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Featured DVD Review: Shadow Zombie

May 3rd, 2015

Shadow Zombie - Buy from Amazon: DVD

Shadow Zombie is a difficult movie to described. It is not about zombies, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. The film is written and directed by Jorge Torres-Torres and stars Kim Filth, who plays a fictionalized version of himself. How fictionalized? That's hard to tell.

The Movie

We meet Kim as he is preparing for work. In his case, work is selling pot in the local park. He's separating his pot into little baggies right in front of his dad, whom he lives with. He also, in his spare time, writes poetry. We get to hear some of it during the movie. There is one other aspect of his life that sets him apart: Shadow Zombie. Shadow Zombie is Kim's alter-ego, a zombie clown he dresses up as when he goes out to hang with friends, or just hangs out around the neighborhood. I knew that's what the film was about, as it is in the trailer, but it is still weird to see him put on the make-up for the first time.

Jorge Torres-Torres shot the film in a Cinéma vérité / documentary style, so there's not a lot of plot to cover. The big event happens when Kim is walking home after seeing his friends play in a band. He sees a woman, Brandi, driving home and pulling up to her apartment. Brandi... is wearing clown makeup. Later on, he talks to her and she recognizes him. They knew each other years and year ago. They reconnect and since they have something in common, they might become friends, or something more. However, the pair of them both have some emotional problems they are still working through.

I'm of two minds when it comes to Shadow Zombie. It is certainly intriguing and I was drawn into the lives of the two main characters. On the other hand, I'm not 100% sure what is real and what isn't and this really matters. Kim Filth does dress up as Shadow Zombie in real life; that much I'm sure of. I'm also sure that the character of Brandi is just that, a character, even though the actress shares the same name. Most of the rest of the movie is more ambiguous. The more real the movie is, the more personal it is. However, it might be too personal. There were times where I hoped the scenes were fictional and not what actually happened, because they were just too uncomfortable. It was too voyeuristic at times. Is Kim a drug-addict in real life? If so, watching him abuse prescription drugs on camera feels wrong to me. Is he a poet in real life? If so, then giving him a voice on camera to share his poetry is one of the best parts of the movie. Because of these conflicting issues, I'm not sure how I feel about this movie. It is worth checking out.

The Extras

There are no extras on the DVD. There are also no subtitles, which is a shame, as Kim Filth mumbles a bit, so he's hard to understand at times.

The Verdict

Shadow Zombie is almost a documentary look at its lead character with some fictional elements. Depending on what elements are real, it might be too voyeuristic for my tastes, but I think it is still worth checking out. The DVD has no extras, so perhaps renting it Video on Demand is the better option.

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Filed under: Video Review, Shadow Zombie, Kim Filth, Brandi Viator, Jorge Torres-Torres