It’s not often you run into a indie film with a miniscule budget who actually takes a worn-out genre and makes entertaining again. Alright, I’m not one of those who bashes zombie movies just because it’s cool and trendy. If it’s good it’s good, and that doesn’t stop me from liking a genre fan boys of a certain age and hipness despise. I’m sounding bitter, but I’m not, because just don’t give a fuck. But I must confess I was a bit skeptical when I heard about A Capital dos Mortos, which seems like a zombie movie shot by a some friends with what looks like some very simple home video camera...in Brazil. The Brazil-part is just fine, but you should always be careful when friends makes a zombie movie together.
But don’t worry. Not in this case. A Capital dos Mortos might look terribly cheap and having some questionable editing choices, but take a closer you look and you’ll find a movie with a heart and edge. That’s a rare thing. The story is not much to tell your mom about, but works fine considering the budget: we follow some friends - most of them slackers - who ends up in the middle of a zombie infection, foretold 120 years ago by a priest the day he died. I’m quoting IMDB’s plot summary: “In 1883, in Italy, Father Dom Bosco had a visionary dream about the building of the city of Brasilia, capital of Brazil since 1960. It was revealed to him that, at the day of his death, a process of three generations of sixty years each would begin. In the first two generations, mankind's attitudes would be evaluated, and its consequences would start over the promised city after 120 years.”
Doesn't seem mankind did that well during those year, because now all hell breaks loose in Brazil. Should they escape the city or keep themselves locked in their apartments? A Capital dos Mortos toys a lot with zombie cliches, or maybe more how people react in movies when zombies attack. They do every mistake in the book, and never realizes even if they talked about just those mistakes minutes before. And it’s not bad writing, it's written with a tongue in cheek approach, including cut-away-style jokes and some very dark humour.
As often with these kind of films the acting is very up and down. Here it’s slightly better than usual and it’s easy to notice the chemistry among the leading actors. Maybe they’re friends since a long way back, at least they seemed to have found each other in front of the camera. I’m not sure you care about them, but they’re non-annoying enough to follow them to the bitter end. In a small but fun - and very unexpected - cameo we see José Mojica Marins (aka Zé do Caixão aka Coffin Joe!), which might not give that much to the film itself, but comes at a time when we the audience need a gimmick to keep going, and it works.
How about the gore then? It’s simple, not that spectacular, but there’s a lot of blood and intestines, bullet holes, stabbings and more fun for the whole zombie family. At least there’s much of it, and the movie is never boring. The drama/dialogue exists to transport us to yet another zombie scene and that’s the golden key to what genre cinema really is. Like an action movie should be carried by it’s action scenes to tell the (good) story, in horror we need the HORROR to carry us to the end.
A Capital dos Mortos might not win any Oscars, but that’s an unfair thing to say. It’s not made to win Academy Awards, it’s made to win zombie fans. And if you’re one of those who love ambitious indie films made with more passion than money, A Capital dos Mortos is the movie for you. This zombie adventure have gore, laughs and a high body count, what the hell more do you want?!
And if you want to see it, hold your horses until december when Last Exit Entertainment unleashes it here in Europe! They’ve released a fabulous DVD of Andrey Iskanov’s Nails (here’s my review of that movie!) and you better get it before it’s OOP - and also to support these small companies who’s giving us old folks what we want; physical releases of unique genre films!
För er i Sverige, köp filmen på Discshop!