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Hot Docs 2014 Review: Doc of the Dead

It doesn’t take a genius to note that right now zombies are in. From the hit series The Walking Dead to last year’s box office hit World War Z, it’s obvious that North Americans can’t get enough of this revived sub-genre. Alexandre Phillippe’s Doc of the Dead aims to investigate the beloved obsession.

With the help of interviewees including Simon Pegg, Bruce Campbell and even the father of all things zombie George A. Romero, the film delves into the origins and evolutions of zombies and their cinematic roots. Going back to 1932’s White Zombie the documentary chronicles the social and political context of the genre, and why audiences respond so well to it.

The film doesn’t just focus on zombie movies though; it also interviews people such as Zombie Research Society founder Matt Mogk, who believe the zombie apocalypse will one day come upon us. Viewers will have the privilege of learning the best ways to defend themselves against the creatures and survive the impending apocalypse.

Some of the film’s segments aren’t as interesting as others, but the debate over whether zombies should be fast or slow surely takes the cake for the best. The film’s subjects are very serious when it comes to that matter, with The Walking Dead’s executive producer Greg Nicotero emphatically stating, “F*ck fast zombies!”

Doc of the Dead certainly isn’t the first documentary to tackle the zombie sub-genre. Just last year we had Birth of the Living Dead, which was pretty great, focusing primarily on Romero’s zombies. Phillippe’s film is sure to entertain zombie lovers, but it’s pretty light and forgettable. As I’m sure Greg Nicotero would agree, walk, don’t run, to see Doc of the Dead.

[star v=3]

Matt Hoffman

Matthew Hoffman is a Toronto-based cinephile who especially enjoys French films and actresses over the age of 50; including but not limited to: Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Streep, and Jacki Weaver.