25th Jun2019

‘Bunkheads: Season 1′ Review (Amazon Prime)

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Khalif Boyd, Josh Covitt, Chris O’Brien, Carly Turro | Created by Will Gong

bunkheads-art

Will Gong, who has previously done editing work for the likes of HBO and Disney, created a sitcom about zombies. Sitcom with zombies? Well, you don’t have to say much more than that to me for my ears to point upwards and my interest to be peaked like a Close Encounters plate of mashed potatoes. I’m there.

Set a year or so into the zombie apocalypse (a place we’ve spend much of our time through the years of film and television), we join a mixed-bag gaggle of survivors inside an underground bunker who are staying out of dodge, away from the creeping dead up above them. It’s less a story of zombie action, gore, grit and walking dead dramatics, and much more a tale of a group of people trying to deal with each other in a confined space. They’re hungry, pissed-off, scared witless and growing more and more impatient, with the situation and with each other.

Bunkheads is an independent low-budget series that was funded by an Indiegogo campaign with episodes that range from between 10 and 13 minutes, or there abouts. Think of shows like The Guild, yet with a zombies-out-to-kill-you narrative and less video-game nerdery, and you’re somewhere close to seeing an image of what this show resembles. The episodes are short and sweet, however we do get backstory and we do get character building, which considering the amount of time they have to do so, is pretty darn impressive. It’s a comedy show. It’s funny, silly, weird and has plenty to like about it, and while there are certainly moments that don’t land like intended, I had a lot of fun with this, and thought it was a charming and enjoyable series. The six episodes I watched went by in a flash.

The four survivors themselves are from different backgrounds. The sorts of people who just wouldn’t, if I’m generalising for the sake of argument, hang out together in other, more normal circumstances. A failing actress, a teacher, a rapper-in-training and a computer nerd. I mean, it’s like a modern-day Breakfast Club set beneath a rotting flesh planet. A cool concept that works, and I think is definitely helped by the snapshot run-time and quick-fire humour. While I was watching the show I couldn’t help but wonder to myself just why this concept hadn’t been done before on a large scale as a feature film or a major network program. I feel like it would be a smash-hit. Still, though I couldn’t help but want more to happen and see more of the before’s, more of the outside world, and more of the backstories to the four characters, I still found it to be a really likeable experience. A breath of fresh air, for sure.

Carly Turro, who plays Dani, stood out for me here as the energetic sole female of the group, a struggling actress whose character is perhaps the most important to the whole plot, creating scenarios and conversations, as well as tension, that really helps the show flow. She’s a blast. The rest of the cast aren’t unwelcome either, each offering a unique point of view. The flashback sequences are handled nicely, and I feel like the fact that we don’t see a great deal of flesh-eating zombies, there are enough references to make you still feel like you’re watching a zombie comedy. Pretty cool.

It’s adult, it’s laugh-out-loud funny and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. What more could you want from a zom-sit-com? See it, support it, and enjoy it. I have a creeping suspicion deep within my flesh that you’ll have fun here too.

Bunkheads is available on Amazon Prime now.

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