Juan of the Dead (2012)
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Critic Reviews for Juan of the Dead
The 'Evil Dead' and Romero nods are fun, but characters appear for no reason and are bumped off without warning; there's just not enough flesh on these funny bones.
As a zombie picture, Juan of the Dead is merely OK. But as a satirical comedy of life in Cuba under Castro, it totally kills - and keeps coming back for more.
A silly and occasionally creepy zombie movie, but one that also dares to have a brain...
Not only is this movie funnier than "Shawn of the Dead", its obvious inspiration, it is proof that Cuba is not a totalitarian dungeon.
Sure, some of the socialist humor and Cuban culture may be lost on American viewers, but the film is still a ton of fun.
Audience Reviews for Juan of the Dead
Remember Shawn of the Dead? Of course you do, you zombie film enthusiast you, and so did the makers of this Cuban export that freely cribs all that it can from that seminal work. And they nearly get it. Missed it by that much. Still, a zombie parody film, only there's not a scare in the whole thing. Not one. Just guys running around and killing zombies, making with the snappy repartee (in Spanish, natch) but with hardly a single threat. The monsters might've been mannequins for all their danger.
As a Cuban version of 'Shaun of the Dead' this has a lot to compete with and if it doesn't hit the heights of that horror-comedy classic (or for that matter 'Zombieland') there is still a lot to enjoy here. The main group of 'heroes' are a lot less likeable than their British and American counterparts but the film makes it clear that life in Cuba under Castro's regime has hardened these people and sentimentality and compassion for your fellow man is a thing of the past. The fact that by the end of the film the main character has found his heart is perhaps predictable but still satisyfing. Laugh out loud moments include Juan's best friend and his haphazard way of firing his harpoon gun at the wrong moments, a bodybuilder who keeps fainting at the sight of blood so has to wear a blindfold when fighting and a novel way of decapitation that I imagine is similar to the way people produce crop-circles!
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