When one thinks of musicals a number of different ideas may come to mind. Some think of Broadway and the stage; elaborate sets and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Others may think of Gene Kelly as he spins an umbrella and dances down a rainy street. There have been musicals of all types, dramas, operas, comedy, romance, the list is as long and limitless as the imagination of the people making films. So writer/director Brian Wimer making a zombie musical should come as no surprise. What might be a surprise though is the results of his efforts: EAT ME: A ZOMBIE MUSICAL.
Peter (Peter Markush) is a man who seems confused about where he’s going and why he’s here. Dressed in women’s clothes for most of the film Peter begins a wandering journey in a big white school bus. His goal appears to be to find the afterlife. Is he dead? That isn’t really clear, but he could be. Along the way he meets an eclectic collection of characters. Some, like the man in the chicken suit, Morgan (Morgan Moran) and Jessi (Jessi Giannini) the girl with the tattoo, he hits with the bus and they join his quest. Others, like a group of scientologists, Jesus, and a car full of mayhem causing girls gone wild, seem to pop up as recurring characters on the road to the afterlife.
The journey is a long and strange one that is peppered with commercials for unusual and sometimes disturbing products and what appear to be public service announcements about the different styles of spanking. Eventually though, Peter and his companions reach the afterlife. It’s a rave club and it’s filled with zombies.
As I mentioned at the start, EAT ME is a musical. To say it is not a traditional musical like GREASE or SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS would be an understatement. The musical portion comes in as the film dives head first into music video like sequences at random points. Some of these musical breaks fit nicely into the film, others come across as more random. The film does have impressive production values and the cinematography and sound quality are first rate. It also features a number of impressive scenes of old school stop-motion photography. What it has in technical quality though it seems to lack in story as the plot is confusing and the characters’ motivations are equally unclear. The film seems to be an existential road movie looking at the meaning of life and religion, that is, at the same time, is just a collection of short skits and musical interludes that are tied vaguely together only by Peter’s presence.
Is EAT ME: A ZOMBIE MUSICAL worth seeing? That depends… if you have the patience to follow the movie’s convoluted nature, you will be rewarded with some genuinely funny and sometimes disturbing moments. There is also a lot of good music supporting the film (the cheese song portion is particularly entertaining). However, if you are looking for a traditional story arch, deep character development, or just want to fully understand what you are watching, the EAT ME: A ZOMBIE MUSICAL may not be for you. So smoke some weed, turn down the lights and watch EAT ME: A ZOMBIE MUSICAL and remember that the root of all suffering is desire so you have to…. Oh Hell, I can’t remember, just watch the film for yourself, you’ll figure it out.