Directed by Chuck Hartsell and Chance Shirley, 2004
Before the opening credits were over I was laughing out loud. "Evil Dead's not a zombie movie. No it isn't. It's Kanderian demons that take over the living." "Oh, you want an American zombie movie? There are only about three good American zombie movies, and Romero made those." Oh, Hide and Creep. You know me from tip to toe.
The humor continues in this good-natured Alabama piece about a small town and its archetypal residents battling the zombie menace. Southern rednecks and zombies are both inherently funny, and the film cleverly goes for comedy over horror.
The zombie makeup is pretty rudimentary, but so affable was the script that I didn't mind a bit. Apparent budgetary constraints mean violence is implied through clever cut shots and gore is minimal, but the camera tricks are nicely timed and it doesn't come across as particularly cheap. The makers of Hide and Creep acknowledge their limits and work so well within them that the end product is perfectly charming. This movie reminded me that indie zombie films can be a pleasure to watch.
Zombie explanation: Aliens! Or possibly Communist China. It's really not particularly important-- like Romero's films, Hide and Creep knows the meat of the movie isn't in the "how," it's in the "what now?"
Contribution to the zombie canon: Low-budget zombie comedy that works! Small town caricatures dealing with the undead is not a new scenario in zombie cinema, but it rarely fails to be entertaining. I would also like to note for the record that there was arguably more male nudity than female.
Gratuitous zombie movie in-joke: The discussion of zombie films (parts of which I quoted above). A VCR used as a zombie-bashing weapon falls to the ground and spits out a copy of Night of the Living Dead. A lead character is named Barbara.
Favorite zombie: Naked stripper zombies, who made making out and consuming one another indistinguishable.