The award winning Witness Infection is a comedy zombie horror film that comes from director Andy Palmer (Funhouse Massacre). While billed as a comedy I struggled to find any part of this that was funny, despite the horror here there is a bit of a light hearted tone I guess. It's a shame but I found the best part of this to be the film's title itself.
Carlo (Robert Belushi - How I Met Your Mother, Devil's Due) is the son of a former mob boss whose family were moved to a small town by the witness protection agency. Due to an error a second mob family were also moved there and there is trouble brewing between them. Carlo is told by his father the solution for their troubles is for him to marry the daughter of their rival. However, Carlo, who is a dog groomer, is sweet on his best friend and fellow dog groomer, Gina (Jill-Michele Melean). Wanting to do the right thing by his family Carlo decides to head to the rival mob families mansion in order to agree to the marriage, he brings along Gina and their friend Vince (Vince Donvito) for support. This all takes place on a day in which unknown to them contaminated sausages have infected large portions of the towns population, the infection turning the victims into flesh hungry undead...
For a zombie film this sure takes a while to actually show any undead. Outside of the prologue it is a good half hour before any rotters are seen, and that is only a fleeting look, it's three quarters of an hour before they become the central point of the plot. This slow build up didn't do the film any favours, not helped by the generic Italian American characters who are full of swearing, insults, and tracksuits. Belushi was fine as the protagonist, his character was a good person even if there wasn't much compelling to him. The characters of Gina and Carlos had little on screen chemistry which made it hard to believe they were in love with each other. Cheesy music is played over their scenes to try and create this illusion but it never really worked. The music in general wasn't that well suited, the action scenes often had bombastic dramatic music playing that didn't really fit the tone that well.
When the undead do finally make an appearance they get some decent scenes, including one in a bar but it was all unexciting to me. It's exactly what you would expect, I did think the make-up effects that went for gross rather than gory worked well. Not so much the often accompanied flatulence sound effects which I guess was meant to be funny. The humour wasn't the sort that I enjoy so a lot of them went by me. Still, scenes involving the walking dead were often competent if cliched, it leads to a couple of nice moments of violence.
I love zombies, as is evident from my blogs title. I don't know if it's due to feeling ill today that I wasn't really able to enjoy Witness Protection. It is passable, I'm sure people will enjoy it, but it felt middle of the road to me, the humour often gross rather than funny. This was fine to zone out to but was bereft of ideas to leave much of an impression on me. Witness Infection releases across North America on Digital HD and Cable VOD on March 30th.