Starring Laurie Calvert, Margarete Tiesel, Gabriela Marcinkova, Oscar Dyekjaer Giese, Patricia Aulitzky, Karl Fischer, Kari Rakkola. Directed by Dominik Hartl. (2017, 78 min).
Remember when Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland came along and turned the genre on its ear by cleverly mining the inherent comic possibilities of the undead? Or even further back in time, when Return of the Living Dead was arguably the first zombie movie that had the audacity to be intentionally funny?
The novelty has long since worn off. Today, the list of “outrageous” zom-coms is probably longer than the Magna Carta and as formulaic as every teenage slasher flick from the 80s. Folks well-versed in all things undead know the formula by now:
- An intentionally trashy, cult-bait title.
- A silly cause of the zombie outbreak.
- Plenty of self-aware dialogue.
- References to other zombie films.
- An assortment of wacky characters.
- A lively soundtrack to underscore how much fun everyone's having.
- Lots of absurdly over-the-top gore.
- Goofy weapons fashioned out of everyday household objects.
- Pun-filled wisecracks uttered after a creative kill, usually related to the weapon just used.
Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies checks off most of the required boxes to deliver more of the same...better than some, worse than others. This time, a chemical used to produce artificial snow infects a potential investor, who ends up at a remote Austrian ski lodge to spread the joy. Now, a cocky snowboarder, his long-suffering girlfriend, a faithful sidekick (who I kept confusing for the hero until he became zombie fodder) and a husky Dirndl-garbed barista (who also happens to own a cache of military weapons) must slaughter their way to safety.
Some of this is amusing and much of it is intentionally dumb (undead reindeer, anyone?), but like so many other zom-coms these days, its self-conscious efforts to be ridiculous are heavy-handed and forced. The same could be said about the violence. The red stuff flows – and squirts – freely & often, as do various appendages. But despite a few admittedly clever kills (my favorite being one poor sap's predicament after being speared through the head with ski poles), this is the same garden variety gore you'd find in any other straight-to-video yukfest with zombie or dead in the title.
While reasonably well-made on a low budget, Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies is just another generic horror comedy swimming in a sea that's rife with them. It's one of those in which you might chuckle at the title while surfing Netflix, but are pretty certain the title is the best part of the movie. And ironically, you'll discover there aren't any actual lederhosen to be seen anywhere.