There are a few films that I can watch over and over again and each time be delighted, laugh hysterically and discover some new gem. Given around 120 minutes it’s a hard feat to accomplish. Given 15:49 it is nearly impossible. SUPER ZERO: BADASS JOURNEY INTO ZOMBIE AWESOMENESS is one of those beautiful impossible shining miracles, replete with phenomenal chucks of bloody flesh, an amazing script and, in my opinion, the greatest anti-hero of the last decade: Josh Hershberg. If that wasn't enough the film throws in a couple of surprises that will make you go DAAAAAAAAYUMMM!
If you think the last thing our world needs is another zombie flick, you have a valid point. But in the case of SUPER ZERO the undead plague is just a handy backdrop for a timeless story about stereotypes, insecurity, longing, school – hell, all of life really. I will not reveal the storyline because it has to unfold on its own, flawlessly edited by the skilled Daniel Myers. It is truly funny, and not in an obvious way; there are fast and furious sight gags which can pass you by (pay attention to the clothes on the zombies), a great voice-over, and sophisticated and adept comedic timing. I am not on drugs when I say that basically every singe facet of the film, from the tight intelligent writing and directing by Mitch Cohen to the casting to the cinematography (thank you Connor O’Brien) is, well, perfect. Yes, I used the “P” word.
If I have one complaint it is a small one. And it’s always good to have some headroom so to speak for the filmmakers to rise up to meet. Of our four main characters Josh, Paige, Nate and Gary, it is Gary who is the weak link. Like a poor Jon Lovitz imitator, not only in his looks but hyper obnoxious presentation, he lacks the snide self-deprecating humor of Lovitz and instead is just, well, annoying. Even so, he does balance the quartet with realism in that you can’t pick who you will survive the zombie apocalypse with, can you? And it is precisely that attitude carried by the other cast members which minimizes his impact.
The character of Hershberg (Umberto Celisano) is genuine, emotional, honest but never a pussy. He is wholly believable, and a protagonist we all identify with in one way or another. Paige, payed by the just-beautiful-enough-to-still-be-real Giselle Gilbert, is able to balance being all girl, appropriately shaken at times, but with far more value and purpose than just a mere object of desire or token female. Between the director/screenwriter Cohen, editor Myers, cinematographer O’Brien, and Celisano all I can say is that I can not wait to see what they come up with next. Tight, smart and highly skilled, the team masters a fine balance between sticking to the character driven story and allowing themselves to have a bit of fun. I mean, if you actually know a guy named Bobak Ferdowsi who in real life is a Mars Rover Engineer for JPL– for God’s sake YES – put him in a film! And finally folks, if you ever wondered what the apocalypse smells like…just wait.