Think before you speak is good advice. Think before you film is even better. This "zombedy" has quite a few cute and smart moments but can never seem to get out of its own way. Just like any other story, comedies need narrative structure and internal logic, both practical and emotional. All three are lacking here. Aaah! Zombies!! is a great, 28 minute film festival entry that's been stretched on the rack to feature-length and had too many characters and plot tangents inserted to try hold the distended script together. It's fairly clever and erratically amusing but wears out its welcome at least half an hour before it's done.
After a military experiment to produce super-soldiers goes wrong, the barrels of dangerous chemicals are shipped out for disposal. Things go wrong and one barrel rolls and rolls and rolls and rolls away until it contaminates the food in a bowling alley and 4 friends wind up as the living dead. Except
they don't know it. As far as slacker Mike (Matthew Davis), virginal Timmy (Michael Grant Terry), sensitive chick Cindy (Betsy Beutler) and hot chick Vanessa (Julianna Robinson) are concerned, they still look and sound okay to each other. It's the rest of the world who appears to them to be moving and talking at double speed and it's the only rest of the world that sees them as shambling, moaning corpses. Except drunk people. They also see the foursome as normal.
After hooking up with a comically serious soldier (Colby French) who convinces them that the weird things happening to them, like their skin sloughing off and surviving shotgun blasts to the chest, proves they're super-soldiers and it's the rest of the city that's been "infected", the four friends have a string of misadventures that don't turn out to be nearly as funny as they're meant to be. The film then takes a sharp turn into a satirical spin on zombie tolerance and the right of the undead to unlive in peace and harmony. By the end, the buffoonish soldier has become the emotional heart of the story and it's not clear whether these filmmakers think that's supposed to be ridiculous or endearing.
In the simplest terms, the four main characters in this movie needed to be cut down to two, telling either a "boy meets girl, boy and girl turn into zombies" joke fest with Timmy and Cindy or embracing a full blown genre satire with slacker Mike and ambitious Vanessa taking apart zombie clichés from both sides. Colby French's pretentious wannabe soldier could have been an effective plot device in one of those stories. Or maybe he could have starred in a more sentimental tale about somebody who had to die to finally realize how he wasted his life. By dabbling in all three scenarios, Aaah! Zombies!! never develops a consistent tone or rhythm to sustain enough sentiment, satire or honest humor to keep the viewer engaged.
What keeps the weak storytelling from completely overwhelming the neat concept is the solid filmmaking on display here. This not only looks and sounds like a professionally-made motion picture, director Matthew Kohnen shows a good sense of what to do in a scene and, most usefully, how to begin and end them. His work is never boring or insultingly bad. It just becomes clear early on that nothing in the production is ever going to rise above its "hook".
Aaah! Zombies!! apparently had a budget of $1 million, which is not bad for this kind of thing. I wonder if being more financially limited would have forced these people to be more creatively sharp and focused? While not much of a fan of this effort, I'd be interested in seeing something else from this cast and crew, which is a testament to the unfulfilled potential of the movie. Given the colossal amount of sheer garbage in the genre, this is certainly a watchable alternative for zombie-fans. But if Shaun of the Dead is a 10, be warned that this isn't much better than a 4.
Review by MBunge from the Internet Movie Database.