Movies

DVD Review: Zombie Christ

 

Zombie Christ

Bill Zebub Productions

 

 

 

 

Zombie Christ presents a polemic against Christian dogma as a framing device for frequent, lingering shots of naked women.  The plot, such as it is, is that the corpse of Jesus (now a skeleton with bits of flesh on it) has been resurrected by some Druids, and set to the task of kill his decedents (which, according to the Da Vinci Code, he had with Mary Magdalen).

The ‘hero’ is a middle-aged overweight man named Michael, who is set to the task of protecting one of the descendants, Mary.  It’s from him that we get most of the contra-Christian talking points.  His arguments rest mostly on the fact that early Christians co-opted many of the stories in their religion from earlier ones (the movie presents the Greek god Dionysus as the source, but the Egyptian Osiris shares a lot of similarities as well).  That fact is true, as anyone with a passing familiarity with ancient religions knows, but it’s presented in the movie in a rather uninspired and messy way.

The actor playing Michael delivers his lines like a new school teacher on his first day; preachy and stilted, like he’s rehearsed it in his head a million times, but can’t keep it together in front of an audience.  It’s only made worse by the weak editing that leaves slight pauses between lines.

In the movie, the ‘Jesus’ that is resurrected as a zombie is not the ‘Jesus’ of the Bible, but instead, the real man to whom all of the magical stories were attributed after his death.

That’s all well and good, but unfortunately, the writer of this movie can’t keep even that simple a story straight.  For instance, when a part of the zombie is cut off, it turns into bread.  It’s a cute transubstantiation joke, but if the zombie isn’t supposed to be the Jesus of myth, then it makes no sense.

Aside from the confusion over whether the zombie is Jesus or not, the writer also can’t get a handle on his character.  In one scene, he attacks a priest for molesting children (implying that he is trying to protect the church), then in another he has sex with a nun, while telling her that he didn’t actually die for her sins (trying to tear down the church).

According to IMDB, this is the 21st movie written and directed by Bill Zebub, you’d think he’d have learned to create a basic character sketch by now.

But anyways, this is a movie about naked women, and there are a lot of them.  The entire film is made up of scenes of women being killed by Jesus, which generally happens after they’ve taken their clothes off.  There’s a lot of nudity, and it’s fairly graphic, but there are no scenes with them touching a man in any sexual way (unless you count the skeleton).

The women are all better actors than the men.  I’m pretty sure the entire male cast is made up of friends of the director who just wanted to be on set to leer at naked women.

The video is quite bad.  It’s a non-anamorphic widescreen presentation, and a heavily pixelated one, at that.  Really, if you’re making a movie whose sole value is in the visuals, at least present them well.

I can respect shallow exploitation films, so long as they deliver on their promise, but I’m not sure that this one did.  There are a lot of ladies, but the internet streaming quality video makes that moot, and the promise of a silly (if not offensive) story is derailed by incompetent characterization.

 

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