'Zombie For Sale: Special Edition' [Blu-ray]
(Jeong Jae-yeong, Jung Ga-ram, Kim Nam-gil, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (2019) 2020 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: When the illegal human experiments of Korea's biggest Pharmaceutical company go wrong, one of their "undead" test subjects escapes and ends up in a shabby gas station owned by the Park family a band of misfits spanning three generations who hustle passers-by to make ends meet.
When the Park family uncover their undead visitor, he bites the head of their household, who instead of transforming into an undead ghoul becomes revitalized and full of life!
The family then hatch a plan to exploit this unexpected fountain of youth, allowing locals to pay to be bitten too, until things go wrong!
Blu-ray Verdict: The eccentric Park family own a run-down gas station not far from the test site of a pharmaceutical company. One of the company's test subjects accidentally becomes a zombie, which wanders away and into the Park's gas station.
After showing a distinct preference for cabbages, the zombie bites the family patriarch! But an unexpected side effect of that bite is that the patriarch suddenly becomes much more vigorous than his age would suggest, and soon all the elderly men in a nearby village are paying to be bitten themselves!
However, there may be more unforeseen side effects coming too!!
I'm not a big zombie movie fan, as they tend to get either super gory or just tedious after a while, and often one zombie flick is much like another.
However, here we have a zombie comedy in which a family of misfits and schemers have to cope with a situation far beyond any of their capabilities!
There's also a lot of references to Millennial "Zom-Com" films such as 'Shaun of the Dead,' 'Warm Bodies' and 'Zombieland,' but also straightforward Zombie films, like George E. Romero's 2005 'Land of the Dead.'
The characters are all well-drawn and distinctive, including the zombie who (oddly enough) is very sympathetic, and the humor is more of the laughing-at-ourselves kind than the malicious sort.
It's not enough to turn me into a zombie movie fan, but if you like any of those aforementioned zombie movies, then Lee Min-Jae's film is for you. It was an entertaining way to spend an evening, that's for sure.
FYI: In its Midwest premiere, Min-Jae stated that his wife co-wrote the script and that the fact "zombies" belong to Haitian Vodou. He further said that, in fact, the idea of the "living dead" can be also found in Korean lore. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
High-Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed Stereo and 5.1 DTS-HD MA options
Newly-translated English subtitles
Brand new audio commentary with filmmakers and critics Sam Ashurst and Dan Martin
Q&A with director Lee Min-jae from a 2019 screening at Asian Pop-Up Cinema in Chicago, moderated by film critic and author Darcy Paquet
Eat Together, Kill Together: The Family-in-Peril Comedy - brand new video essay by critic and producer Pierce Conran exploring Korea's unique social satires
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Mike Lee-Graham
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing by Josh Hurtado
'Zombie For Sale' Official Trailer