Osombie DVD Review: Good Dumb Fun

Remember that time a dumb action movie got a great metascore on Metacritic or average review on IMDB? Yeah, me neither. Some of the best action movies don’t take themselves very seriously, and that’s exactly what you get with Osombie, a re-imagining if you will of the events surrounding Bin Laden’s takedown in Afghanistan. Instead of the S.E.A.L. team popping a cap and carrying him out, Bin Laden shoots himself up with a modified toxic agent and turns into — you guessed it — a zombie.

The impression I got from the box art and synopsis on the back was that Osama was raising an army of undead that would do his bidding. What you actually get is the typical wasteland of zombies wandering around trying to kill everything they can get their teeth on. However, since it’s already set in a barren desert, the wasteland came built-in.

The main story focuses around a special ops team searching for a base somewhere in the desert, with sketchy intel on where it is and how to get there, but packing enough firepower (and a katana sword) to make the journey interesting. Team lead Chip (Corey Sevier) has a strange habit of taking off his shirt whenever the action picks up. It’s nonsensical machismo stupidity, but since he does it at least twice, the comic relief is clearly intentional. Everyone in the group seems to have it bad for the lovely Tomboy (Danielle Chuchran), a sword-wielding sharpshooter who still finds time to be emotionally vulnerable when the story demands it.

The wise-cracking, head-exploding group takes the whole zombie thing pretty well in stride. It seems they have some intel on how the whole thing got started, which makes them less concerned about a widespread outbreak. In fact, they get a bit sloppy and gradually troops get picked off by zombies they let get a little too close. Eventually the gang crosses paths with Dusty (Eve Mauro), who came to the desert to search for her tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorist brother Derek (Jasen Wade), who is convinced Bin Laden is still alive, and determined to put a bullet in him once and for all.

The story does just enough to get things going and keep them moving, but doesn’t get too overbearing, which is fine for this sort of movie. The splatter effects are decent without being too shocking, and the prosthetic make up is of particular note. Some real time and attention to detail went into it, and it shows. Rather than just painting every zombie gray, some have chewed their own lips off, some have some serious rot going on, and others are still bleeding out of every orifice to remind us they’ve likely been converted just recently. There is a good bit of walking, though. I saw The Hobbit last week and Osombie gave it a run (or walk?) for its money in this department, but the cast has some humorous lines and conversations thrown in to make the amount of ground they have to cover seem less laborious.

So Osama isn’t exactly leading this mass of face-chewers, but Derek’s obsession with him leads the team in that direction nonetheless, mowing down hordes of undead with .50 caliber sniper rifles, assault rifles, light machine guns, swordplay, explosives, trucks, air strikes, you name it. It’s almost as if someone sought to bring the Call of Duty franchise’s zombie mode to life and bolt a thin story onto its twitching cadaver.

There aren’t any special features to speak of. The DVD just has the film, set-up, chapters, and the trailer. It’s not winning any medals here.

It’s sure to offend some, amuse others, and be viewed as a complete and utter waste of time by many. But you know what? I don’t care. I had a good dumb 90-minute romp with Osombie. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it’s actually got some production value behind it, even if its merit on the viewing side is questionable.

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Mark Buckingham

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