Posted May 28, 2012 by Dan Clay in DVD/Blu-ray
 
 

Juan Of The Dead DVD


It was only a matter of time before Shaun of the Dead’s in-jokey title in itself became the focal point for a self-referential comedy, something Zombieland failed to pick up on, but who’d have thought Cuba would deliver the goods so well?

It was only a matter of time before Shaun
of the Dead’s in-jokey title in itself became the focal point for a self-referential
comedy, something Zombieland failed to pick up on, but who’d have thought Cuba would
deliver the goods so well?

Instead
of Simon Pegg’s geeky nerd though,
Juan (Díaz de Villegas) is a happy-go-lucky lothario in the neighbourhood who
just happens to be in the right place at the right time when a zombie outbreak
turns his beloved Havana into a ghost town. Spying the opportunity to make a
little money on the side by killing the undead for willing families with his
pal Lazaro (Molina), he
begins to lead an unusual batch of survivors towards some kind of plan, all the
while trying to patch things up with his estranged daughter Camille (Duro).

So
instead of the quirky British cast which made Shaun so much fun, Juan
replaces the central characters, surprisingly without skimping on the comedy.
Lazaro is the crude, layabout loaf, Camille the love interest to Lazaro’s son
California and Juan the man with some kind of plan.

With
a more satirical slant on the proceedings (the Cuban news is quick to point out
the zombies are political ‘dissidents’, blaming the whole crisis on the US), Juan of the Dead actually has a little
more bite than its British namesake, even if it’s not going to give horror fans
any nightmares. Aside from a creepy underwater sequence – unfortunately not
explored any further – and a
decent bloodbath in the capital’s crowded central square, Juan’s action sequences and zombies are as comic as the survivors
themselves, meaning the film zips along quite nicely, but without many scares, towards
its inevitably gung-ho denouement.

They
might not evoke the kind of likeable empathy Shaun and co managed so well, but
at least Juan and his band of brothers have got plenty of tongue-in-cheek attitude,
some savvy business sense and a little added bite to help them survive this
apocalypse.


Dan Clay