Saturday, February 28, 2009

City of Rott

Of all the animated films I’ve seen in my day, I think this may even outrank Fist of the North Star as the most over-the-top violent. Also like Fist of the North Star, it starts to wear a little thin after a while. Still, this remains the only zombie cartoon I’ve seen to date and even if it doesn’t have quite enough variety to stand with the best zombie movies out there, it’s still well worth at least a viewing.

The film follows the adventures of an old man named Fred as he bludgeons a small army of zombies to death with his walker, which he also talks to. Apparently the zombie infestation was caused by a new species of worm that got into the water supply and is turning everyone into ravenous zombies, so whenever a person gets bitten, we get to see worms dripping out of the zombies’ mouths into the wounds so as to infect new victims. Being old, Fred’s kind of a prick, and spends his whole time ignoring any fellow survivors he sees in favor of trying to find something to drink that’s not contaminated with worms, and getting some more comfortable slippers so his feet won’t hurt so much. While it’s entertaining seeing him just slaughter zombies nonstop a la Dead Alive, it is nice that right when it gets to be a little too repetitive to continue, writer-director Frank Sudol changes it up by killing him and then starting to follow the adventures of Zombie Fred.

The animation is pretty interesting in a deliberately underdone Aqua Teen kind of way. It’s nice and detailed, so you can see just what body parts are getting ripped out of someone, or what’s left of a zombie’s head after half of it is ripped off with a walker. There’s also some nice bits of humor, as when he walks past a store named Tex’s Chain Saws, or when he meets a girl that’s been bitten, and lies about having a cure so he can get her to brave a zombie-filled mall to get him some slippers. Even at under 80 minutes it goes on a little long, but I think I can say with some assurance that it is still by far the best zombie cartoon ever made, and you should give it a whirl on that alone.

Rating: ***

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