With a flood of films, TV shows, books, computer games and comics proving there’s still life in the old reanimated corpse yet, the humble zombie is having a zeitgeist moment, is our bogeyman du jour.

From the director of The People vs. George Lucas, Alexandre O. Phillipe, Doc Of The Dead may just be the essential zombie documentary, tracing the roots of the genre with an army of living dead aficionados including Simon Pegg, Bruce Campbell, Max Brooks, Joanna Angel, Tom Savini and the Man With The Biggest Glasses In The Whole World, the Godfather of the genre, George A. Romero.

Mixing film clips and talking head interviews with practical tips on how to survive a zombie apocalypse (including the filmmaker recycling and drinking his own urine) Doc Of The Dead is a nimble little zombie walk through the history of the reanimated from their genesis in Haitian folklore through to their early cinematic outings (White Zombie, I Walked With A Zombie) to the cheese of Ed Wood’s ‘50s cult movie Plan 9 From Outer Space to their eventual reinvention as carnivorous, mindless ghouls right up to the present day and their curious dominance of pop culture, appearing on everything from cereal boxes to porn parody movies, one of the film’s finest moments being porn star/director Joanna Angel’s genuine bemusement that there’s even an audience who wants to watch zombie porn.

As ever when more than two geeks are gathered the slow zombies vs. fast zombies debate gets yet another tedious airing but the film’s greatest strength is its accessibility; Doc Of The Dead is affectionate and entertaining, celebrating the genre and satisfying the fanboys without pandering to them while being accessible to a mainstream non-horror audience. Fun and smart, Doc Of The Dead is a zombie documentary with BRAAAAIIINNNSSS!


VERDICT: [rating=3]

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