When a press release flutters across your desk pushing the release of a horror flick starring a zombified Osama Bin Laden, chances are you are going to take them up on the offer of a screener.

I certainly did, expecting some campy, over-the-top riot that made the most of what is, let’s face it, a truly ridiculous premise.

Boy, was I wrong.

The pitch here is that Bin Laden did not actually die for good when he was gunned down by US Special Forces – no, he had actually injected himself with a special serum prior to his execution, allowing him to return from the dead after his burial at sea.

To be fair, the opening scenes here are quite nifty – a shootout with zombies in the bunker where Bin Laden was holed up, before the terrorist is shot, then thrown off a ship, only to turn up on a shoreline somewhere, munching on an unfortunate swimmer Jaws-style.

Things slow right down after that as the story switches to a group of NATO forces sweeping Afghanistan for insurgents.

These troops, who include some truly appalling actors it must be said, then hook-up with Dusty, a yoga instructor from Colorado who is trying to track down her conspiracy theorist brother Derek.

Turns out Derek is one of a select band who believe Bin Laden still lives, so the thrown-together gang decide to trawl the country to see if his theories hold any water.

And that is pretty much about it, although if we are honest horror flicks of this ilk are hardly torchbearers for multi-faceted scripts.

To call this film a one-trick pony is a bit of an understatement, but what is scandalous on the part of director John Lyde et al, is just how little they make of their unique selling-point.

The zombie Bin Laden appears in the first five minutes, but does then not reappear until the final five minutes, with the rest of the 90-minute running time taken up by interminable scenes of the soldiers trekking across barren landscape, taking pot-shots at various zombies that pop-up.

Even worse, the whole thing is played with a straight face.

Now don’t get me wrong – I have no problem with zombie movies that adopt the serious approach.

After all, many of my favourites from the genre – Dawn of the Dead, Zombie Flesh Eaters etc stuck to their realism guns and were all the better for it.

Even recent effort The Dead, which had a similar premise in many ways, decided to adopt the serious route – and was a great film to boot.

But do the makers of this flick really think that anybody hearing the premise and picking up the DVD is expecting, or wanting for that matter, a laugh-free exercise?

There is some decent gore on show, but it is all very samey, and after the 175th zombie is shot through the head you begin to lose interest.

The dialogue is a mix of crap and cheese – ‘We’re the only thing standing betweenAfghanistanand a zombie apocalypse’ being a classic example.

I must admit my excitement levels for Osombie were pretty high when I sat down to watch this, but the truth is that enthusiasm waned very early on.

This is very much a poster child for a movie missed opportunity.

 

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About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.