There was a time when I wouldn’t be caught dead watching a zombie flick. (dead —Ha!) Things have changed because Train to Busan has come into my life. No idea how it got into my Netflix queue, but I’m glad it did. Have you seen it? You need to. It’s hilarious. It’s the most fun I’ve had since my next-door neighbors turned into blood-sucking vampires.
It’s a South Korean film directed by one Yeon Sang-ho. This is not just a horror movie. There’s a heart-felt father-daughter story going on. Rounding out the pathos is a pregnant lady and her gallant husband and a crazy homeless guy who is repeatedly on the brink of being locked in the zombie car but is saved at the last moment. The real draw, though, is the cast of extras of Demille proportion. And if there were an Academy Award for extras, these people would win it.
Here’s the zombie premise for this film: you get bit and a few moments later you are flinging your body around in a blind rage that defies both physics and human anatomy. You are blind, but somehow perceive light. You are thrown off the train and land with your arms pulled out of the socket, no matter, you carry on. You snarl and slather like a rabid dog. You have an uncontrollable desire to bite necks of non-zombies. You run in an ever-increasing nation of others like you.
There are scenes in this film that rival the state-room in Marx Brothers’ “A Night at the Opera” for unabashed silliness and claustrophobia. It just doesn’t seem like they could squeeze more people into the pile, but they do. And they’re all snarling and slathering away. If they’re not worming away in the pack, they’re jumping at, off of, or under the moving train to get at a chunk of virgin flesh.
The extras are mostly young and athletic. They’d have to be to carry off the mix of St. Vitus’ Dance, Tourette’s Syndrome, and dance fever these zombies are afflicted with. It must have been a blast to make. There’s nothing more fun than overacting in foolish ways especially if you’re young and sexually frustrated as the young often are. No better way to channel that pent-up energy than in a high-budget Asian disaster flick. Fine job Yeon Sang-ho!
I now have an open mind about the zombie apocalypse. (Ha! Open mind) I’m on board. (On-board – Ha!) I get it.
Bring on the un-dead!
(reposted from Traffic Opera blog)