28th Jul2020

‘Zombie For Sale’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Se-ah Jang, Jae-yeong Jeong, Ga-ram Jung, Nam-gil Ki, Soo-kyung Lee, Ji-won Uhm | Directed by Lee Min-jae

Also known as “The Odd Family: Zombie On Sale”, Zombie For Sale, released through Arrow Video a couple of weeks ago, is a zombie horror comedy with elements of romance tossed in for good measure. If you’re thinking, however, “oh no, not another zom-rom-com” then think again, because this isn’t a run of the mill romance with zombies. It has plenty of original and unique things going on to make it very different from anything else you would have seen in the genre, and it makes for an absolute joy of a film.

I was unsure what to expect when I went into this one, but in the end I found myself thoroughly besotted with it. It’s hilarious, cute, charming and looks delightful too. The cast throw themselves, feet-first, into their roles and each offer something unique from one-another. The story follows a family of crooks who swindle passers-by as a way to make ends meet, but when a zombie bites the cranium of the family elder and he becomes spry and youthful again, they decide to use this new-found peculiarity to make some cash. In a nutshell… that’s it, but there’s a lot more going on. Family dynamics are explored, a growing bond and love between the zombie in question, named Jjong-Bi by the family, and the younger girl of the family, Hae-Gul, and when things go from smooth sailing to utter chaos, the film becomes packed with action and heightened moments of hilarity.

It will always get compared and put alongside titles like Warm Bodies, Shaun of the Dead, Fido and Zombieland purely because it sits in the same genre as a zombie flick that also has these comedic and romantic layers inside it, but don’t be dissuaded by the comparisons by thinking it’s merely “another one of those” because it isn’t. Zombie For Sale has a strong core story and performances that were all brilliantly done by the cast. There are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing what might happen next, and I laughed an awful lot throughout. It’s wonderfully silly at times, yet it has heart and makes you care about seeing people survive, which is a big part of why this, in my view, is very successful. I cared. A tale of the family bond, of home and loyalty, of love and… well, death, this is an original and joyful movie that blends horror, comedy and romance perfectly.

The Blu-ray release of √ from Arrow Video is great. It looks beautiful with its 1080p presentation, and the features, not surprisingly when it comes to Arrow, are very good indeed.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:

  • Newly-translated English subtitles
  • Brand new audio commentary with filmmakers and critics Sam Ashurst and Dan Martin
  • Q&A with director Lee Min-jae from a 2019 screening at Asian Pop-Up Cinema in Chicago, moderated by film critic and author Darcy Paquet
  • Eat Together, Kill Together: The Family-in-Peril Comedy – brand new video essay by critic and producer Pierce Conran exploring Korea’s unique social satires
  • Making-Of Featurette
  • Behind-the-Scenes footage
  • Original Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Mike Lee-Graham
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Josh Hurtado

If you’re after something funny, something unique and something that takes a genre that is somewhat lacking in originality these days and turns it upside down in a fun and vibrant manner, then Zombie For Sale is a great choice. I loved it.

***** 5/5

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