The days of the zombie craze are over, everything has been done. And yet, it hasn’t. Movies like “The Odd Family” still manage to surprise. The Korean movie, that had its international premiere in Udine, is the director’s first movie. You can find the interview of the director and actress Um Ji-Won here.
So, what is the film about, will you ask? It follows the adventures of a family, in a remote South Korean village.
Man-Deok wants to fulfil his late wife’s dream and go to Hawaii. He spends his days with his same-age (read: retired, read: older) friends. He lives with his first son, Joon-Gul, his pregnant daughter-in-law, Nam-Joo, and his younger daughter Hae-Gul. The middle son, Min-Gul, comes back after having been laid-off. Their lives take an odd new turn when Joon-Bi bites Man-Deok. The family adopts the (spoiler alert) zombie when they smell profit in the youngster’s bites. Follows absurd and funny situations, where the world almost comes to an end.
The deep meaning and social criticism behind the movie (notably on a gender point of view) could be discussed, but it is more interesting to focus on the comedic aspect. Indeed, the movie manages to be funny throughout its whole duration. It starts strong, keeps making you laugh and ends up still entertaining. This should be underlined, as making people laugh is not an easy task. And the comedy comes from different places: absurd situations, slapstick comedy, parody, and a play with references and genres, which counts on the viewer’s knowledge of pop-culture, making the process even more enjoyable.
The consistent funniness has to do with the relatively fast pace and the humour also comes from the amazing chemistry amongst the cast. The latest is a pretty impressive one. Man-Deok is played by Park In-Hwan, seen in “Miss Granny”. Joon-Gul is played by Jung Jae-Young, seen in “Welcome to Dongmakgol”, and more recently in Hong Sang-Soo’s movies. Nam-Joo is played by veteran actress Um Ji-Won. Min-Gul is played by Kim Nam-Gil, seen in “Memoir of a Murderer”. Hae-Gul is played by rising actress Lee Soo-Kyung. Finally, if the mise-en-scène isn’t innovative per se, but it is mastered and allows a certain flow.
“The Odd Family: Zombie on Sales” might not be the new gem of underground films but it is an entertaining, unique and genuinely funny movie. One worth-watching.