Director: Alexandre O. Philippe
Exhibit A Pictures/Geekscape Productions
I liked this film another of the fine things on offer at this year’s Documentary Edge Festival – Doc of the Dead is about zombie movies and traces around the idea of zombie culture. Disappointingly it only hints at the antecedents of the zombie iconography in pop-culture, it’s as if a token mention of Haitian voodoo was all that was allowed because the bigger audience pull is in showing Simon Pegg. To me that was a great shame, for while Shaun of the Dead has had a huge impact – and can be credited, in some part at least, with a resurgence, with a hint of mainstream interest – I wanted more than just nods to the films I already know.
That said – it was nice to see a clip of a Peter Jackson film, remember he once made vital movies, back two decades ago or so now…
And because this is as much a bums-on-seats doco as it is any sort of fan tribute the film hurtles through the timeline, ticking off the crucial films, introducing the talking heads at an alarming rate. We hear from Bruce Campbell and George A. Romero and Tom Savini and in an amusing set of asides the film knowingly ticks off the flaws of the zombie as a threat or attack creature (lack of speed, etc).
So Doc of the Dead becomes as much about playing into the celebration – in that sense it’s like a Greatest Hits album; the hardcore are already initiated, they were in on the ground floor, this is for all-comers. In that sense this is a great success and certainly offers enough in the way of hints and tips for anyone out there yet to take the plunge into zombie movie watching (or making).