role and makes it his own. Working alongside him is Ji-Yeon Park who plays things more shy with a strong streak under the surface. These two manage to make the most of the film and are the standouts in terms of performances, giving the viewer two characters to connect with and ride this whole story with a few bits of nonsense with. The rest of the cast does well, giving us annoying landlady, lame boss man full of excuses, and a horde of zombies with varied shamble styles, attack styles, and bites.
The special effects here are mostly zombie effects, giving various folks an undead look, one that varies here and there, most likely due to how long they’ve been turned into the undead. The blood is decent, but not as plentiful as some would expect or want. The look of the zombies is not exactly original, but it works.
Gangnam Zombie is a film that is easy to join for the ride and just enjoy. Yeah, it’s zombies again. Yeah, a comedy with zombies, but so what? It’s entertaining, it’s fun, it has some laughs, plenty of nonsense, and a bundle of willing actors doing their best in the insanity of this story. The use of mostly just one location does add to the film in that it’s contained and forces the story to make the most of the confines it self-creates.
Gangnam Zombie will be available on Digital, Blu Ray, and DVD on 9/26/2023 from WellGoUSA