George: A Zombie Intervention (2009)

Description (from the DVD insert):
George’s friends have all gathered for an intervention… George’s intervention. You see, George is a zombie and George’s friends are attempting to convince George to stop eating people and to enter ‘zombie rehab’. But the intervention doesn’t go quite as planned.

Major Cast:
Peter Stickles as Ben, Michelle Tomlinson as Sarah, Lynn Lowry as Barbara, Carlos Larkin as George, Shannon Hodson as Francine, Eric Dean Turick as Steve, with John Karyus as Bub, Brinke Stevens as Judy, Lloyd Kaufman as Dr. Kaufman

Special Features:
None (Screener)

Written by Brad Hodson and J.T. Seaton
Directed by J.T. Seaton

GEORGE: A ZOMBIE INTERVENTION (aka George’s Intervention) is a “post-event” zombie flick (after the creation of zombies), and people are unsure of exactly what cause the dead to start rising. However, people are sure that just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you can’t be a productive member of society. In the world of G:aZI, bloodlust is not an inherent vice of the zombie. Many continue to be productive workers in society, and have families and are all around the people you used to knew… except they are dead. Some zombies have a problem with eating people – like George – and just like any other vice that society frowns upon, there are people out there to help these zombies break their habit. Ben, Sarah, and Francine are concerned for George, and have hired Barbara the interventionist to step in and help reform his flesh-munching ways. So begins G:aZI, one of the most unconventional and original takes on the zombie genre I’ve seen in a very long time.

The idea of the zombie comedy is nothing new; the earliest one I saw was THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, though there are certainly earlier entries into the genre (NIGHT OF THE COMET comes to mind). The idea of a zombie comedy in which the zombie is one of the main characters, and is being looked after by his still-living friends is something I cannot say I have seen before. G:aZI plays somewhere between SHAUN OF THE DEAD and a really weird episode of Intervention, with a bunch of gore and a few notable B-Movie cameos thrown in for good measure. It’s a fun mix.

I personally like the original title (which actually still appears everywhere except for the DVD cover) much better, but I can understand the instant appeal that having the word “zombie” adds to a movie. There are lots of people (like past-me, a few years ago) that will watch just about anything if they know it’s a zombie movie of some sort, so I can’t fault Breaking Glass pictures (who I assume are behind the name change) for the addition to the title. However, the more important part of G:aZI is not the fact that George is a zombie, it’s the fact that George is sick and needs help. George does not want to admit that he has a problem, but the growing pile of bodies in his basement would definitely attest otherwise (because they will be back awake and talking soon).

G:aZI is a well-made film. The acting quality is all quite high for the budget level (and I especially liked some of the smaller roles, like John Kayrus as Bub who is a jerk neighbor in life and a freaky zombie in death), and the production is well done. The film benefits from good planning; there are only a few major roles and a few minor roles, only a couple of real locations, and no technically difficult bits to pull off other than some gore effects, which are done very well. G:aZI knows that it is low-budget, and does a good job of working within its constraints without becoming campy.

The direction is good; there is nothing especially flashy or outstanding about the camera work or the directing of the actors, but on the other hand everything works well and nothing brings the movie down. The video quality is not top-notch, but again it’s not bad; the lighting is at times a bit underwhelming, at times very bright and harsh, and other times under-lit. The sound is above average for a low-budget production in both the dialogue, which is crisp and clear, and the music/foley, which is very adequate for the film.

Overall, I enjoyed G:aZI a lot. It was a welcome change from the average gut-muncher trope, and it was really damned funny. It’s hard not to like a movie in which both Mormon missionaries and prostitutes become zombie fodder, all while the witty banter is flying. While G:aZI did have some setbacks, overall it was a very strong film, and a hilarious entry in the zombie-comedy genre. Tons o’ fun.

Overall 7.5 / 10

G:AZI on the IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1310641/

G:AZI for sale: http://www.amazon.com/George-Zombie-Intervention-Peter-Stickles/dp/B005E7AO7S

G:AZI site: http://georgesintervention.com/

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