Billed as Shaun Of The Dead meets The Inbetweeners, Ibiza Undead promises to be a fun-filled, sexy horror comedy. To be perfectly honest, my mind is open but my expectations going in are low. Lets see how it pans out…
I’m quite partial to a zombie film. The last one i reviewed (Army Of The Dead) fell a bit too short of the mark for my liking. I’m going into Ibiza Undead (or as it’s also known Zombie Spring Breakers) with that same bad taste in my mouth.
The opening credits do nothing to sway this feeling of uneasiness. They reek of Love Island but very soon Peepshow‘s SuperHans, Matt King (sounding very much like Simon Pegg) appears and it’s almost comforting.
In keeping with the Inbetweeners connection, the lovely Emily Atack turns in a bossy older sister performance as Liz. Outside of Matt King and Ed Kear (whose crass character Big Jim is the only one that seems to advance the plot) hers was the only other performance of note.
Even some of the Zombies just looked like they had woken up on the beach and were staggering home through a film set.
A meta performance by Alex Zane as “that twat off the tv” was actually a nice touch and serves to highlight that Zane also had zombie cameos in both Romero’s Land of the Dead (2005) and Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake (2004)! As referenced in the tweet below:
Lets get the technical stuff out of the way – A lot of the shots are simple but framed nicely with liberal use of slow pans. The practical makeup and effects are more than adequate and aren’t leaned on too heavily.
The club scenes feel low budget and look as if they were filmed with around 8 people huddled together. Some more so than others and lighting is used to cover up the rest.
Much of the films details aren’t fully setup for the viewer. While i agree that an audience shouldn’t have things spelled out for them, we should still get just enough information to go on especially where world-building is concerned. The result is a disconnect from the characters and the world they inhabit.
Plot points were not initially executed which meant that when they were finally resolved or moved forward the audience was still a scene behind, asking questions. Likewise we never got to bond with the characters so when anything meaningful occurred they felt like strangers.
The film is self aware enough to reference popular tropes (even borrowing humour and camera shots) but not enough to take them to a different place. Ibiza Undead is so heavily steeped in that culture that it doesn’t get the chance to shine on its own. Big Jim is essentially a cross between Jay (Inbetweeners) and Ed (Shaun Of The Dead).
Despite coming out in 2016 the current parallels with present day are not lost. But the audience is not given enough details about the Zombie epidemic. Zombies are referenced on the news, yet the protagonists doubt their existence at the beginning of the film. Some Zombies are chained up in nightclubs and some are walking about. The context of either is never explained.
The plot is reportedly similar to 2013’s Go Goa Gone, India’s first Zombie film. Having not seen it myself i can only liken this film to Kevin and Perry Go Large but not as mature. Or Cockneys Vs Zombies on tour.
This feels like a great injustice. This could have been a tongue in rotten-cheek, cumming-of-age Zomedy, but i feel like the lack of good writing and a decent budget stopped this film in its tracks. Opportunities were missed.
Ibiza Undead is rated 15 and currently available on Prime Video. Check out the trailer:
You can also check out our further coverage on the subject of Zombies HERE !
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