As zombies get set to usurp the vampire as Hollywood's monster of choice, it is inevitable that we will see more attempts at zombie-themed horror comedy. While the idea of using zombies in a comedically-toned horror film dates back to the mid-eighties and Dan O'Bannon's Return of the Living Dead , the modern resurgence is obviously a result of the success of Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead . Shaun of the Dead was brilliant in the sense that it was a completely unique work that never hid it's influences from the audience. Despite the obvious inspiration of the works of George Romero, Wright managed to successfully balance the line between originality and homage, creating not only one of the most entertaining zombie films ever created, but, quite simply, one of the best.
Now, if you're familiar with my reviews, you'll understand that I hate drawing comparisons between films. Comparing a film like George's Intervention to Shaun of the Dead to Dawn of the Dead , and so on and so forth, only serves to lessen the integrity of all films compared. Each film is envisioned as it's own work and should be judged as such. So, why the comparison, you ask? Well, to be frank, George's Intervention is the first film of it's kind that I've seen since Shaun of the Dead that seems to genuinely understand its subject matter and never steps out of line with false pretense. The film never represents itself as anything other than a straight-up zombie comedy; it doesn't disarm the audience with comedy only to provide some sort of societal statement, and it balances its humor with ample amounts of violence and gore. The comedy furthers the violence and the violence furthers the comedy. This is horror-comedy done to near-perfection, folks, and gut-bustingly funny comedy at that.
Director J.T. Seaton establishes the tone from the very first frames, by way of a hilarious public service announcement slideshow, which not only sets the tone of the film, it also serves to set up the story. You see, this is not a traditional zombie film; zombies aren't singularly focused, undead killers who stumble around, seemingly unable to support themselves on their own two feet, no, Seaton's script (written with Brad Hodson) takes zombies in a direction I don't recall having seen in a zombie film prior to George's Intervention . Zombie-ism is treated more like a sickness than a state of life or death (or perhaps more accurately, undeath), zombies walk around like you and I, they are capable of working regular jobs, raising families, and all the other everyday stuff that normal folks do... they just happen to eat people. Brilliant!
Even more brilliant than the nature of the zombies is the set-up for the film. If you couldn't guess by the title, the film involves an intervention. More specifically, George's intervention (har, har...). George is a zombie, and in an effort to convince him to stop eating people, his friends have hired a professional interventionist to rid George of his disgusting habit. Needless to say, the intervention doesn't go quite as planned...
What more set-up could you possibly need? Seaton capitalizes on this incredibly unique premise in every way imaginable, creating all sort of comedic set-ups. What is truly fantastic, however, is that nearly every attempt at comedy actually works, whether it be some clever dialogue, the actions of some truly funny characters, or simply just the ridiculousness of a certain situation. There are so many opportunities for attempts at humor, that one is surprised not only that nearly every opportunity is seized, but nearly all executed tremendously well.
However, humor is highly subjective, and as such, it can't work all the time for every viewer. Fortunately, the times where the humor misses the mark are so few and far between that by the time the film is over, you may not even remember that there were jokes that didn't work. You will, however, remember the plethora of jokes that did work. And this is exactly what makes the film so great... the positive way we look at the film when it's over. It's easy to enjoy a film when you're sitting in a theatre, laughing with a room full of people. It's when you leave the theatre, and think back to the film... How well does it linger in your mind? Well, I can honestly tell you, that as I write this paragraph it has been more than three weeks since I have seen George's Intervention , and I remember every reason I enjoyed this film so much. To me, that says something about the overall quality of the film, both in content and execution.
As an aside... There's even a scene of completely gratuitous nudity... I don't know about you, but I have a certain soft spot, right here in my heart, for gratuitous nudity. Sorry for the abrupt change of topic, but I had nowhere else to put that, and I felt it was worth mentioning. Gratuitous nudity is ALWAYS worth mentioning.
While it goes against my cardinal rule of not comparing movies, I feel the only way to convey how great a film George's Intervention actually is, is through comparison to another similarly themed film. George's Intervention is the best horror-comedy since Shaun of the Dead ... and I loved Shaun of the Dead . So, I guess it also goes without saying that I loved George's Intervention .