Friday, 13 January 2017

A Plague So Pleasant (2013)

It has been about a year since the zombie apocalypse: a nightmarish twelve-hour period in which two billion people died at the hands of flesh-eating undead.

So far, so typical, but the twist in A Plague So Pleasant is that the apocalypse came to an end when human authorities realised that the zombies only enter a homicidal rage when attacked.  Leave them alone, and they're just so many inconvenient obstructions to navigate around on your way to work.  Attack just one, though, and thousands of them all around will go on a rampage of violence.

So now there are reserves set aside to try and keep most of the zombies contained - there are simply too many to keep them all caged - and strict laws against any act of violence against an undead.  There are also procedures in place in the event someone breaks those laws.  Should the zombies rampage, the rules are to hide, stay quiet, and wait for the all clear to sound.  If not resisted with violence, the zombies will calm down after only a short period.

The reality of zombies has thus become rather mundane: the kind of thing that you have to sit through boring meetings at work about.  But the undead do cause some other problems.  It's much harder to say goodbye to a dead loved one when they're still upright and walking around, for instance.  And thus we have the conundrum faced by Clay.  His sister Mia can't let go of her boyfriend Jeffrey, even though the boy is dead and rotting.  Clay feels like he has to take action ...

This film suffers from some uneven pacing and acting, but it was made on a shoestring budget (I've seen figures of $1400-$3000 reported), so such technical flaws are perhaps to be expected.  More important, I think, is that it manages to deliver a satisfying zombie film that is also not just yet another zombie film.  And at a mere 75 minutes long, its not exactly outstaying its welcome.

Worth your time if you're an undead aficionado.

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