Tag, You’re It! A Review Of Humans Vs. Zombies (2011)

And then, BAM! Mood whiplash. The scene cuts to a college campus where a game of Humans Vs. Zombies is going on. The collegiates don’t do much else for a little while but scare the campus security guard and have a fairly homoerotic game of Humans Vs. Zombies. I was almost worried that this plot point was unintentional before the characters started all the gay jokes among themselves, which then led to more questions from me. Like, why the writer couldn’t think of better gay jokes.

Shortly thereafter we’re introduced to our principal cast: Tommi (Madison Burge, TV’s Friday Night Lights), a super hot but bitchy girl gamer; Amanda (Melissa Carnell, Boggy Creek), Danny (Jonah Priour), the socially awkward yet approachable every guy; Brad (Chip Joslin), the party boy who looks and acts just like Jack Black; James, (Jesse Ferraro), the nice guy football hero; and Frank (Frederic Doss, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra), the conspiracy-theory, hick security guard. Luckily we’re saved the injustice of dealing with a rich-bitch sorority girl character for the majority of the film; she’s taken out early on by the two characters that we saw on the beach.

Humans Vs. Zombies

Here’s where my patience started growing a little thin with this movie. The synopsis was, “A security guard leads a group of college co-eds through to safety in the zombie apocalypse.” I kind of assumed that shit was going to come down hard and heavy early on, and this would actually be the premise of the film. Nope! The premise of the film for the first hour and some change is, “College co-eds are oblivious to radio and news broadcasts about the zombie apocalypse. They talk a lot, party some, and have a little sex.” Most of the film is just dialogue and there’s not a lot of action; when it does show up, it’s sparing.

I guess in a sense, it’s fairly realistic; we all talk a big game, but I imagine that this is the most realistic visualization of what a bunch of dumb-ass college kids would do in the event of zombie apocalypse. Even the ones who are genre savvy aren’t scoring any real points in this whole thing. The security guard character drifts between being the beacon of rationality and light in this group, and then spouting lines like, “They used to make fun of me… they don’t make fun of me anymore. They’re dead.”

Taking all this into consideration, plus the terrible sexual tension between the two alpha couples in the movie, I honestly kept resisting the urge not to turn it off or fast forward. Luckily, there are some funny/halfway interesting bits of dialogue mixed in with the rest of the muck.

Humans Vs. Zombies

And despite how utterly disappointing I make this film sound, it’s honestly not such a bad way to kill an afternoon. Don’t get me wrong; I WAS a little disappointed, but it did have it’s redeeming qualities. Some of the acting was nowhere near as bad as it could have been, and some of the script was funny. The thing I enjoyed most was Chip Joslin, who plays Brad. He looks literally like a younger version of Jack Black, and acted like him to a T. I decided, in my half-drunken state, that Jack Black surely had a bastard child somewhere and Chip Joslin was it. Hell, I even fancied the idea that Chip Joslin is Jack Black’s illegitimate son and they acknowledge the relationship but Chip Joslin works under a different name because he doesn’t want to ride on his dad’s coat tails. Spoiler alert: Chip Joslin isn’t at all affiliated with or related to Jack Black. And also? He’s TWO YEARS OLDER than Jack Black who looks 25 fucking years older than Chip Joslin. And that was the thing that impressed me most about Humans Vs. Zombies?

The Verdict: [rating:2.5]

If you’re like yours truly and enjoy a few afternoon beverages on a warm day with a few extra hours to kill, don’t completely discard Humans Vs. Zombies. It’s good, mindless (HAR HAR, get it?) fun and laughable in the best, cheesy sort of way – though I do regret to admit that the film isn’t anything in the way of scary, nor are there really any petty scare jumps. But did I mention that there’s even a Twilight joke? Take that, Stephenie Meyer! For the rest of you who have common sense and believe in zombies rather than sparkly vampires, Humans Vs. Zombies isn’t a bad way to kill an hour and a half – as long as you’re willing to suspend a decent amount of belief and sobriety.


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