Opening at UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center through August 9 is one of the most popular films from SDLFF 2012 from director Alejandro Brugues and Canal with JUAN OF THE DEAD (Juan de los Muertos).
This film tells the story of Juan (Alex Diaz), a man who seems happy with his life in Cuba. Living in a neighbor he watches in his own special way with his best friend Lazaro (Jorge Molina) things are moving along.
He finds out his daughter Camila (Andrea Duro) is also in Cuba and he tries to mend their relationship. Then things start to get a little strange. Television reports come out that there are small riots throughout Cuba as dissidents are causing trouble.
Juan, Camila, Lazaro and his boy California (Andros Perugonia) soon realize these dissidents have a hunger for human flesh! So what does an entrepreneur of Cuba do? Start a service called JUAN OF THE DEAD to clean up the messes in people’s homes.
As that starts to dry up there’s only one thing left – to leave his beloved Cuba with those that are left.
FINAL WORD: Wow, Diaz isn’t exactly what one would expect from a super zombie hero but that’s exactly what he is. This film is so uniquely funny and, without giving anything away, makes me rethink my boat scenario.
The scene where Juan, Lazaro and California are trying to decide if someone is a vampire is completely hilarious. He also takes on the questions we have all have about zombies, such as being two types of moving zombies renaming the fast zombies as hares and slow zombies as turtles.
Molina as Lazaro is so oddly funny. The touching scene between Lazaro and Juan is so unexpected and I couldn’t stop laughing for at least five minutes. No, I’m not telling you – I want you to see this film and laugh as hard as I did.
Duro as Camila looks almost like a Jolie/Tomb Raider type character but she does her share of zombie knocking off. Of course it’s you have to have the handsome dude and Perugonia as California fills the bill nicely.
Other cast include: Jazz Vila as La China, Eliecer Ramirez as El Primo, Blanca Rosa Blanco as Sara, Susana Pous as Lucia, Antonio Dechent as Jones, Eslinda Nunez as Berta and Elsa Camp as Yiya.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give JUAN OF THE DEAD four tubs of popcorn out of five. There are several reasons for this and they are all based one 1) I love zombie movies of any kind, 2) I especially love zombie movies that are funny, 3) did I mention I love zombie movies?
The cinematography is truly good and the special effects are pretty cool too. The zombies aren’t overdone and end up in some very funny situations.
Every character one would expect from a zombie movie is here and more real in their humor and how they handle the situation. From the beginning to the end the audience gets the opportunity to see these characters develop with a good, solid script.
If you loved SHAUN OF THE DEAD, DEADHEADS (another indie that should be seen!), REDNECK ZOMBIES, ARMY OF DARKNESS and, of course, ZOMBIELAND then JUAN OF THE DEAD will definitely be on your list of must-see and must-own.
In the end – 50 years after the Cuban revolution, another one is about to begin!