Another day, another zombie show, and what does this one have to offer us? Feisty teenagers apparently, and though these aren’t technically zombies as supposedly they’re “Ghoulies”, they sure do act like them a hell of a lot. There’s one minor change as they wander around saying the last stupid thing they said before dying, but otherwise they have a fondness for human flesh and lurch around very slowly so there’s hardly any difference at all.
Like is often the case the trailer for this did make it look pretty shit, lots of one liners and acts of violence that seemed to be rather tiresome, but it’s actually fairly great, which came as quite the surprise as I wasn’t expecting it to be. Rather than concentrating on the Ghoulies it’s kind of a like a reverse version of The 100 where instead of it being a lot of teenagers being mopey and irritating everyone’s just fucking about and being ridiculously deranged, and it’s all the funnier for it.
The show’s hero is a guy called Josh (Colin Ford) who never really fitted in while at school, as he tells us in a bit of fourth wall breakage right at the beginning, but now the apocalypse has taken place he’s kind of happy with how things have turned out, with this post apocalyptic world being quite unique as biological bombs exploded all over the place causing everyone over eighteen to either die or turn in to Ghoulies. He’s got a mission too, looking for an English girl called Sam (Sophie Simnett) who he’s in love with but can’t find now that the world has gone to shit.
Josh has survived on his own for the six months since the explosion, initially living in a luxurious Armenian gangster’s apartment until a mutated dog breaks in and shits everywhere, but soon he’s got a team together including Angelica (Alyvia Alyn Lind), a foul mouthed ten year old girl he used to babysit and who used to try and set him on fire, and Wesley (Austin Crute) who’s a “Street Samurai”, trying to make up for the sins he committed when he was a Jock-ish twat at school. And speaking of Jocks they’re perhaps unsurprisingly the big villains in this first episode, having turned in to Mad Max style cunts, those who aren’t still all preppy anyhow.
Every so often we get flashbacks explaining what the world used to be like (which explains why Matthew Broderick has a large role in the show as the school principal), and how things have changed, and there’s some more fourth wall breaking every so often with Josh saying at one point “Let’s cut to the montage” before we get scenes of him and Sam hanging out, it’s an amusing device when used occasionally but I just hope that it’s something they don’t rely upon too often
Based on a comic which was written and drawn by Brian Ralph bar the fact that the central character is young and the world’s gone terribly wrong it doesn’t have anything in common with the comic at all, which follows a one armed kid in a rubble strewn apocalypse, to the extent that I’m surprised they bothered to get the rights to it. But for once I’m quite glad it’s so unfaithful as the comic though very good is bloody bleak, and there’s enough horribly depressing zombie shows on the air already so it’s great to see a fun one again, especially since Z Nation was cancelled.
This is no classic admittedly, and it owes a debt to films like Kick-Ass where the heroes are young and sweary, especially when it comes to Angelica, but it’s a bright, breezy affair that has fun with it’s concept, moves at a fast rate, and even finds the time for the odd satirical dig at how society used to be. The cast are very likeable, the direction is smart and playful, the dialogue is often very funny, and this is mostly enjoyable turn off your brain, sit back and enjoy the ride tv.