In order to eliminate the evasive kudzu vine, a team of scientists develop an experimental chemical that has one teeny, tiny drawback…it turns the citizens of Charleston, Mississippi into flesh hungry zombies! Before long a group of young friends find themselves under siege by the hungry hoards at a music festival (more on that in a bit)…a conflict that soon spills over into the streets of the town itself!
Attack of the Southern Fried Zombies has some good things going for it; for starters the characters are actually extremely likable (and in some cases completely ridiculous like the guitar totin’ Mayor who is an absolute riot, and Johnny McPhail as Ben who steals every scene he is in), and no matter how over the top the blood, gore, and narrative get (and it does get bonkers A.F.) the protagonists help ground us…it’s a delicate, hard to pull off balance, and this flick does it well. Another heaping helpin’ of accolades go to the make-up and gore effects…they are plentiful, fun, and well done! Also, this film gets points for originality…zombies full of growing kudzu vines, a firebreather taking on zombies, an elected official going El Kabong on the undead…it’s awesome to see fun touches such as these!
On the downside, there are some moments of filler, mainly involving the music festival as we see a lot of shots of “carnival flavor” that seemed inserted for no other reason than to stretch the already brief run time (an hour and twenty two minutes including credits for those keeping score at home)…but thankfully that comes to an end just after the thirty five minute mark as the zombie action and survival elements take center stage.
While we have seen the basic beats of this tale before, Attack of the Southern Fried Zombies still manages quite a few fun surprises, and with the engaging cast and solid gore and zombie effects this is one gut-muncher well worth sinking your teeth into!