Office of the Dead

Film review by Thomas M. Sipos




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Communist Vampires

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Office of the Dead  (2009, dir: Matthew Chung; cast: Edward Chen, Christina July Kim, Shawn Parikh, Natasha Nova)





Office of the Dead is not a horror film. It doesn't even try to be a horror film. It's an office comedy (e.g., Office Space).

There's this computer software firm, and the software turns most of the office workers into rampaging zombies. But there is no gore, no blood, and no scares. Just wacky, shuffling zombies vs. snarky cubicle workers trying to survive.

I don't need blood or gore for my horror, but there are no scares or suspense either. It's just not horror. It's a comedy. That would be okay, if it were funny. It's not. No big laughs. Some weak smiles, but as a comedy, it's pretty flat and tepid.

There's one funny moment. Raj (Shawn Parikh) a nerdy computer geek, tries to pick up the CEO's sexy assistant (Natasha Nova) as they're crawling away from zombies. Raj nervously whispers (so the zombies can't hear them) his suggestions to take the assistant out to dinner after this is all over.

But she can't hear his whispers. She keeps saying, "What? What are you saying? What are you asking me?" But Raj keeps whispering, failing to communicate, in typical nervous nerdy fashion. It's a funny moment.

But most attempts at humor are lame. The lead couple constantly bicker, but without funny or original lines. It's along the lines of "You always micro-managed me!" "Did not!" "Did too!" "Did not!"

It's hard to make an indie film, but dialog costs the same for all filmmakers, big budget or small. So please, take the time to polish your script until every line of comedy is sharp, original, and funny.



Even so, I enjoyed Office of the Dead because I love office comedies. They don't make enough of them. But this film will only interest hardcore, indiscriminate fans of office comedies -- those who want to see every film in the genre. (The best of which remains Clockwatchers).

Review copyright by Thomas M. Sipos


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