THE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALE **** 2019 S. Korea Dir: Lee Min-jae. 112 mins
A pharmaceutical company’s experiments go haywire and a zombie virus spreads through South Korea. One of the undead shambles his way into the lives of the Park family—and although brother Min-Gul (Nam-gil Kim) initially wants to kill the “Jjong-bi,” (Ga-ram Jung) the family discovers they can monetize their new pet.
THE ODD FAMILY is a genuinely funny film, and first-time director Lee min-jay perfectly satirizes the clichés of zombie movies and Korean pop-culture and makes them fun again. From Jjong-bi’s vegetarianism (he only eats cabbages that totally look like brains) to the overwrought, K-drama-esque romanticism of the movie’s love story, it’s filled with delightful Easter eggs and unexpected humour.
And it’s really unexpected. There’s so much in THE ODD FAMILY that I’ve never seen in a zombie film before—a massive fireworks show, a zombie horde rave, zombie dentures, and people lining up for bites from the undead to name a few. But it all works, and the creativity is refreshing in such a prolific genre.
If you’re looking for a high-action post-apocalyptic gore-fest, this isn’t it (we don’t get to the horde until the film’s midway point), but this unexpected comedy about family and good fortune is an absolute bloody delight.
Review by Julia Lynch