Thursday, December 15, 2011

Zombie Reanimation (Germany, 2009)

Who knows whether this film will ever be dubbed in English or even subtitled, but if it is, and you happen to see it, and you cannot follow what the fuck is going on, well, rest assured it isn't due to the translation. Zombie Reanimation really is a disjointed and disconnected mess that hardly makes any narrative sense. But then, the director probably knew this while making the film – and definitely didn't really give a flying fuck, either.
Director Jochen Taubert has been making films for over twenty years and has almost as many direct-to-video productions to his name. Aside from his regular "family" of stars, his films, sporting such illustrious titles as Ich piss' auf deinen Kadaver / I Piss On Your Cadaver (1999 / clip), Exhibitionisten Attacke / Attack of the Exhibitionists (2000 / trailer) and Bad Boys Bad Toys (2007 / trailer), sometimes even feature second- to fifth-rate German "celebrities" such as Dolly Buster, Jürgen Drews, Frank Zander or Ralf Möller (many of whom, oddly enough, don't list the projects on their imdb resumes). Zombie Animation, however, features only his regular retinue of family and friends and others who were probably willing to act for free.
It is doubtful that Zombie Reanimation was actually conceived as a continuous feature-length film. When reviewing Taubert's website and his credits as listed on imdb, I would offhandedly guess that Zombie Reanimation is a combination of a short called Santa Claus (2008) with possibly one or two other incomplete projects as well as additional, possibly new, footage to fill in the blanks. But even with continuous voice-over narration, to say continuity is lacking would be an understatement. To enjoy the film at all, one must disavow such a mundane concept as logical narrative, and instead flow freely with a tale that moves from a cheating wife fucking a man dressed as Santa to her murder by a doctor colleague of her husband who eventually flips out and goes on a short, bloody murder spree in a hospital (killing the cheater's husband, among others) before a flashback to WWII explains how some secret formula to make zombies and that imbues a few characters with immortality gets lost before the flick returns to the present were one soldier of the past is now played by a muscle-bound motorcyclist and a zombie plague breaks out. (Follow that?)
On his website, Taubert clearly states that the philosophy behind his films is "Spaß am Filmen zu haben!!!" – "to have fun making films". Without a doubt, he and his cast surely do have fun making their trashy and amateurish bloodpectacles. Whether the viewer has fun is perhaps another question, for Taubert's films are meant for viewers with very special tastes – or perhaps a total lack of any taste. And Zombie Reanimation is no exception. Thus, it is virtually pointless to argue whether this film (or any of his other ones) is good or bad – though it is a fact that the acting sucks, the story idiotic, the production Z-level, the actors uniformly unattractive (though the gal who did the hilariously gratuitous nude scene does has a tasty body), the blood and effects messy but undeniably fake-looking, and the pacing inconsistent. Indeed, Zombie Reanimation makes almost every other film ever trashed on this blog look like a professional Hollywood production. But then, everything here sucks on purpose, so can it be held against the film?
On a positive note, his film echoes the early anarchism of Troma's mindless flicks like Surf Nazis Must Die (1987 / trailer) or The Toxic Avenger (1984 / trailer), but with a way lower budget and far less professionalism. If that sounds good to you, watch this film; if not, avoid this and Taubert's other films like the plague.
We, in any event, plan to watch more... someday.

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