Zombie Kampung Pisang


Director: Mamat Khalid
Year: 2007
Rating: 5.5
Country: Malaysia

There hasn’t been very much going on for me Asian film wise this past week or so. I took a break from obscure Hong Kong films to watch an obscure Malaysian film. By that I should add that I mean obscure outside of Malaysia; in Malaysia it was apparently a box office hit in 2007 and actually got an invite to the Udine Festival. The title is Zombi Kampung Pisang or Zombie of Banana Village and is a rather fun frantic low brow Zombie comedy. Think Bob Hope movie without Bob, Bing or Dorothy Lamour and it will give you an idea of the constant antics and silliness that abounds within. It is fun up to a point but felt more like an overlong sketch without any characterization but lots of running around by everyone. There are also some clear social and political pokes in the eye but I think most of it went under my radar. The story takes place in a small isolated village where cell phone reception is nil and any outside help is even niler.

A couple young village slackers are being lectured to by a religious elder when in mid sentence the old fellow keels over and dies. Not long afterwards the same thing occurs with another elder. Their bodies are laid out but mysteriously disappear and the village goes into frantic mode – among them a couple good looking girls, the slackers wannabe musicians (played I think by some pop stars), a hard of hearing gentleman and a clearly gay fellow where the old term limp wrist is very literal and who runs in circles when he is scared. It is that kind of movie. Sure enough the old men become Zombies as do many of the other village people and the ones who are still alive board themselves up in a small meeting hall and try to fend them off. The Zombies are decked out in badly painted white faces and one fellow screams out Alice Cooper when he first spots one. The Zombies form a union of fellowship and promise not to smoke because it is bad for the health but that eating human brains is not. There is a DVD out there but as far as I can tell it has no English subtitles; I was able to watch a screener.

Written up 11/2009