Runtime: 81 minutes
Release Date: June 14, 2014
Director: Alexandre O. Phillippe
I occasionally get a bee in my bonnet and wind up watching a slew of documentary films or adding a bunch of those films to my Netflix queue. That ends with me telling my friends all these random facts about serial killers, animals, health insurance, or some other random topic. After watching Doc of the Dead, they can look forward to hearing all about zombies in the coming days!
Doc of the Dead opens with a scene of a zombie outbreak with Bruce Campbell and Simon Pegg doing voiceover work. It then jumps right into a detailed discussion of zombie movies and the zombie phenomenon. While the description makes it seem like this is a documentary about the history of the zombie movie, it doesn't really play out like that. It's more a documentary about how zombies became so popular over the years.
A good portion of the documentary focuses on Night of the Living Dead with George Romero himself talking about making the film. It then glosses over some of the films that came later before hitting on Shaun of the Dead. Romero even comments that it's his favorite zombie movie that he didn't make himself. We also get to hear about how it might be the second best zombie movie of all time and how it spoke to an entire generation of people in the same way that Clerks did.
Look, I love Shaun of the Dead, so much so that when my roommate revealed he never saw it last year, I made a noise that sounded like a dying cat. When I couldn't find my copy, I marches his ass to the used DVD store, bought a copy, and made him watch it that same night. As much as I love it, I don't know if it really spoke to a whole generation of people. Maybe it's because I don't live in Britain, but I thought it was just a sound movie that did a great job of mixing horror and comedy.
Since this film is all about zombies, we also have to hear a lot about The Walking Dead. While I did like that they brought in the artists from the comic book, it seemed like it jumped too fast from the comic book to the show and everything that came later. If it weren't for the artists, the show wouldn't exist, and I wanted to see more about the comic. Then again, I missed the entire last season of the show and am not the biggest fan of Fear the Walking Dead, so I may not be the best judge for that segment.
Other documentary films dedicated to the horror genre usually focus solely on horror movies, but this one actually looked at other elements, which I liked. We get to hear about the world famous zombie walk in Denver and how it grew from less than 50 people in its first year to more than 15,000 people today. Then we hear from the author of The Zombie Survival Guide and what prompted him to write the book. We even hear from the people making survival spaces for people concerned with real life zombie outbreaks.
Doc of the Dead wound up being more interesting than I expected, but it expires from Netflix soon, so watch it fast!