Zombillenium

***

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Zombillenium
"Arthur de Pins, adapting his graphic novel, alongside co-director Alexis Ducord gets caught between the adult ideas of protest and class war, and the more kid-friendly adventures."

Race relations and workers rights form the surprising subtext of this French animation about the trials of the undead staff at a spooky theme park that offers something to chew on for teenagers and adults as well as children.

The park's newest and very surprised to be deceased recruit is Hector the safety inspector, a workaholic single dad, who after dropping his daughter off for the week at boarding school is determined to close down the park so he doesn't have to make good on his promise to take her to visit - a demonic attempt to wiggle out of a treat if ever there was one.

Copy picture

Hector's meeting with slightly sinister, some might say daylight dodging, manager Francis does not go well and before he knows it, the older man and his suspiciously furry security guard have both put the bite on him. When he awakes he discovers he has sprouted horns that make him look like a distant cousin of Hellboy, and soon finds himself sent to the zombie section of the staff quarters. Quickly learning the lay of the land, he discovers the zombies - though valued by Francis - are way down the pecking order compared to the sparkly vampires, led by the particularly self-centred Stephen.

Acquiring unlikely allies in wannabe trades union rep skeleton Sirius and emo witch Gretchen, what ensues is part fight for the rights of the "working dead", part attempt to keep the theme park from going under and part traditional can dad get his daughter back thrills.

The end result is that there is an awful lot going on and its a shame that though the theme park action - in particular the scathing satire about how boring Twilight-style vampires are for children in comparison to actual scary monsters - hog centre stage so much that Hector's daughter Lucie is ignored for much of the time. She seems a feisty sort, so its a pity that after a couple of face-offs with her unpleasant teacher she is more or less relegated to the classroom closet until the film's final act.

Arthur de Pins, adapting his graphic novel, alongside co-director Alexis Ducord gets caught between the adult ideas of protest and class war, and the more kid-friendly adventures, meaning that neither element fully delivers the thrills and spills it might have alone.

Reviewed on: 25 Jul 2018
Share this with others on...
An inspector unexpectedly joins the ranks of the undead at a theme park - can he save the day and reconnect with his daughter?

Festivals:

EIFF 2018

Search database: