The ridiculously prolific low-budget schlockmeister Charles Band and his Full Moon Features shingle has managed to produce and release a whole movie since the Coronavirus/COVID-19 shutdown. On the surface Corona Zombies appears like a hugely impressive feat, but the whole endeavour looks much better on paper than it does in reality.
Brand’s horror-comedy barely registers as a feature film, with a running-time of just 60 minutes. Meanwhile, the majority of the footage consists of re-dubbed footage from the ‘classics’ Hell of the Living Dead (1980) and Zombies vs Strippers (2012). Just a few new scenes were shot to tie the whole thing together. It’s more an exercise in ingenuity than it is a piece of filmmaking.
The plot of this romp is ultimately secondary to the scenes of flesh eating gore, but it sees the virus originating in a Chinese soup factory (bat soup, anyone?) where it begins to turn the workers into cannibalistic and contagious Corona Zombies! As the virus spreads globally, there’s also something about toilet paper shortages and self-isolating actors woven into it. Art imitating life?
The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious matter, so the question must be asked -is Corona Zombies bad taste or just good fun? Well, Brand’s film is far from high art and it’s not trying to make any social commentary on the situation which is gripping the world at the minute. It’s all a bit of fun, throwing-in the obvious jokes in a very obvious way.
Corona Zombies sees itself as ‘part irreverent satire and part gonzo Italian zombie movie remix’. It’s all those things and and ultimately diverting silliness. It’s no classic, but in a time where most people are stuck at home with plenty of time to kill, then it might just be worth an hour of your time. Maybe.