Movie Review – Doc of the Dead (2014)

Doc of the Dead (2014), written and directed by Alexandre O. Philippe, who also directed 2010’s The People vs. George Lucas, is a documentary which focuses on the zombie subgenre and its cultural impact. Made with the help of Red Letter Media, whose YouTube channel features one of my favorite shows, “Best of the Worst,” and having interviews with the iconic Bruce Campbell and some of horror’s other greats, this film should have been a home run.

However, at least for my tastes, Doc of the Dead is too light on film history and too bloated with cutesy zombie-culture consumerism filler that I found myself quickly getting bored, and I don’t have a particularly short attention span. It’s not a bad movie but it’s about twenty minutes too long and about twenty IQ points too shallow to be really engaging. Not to mention, the perspective which it examines is purely American, missing the chance for some cross-cultural insight. In an era where we have superb horror culture documentaries like 2010’s Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, horror fans can and should expect more from documentarians who choose to cover our genre. Doc of the Dead is light nonfiction that can be watched with the family around Halloween, but you won’t come away with a more than superficial understanding of zombies and their place in culture after viewing it, and for a film that markets itself as “the definitive zombie culture documentary,” that kind of misses the point.

Grade: C-

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