Cinepub


Zombie Month: Films to Keep You Awake: The Christmas Tale by Jamie

So this is Christmas and what have you done? If you’re like me then you probably got hammered and are currently nursing a hangover by getting hammered all over again. And why not? What better way is there to celebrate the birth of Jesus “Future Zombie” Christ then with massive amounts of booze. It’s what he would have wanted. Dude was clearly an alcoholic. How else do you explain all that turning water into wine?

Anyway, I’ll tell you one thing, it’s been a bitch trying to find a goddamn Christmas Zombie films. There were a few promising leads such as ‘Silent Night, Zombie Night” but every time I thought I’d found something, it proved impossible to get my hands on. Finally I was guided towards the subject of today’s Christmassy review, ‘The Christmas Tale’ brought to us by one of the directors and writers of Rec and Rec 2, Paco Plaza. It also stars Ivana Baquero a year before she starred in Pan’s Labyrinth so yeah, it’s pretty interesting from a ‘what Spanish people who’s work I’ve enjoyed since did before.’.

So yeah, as you may have guessed from the people behind it, this is a Spanish film. Set in 1985, it tells the story of five friends who discover a woman dressed as Santa trapped in a hole in the woods. They are about to set her free when two of them who have gone to report the incident to the police discover that she is actually a wanted criminal who has stolen a large amount of cash. They decide that the best course of action is to leave her trapped in the hole and black mail her for the money by starving her.

So what about the Zombies, I here you ask? Well, the film opens with a clip of a film-within-a-film called ‘Zombie Invasion.’ It’s basically a parody of old 80s horror films. Two of the kids get the idea that if they perform as Voodoo ritual, the woman will come back as a Zombie that they can control once she’s dead. Unfortunately, things don’t go quite according to plan.

And that’s all I’m really going to say about the film’s plot because once again, I feel it’s one you should search for and watch yourselves. The kids in the film are all pretty damn good actors, though again, it’s difficult to act just how good an actor someone is when they’re speaking in a foreign language but it all seemed pretty convincing to me.

The film is just as much a loving tribute to the films of the 80s as it is a horror film, the msot obvious being ‘Stand By Me’ and ‘The Goonies’. In fact, the kids in this film really come of as kind of a dickish version of The Goonies. Perhaps the film you wouldn’t expect to be referenced is the one that is referenced most blatantly, ‘The Karate Kid’. One of the kids in the movie is obsessed with the film, wears a karate headband and is often spouting phrases or carrying out scenes from it, including a quite noteable crane kick near the end. So yes, for someone like me who grew up with these films, this was really enjoyable. Throw in the Zombie angle as well and, well, it’s like you’ve made a movie just for me.

Basically, that’s all I have to say without ruining anything. This film is phenomenally entertaining and it’s only 71 minutes long so you don’t even have to devote that much time to it. If there’s one complaint I do have, it’s that perhaps the kids become pretty dark and evil pretty damn quickly but I suppose that’s the problem with a film of this running time. Altogether I’ll give it four and a half pints out of five. Laterz.

Oh and here’s a little PSA TeamUnicornFTW to help you have a safe Christmas in case of Zombie attack. Now, if you don’t mind, I have turkey to eat and beer to drink. So much beer. Merry Christmas and all that malarky!

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