Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead ★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I came here for Tig! The woman looks great with a cigar, what can I say. Her line delivery feels a bit rushed— because Tig speaking at anything beyond a snail’s pace sounds rushed if you know her comedy. Maybe it was because she was replacing D’Elia and had to match his timing(?) Knowing that she was digitally inserted, that was all I could focus on, and while you can see the seams, I don’t think it would be obvious if you didn’t know. Regardless, the idea of Tig Notaro being a hot wise guy in every action flick from now on is massively appealing, and I hope this catches on. Take my money!

See also: Your Questions About Tig Notaro in "Army Of The Dead," Answered - Autostraddle (no I did not write this, I just love it)

I watched this Hooptober pick first because it is the longest in the bunch. Really where does this get off being 2.5 hours? On the other hand, I found it surprisingly engrossing; even things I didn’t like, I wasn’t particularly bothered by. That may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but it kind of is. I don’t go for big budget, big special effects, big audience, big built-in fanbase films very often, but I can see why Snyder has a following. For my money (which, ok I paid nothing), it was a nice balance of fun but dark, weirdly classy for a Vegas zombie movie, maybe a little too classy. I loved all the musical covers, though; they helped set and maintain a tone that’s fun and familiar, but not full camp.

I’m ambivalent on the mythology being set up here. I’m often a purist, although I realize that’s no fun. I have no strong feelings about zombie storytelling in particular. I started thinking about how zombie movies are no longer “about” consumerism or mindlessness, fears of being converted and reduced, but are now instead much more about infrastructure collapse and sudden abandonment. In Army of the Dead, a whole new zombie order emerges, which I guess is the next step in the anteing up process, as we’ve been just bombarded with zombie movies for the last 15+ years. Apparently now we’re blending zombies with orcs and Mad Max, giving them this medieval gravitas. I was not expecting that, but the character design IS amazing. Zombie Queen was gorgeous, like evil Tami Stronach. And like Stronach, her dance training is obvious. Brava to that actress, Athena Perample!

I’ll end at the beginning. There’s an urban legend that the voice on the subway giving instructions (stand clear of the closing doors) is a man’s voice, because people will take direction from a man, and the voice telling you how long til the next train is a woman’s voice, because people expect women to lie. That’s all I could think of when the military officer questions the instructions from his female contact at the beginning of this movie. The scene already strains credulity, but I think we’re slightly likelier to accept this because the person being ignored is a woman. Happy Hooptober!

Hooptober Ocho: The Thinning of the Veil 

Daily Horror Hunt September 2021
Prompt #30: Watch a horror with at least one really stupid main character*
*I can’t bring myself to watch movies about people I have contempt for, not right now anyway. But I figured a zombie movie would at least have some stupid side characters, and indeed, this delivers.

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