Lee Min-Jae (director)
07 March 2020 (released)
28 March 2020
You could sort of paraphrase Al Pacino’s cry from Godfather Part III ‘just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in’ and apply it to zombie movies ‘just as I think I’ve seen it all, they come up with an original idea’.
Granted it’s a bit clunky and the sentiment is the complete opposite to Pacino’s desperate anguish but you get the idea. So it is with Lee Min-Jae’s Zombie For Sale a highly original spin on the zombie genre with a sharp satirical line on business and consumerism.
South Korea’s largest chemical company has been conducting illegal experiments on humans and one gets loose. At the same time the Park family are going through tough times with their gas station/garage, seen over by pregnant matriarch Nam-joo (Uhm Ji-won). They are an eccentric bunch with Nam-joo keeping an eye on all the money and husband Joon-gul (Jeong Jae-yeong) just about keeping things running ripping off customers whom he’s snared via road spikes.
Into this arrives Jjon-bi (Jun Ga-ram) so named by daughter Hae-gul (Lee Soo-kyung) who befriends him though he has very little to say and eventually develops a taste for cabbages, after he bites Man-deok (Park In-hwan) the feckless Park’s grandfather.
Then something remarkable starts to happen Man-deok starts to get younger and his vim and vest are restored. This gets out and looking a gift horse with Hobo’s mouth they decide to monetise his ‘gift’ and soon there are queues of geriatrics waiting for their bite and restoration. The family start to reap the benefits of the business. But…and it’s not giving too much away that there’s a side-effect and pretty soon there’s a contagion and chaos.
It is a just a very good fun film with plenty of blood and gore to accompany the comedy thanks to a solid story and script. The acting is sprightly with uniformly excellent performances. It is very silly though thankfully doesn’t bound too far into realms of the absurd not that any of it is remotely believable it just sort of makes sense.
Zombie for Sale was screened at Glasgow FrightFest on 7 March 2020.