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DVD Review

DVD cover

Wasting Away


Starring: Jose Acevedo, Christopher Antonucci and Betsy Beutler
Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Available 28 September 2009

When a military experiment to turn a low-ranking private into a super-soldier goes disastrously wrong, the serum is transported away for disposal. Unfortunately, an accident causes the large metal drum to fall off the vehicle, roll across town and conveniently come to rest outside a small diner. Mistaking the canister for a delivery of beer, the young worker and his three friends decide it would be a good idea to mix it in the ice-cream machine. The resulting cornets have an immediate and remarkable effect on their bodies. A stranger soon arrives to inform them they have been transformed into super-soldiers, and attempts to rally them into troops to combat the 'infected.' but it seems that everyone is infected but them...

This is a prime example of a film which incorporates a much better premise than the corresponding plot. However, in this case it can be pretty much forgiven. Like the majority of good ideas it's a simple one. Wasting Away effectively turns this category of horror film on its head by telling the tale from the point of view of the zombies. Much of the intended humour emerges from this, and although I didn't particularly find this laugh out loud funny (perhaps if I'd swallowed a few pints of beer...), I did smile several times in appreciation.

The perspective is cleverly separated by black and white and colour. What makes this work so well is that the four or five main characters don't know that they're zombies. As far as they are concerned they are acting normally, and everyone else is running around like old-fashioned cine film and speaking like mice on helium. This format is essential to the format's success. The moment the screen switches to black and white we are seeing events through the eyes of normal people. Thus, what would be a normal act of kissing or dancing becomes a comical lurching, slavering and moaning. Seeing the zombie heroes as they are, in black and white, also aids their look, and no doubt kept down the cost of make-up effects.

As anybody who has read my past reviews of zombie films will already know, I have no real love for the sub-genre, seeing little progression in a tired idea. Consequentially, Wasting Away comes across as innovative and refreshing, let down only by it's pedestrian plot. Extras consist of deleted scenes and a trailer.


Ty Power

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