Review: 'Zombie Fighters' is more funny and emotional than scary

Gabriel Choo
Contributor
(Photo: Encore Films)

Secret ending: Yes

Running time: 103 minutes (~1.75 hours)

“Zombie Fighters” is a horror comedy film in Thai. It tells the story of a group of teenage boys who encounter hundreds of zombies while visiting a deserted hospital in the hopes of finding their supposedly ‘dead’ parents. While fighting the zombies, they find themselves at the crossroads of whether to sacrifice themselves or their friends.

“Zombie Fighters” is directed by Poj Arnon. It stars Bhuvadol Vejvongsa (Lambo), Kittipat Samantrakulchai (Cooper), Korakrit Laotrakul (Audi), Worrachai Sirikongsuwan (Otto), Supakit Thinjun (Krasoon), Pasakorn Sanrattana (Buzz) and Jutalak Chaweewannamas (Gal). It is rated NC-16.

“Zombie Fighters” is a classic example of how a horror show need not be all unrealistic and scary, unlike other zombie shows like World War Z or even Train to Busan. Even if you’re not a fan of horror or zombie movies, “Zombie Fighters” will keep you at the edge of your seat throughout for various reasons, be it the jump scares or tear-jerking moments.

(Photo: Encore Films)

Highlights

Comedic moments 

Even though the movie is dubbed as a horror comedy, we definitely didn’t expect that there would be more laughter than screams; after all, how funny could a zombie film be? But of course, it was the mannerisms and actions of the characters that supplied the comedy, and not the zombies. In fact, most of the humour happened during the supposedly scarier scenes, such as the jump scares. Examples include when the boys were arguing over trivial matters right before their first zombie encounter and when they were finding the mentally-challenged Cooper (played by Kittipat Samantrakulchai) in a sea of zombies.

(Photo: Encore Films)

Tear-jerking moments

“Zombie Fighters” was also a film that will bring you on a rollercoaster of emotions other than just laughter and fear. There were a few tear-jerking scenes that were perfectly placed, and were effective in bringing across the feelings and emotions felt by the characters. One of the saddest scenes was when the rebellious Lambo (played by Bhuvadol Vejvongsa), saw his zombified parents being shot by one of his buddies right in front of his eyes. It is the deeper meaning behind the scene, that blood is indeed thicker than water and that family is the most important, that will blow you away. Now, pass us the Kleenex please.

(Photo: Encore Film)

Relatable themes of humanity

“Zombie Fighters” isn’t just your typical horror comedy film or teenage zombie flick as it highlights deeper real issues of humanity, as well. While a zombie apocalypse will probably never happen, the important question of what we would do if we were in the same situation will replay through your mind. Will we be noble enough to let ourselves be zombified so that our friends can be safe? Or, will we choose to sacrifice our friends instead?

Moreover, the characters in the show were relatable as they were normal civilians with no special skills or superpowers, which allows the audience to better understand their actions such as using a gun for the first time.

(Photo: Encore Films)

No romance involved

It is interesting to note that while the main character, Lambo, was fond of a mysterious woman, Gal (played by Jutalak Chaweewannamas), there was ultimately no love story. While it was cute to watch how Lambo cared for Gal’s needs so intently, there was no other sight of romance in the film. Instead of romantic love, “Zombie Fighters” highlights a different kind of love, one that is found in friendship, kinship and sacrifice, which is indeed much more meaningful than just seeing two people fall in love. It did also save us from a whole lot of cringe-worthy kissing scenes.

(Photo: Encore Films)

Letdowns

Predictable plot

While the storyline was refreshing in terms of what audiences can take away, content-wise it was as predictable as many other zombie flicks. Think: Haunted hospital, a group of nosey boys just have to explore it, they get chased by zombies, they have endless fights with the zombies, they sacrifice some friends along the way and finally the world turns into chaos. The most cliché scene where the newscaster gets groped by a whole group of zombies while reporting the news was shown towards the end of the show, as well.

(Photo: Encore Films)

Annoying and redundant characters

Some characters such as the mysterious Gal were pretty redundant, and the parts they played questionable. It seemed like Gal’s sole purpose was to be the only female in the show who ‘saved’ the group of impish boys. Of course, when Lambo fell for her, it did add to our slight confusion as to whether missed out on a bigger significance in her role. It also got kinda annoying when Gal, along with her zombified boyfriend Ter, kept screaming and shouting whenever he had to rely on her by biting her to stay ‘alive’.

(Photo: Encore Films)

Should you watch this at weekend movie ticket prices? Yes.

Should you watch this more than once? Yes, if you like zombies. 

Score: 3.7/5

“Zombie Fighters” is already released in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. It will open in Singapore cinemas on 17 August, 2017.

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