Greetings and salutations, blog readers!
I figured with all the zombie movies I watch, both main stream like Zombieland or Dawn of the Dead, or more independent films, like the one I am reviewing today, I should do zombie reviews! I say zombie reviews because I will be doing movies and books, but reserve the right to weigh in on other bits of content involving zombies.
So, today I am reviewing a movie I got for brand new at Half Price Books for 5 bucks.
It looked oddly compelling, but I wasn’t sure if I should buy it or not. I went back and forth for a while, and finally realized it was one I hadn’t seen, and that alone was worth five bucks.
Looking back, that was a damn wise choice and well worth the money.
So it took a few days before we finally sat down to watch this movie. We realized almost instantly that what I thought this movie was, and what this movie was, were two vastly different things, and for that, I am grateful.
Originally, from the back of the DVD case, my impression was during a zombie apocalypse, people try to rob a bank, and I was like, bro, when zombies are out and about why the fuck would you just rob the place? Maybe stock it with food and hide out at the bank, given how secure they are was my thought, but I figured maybe there was some good plot point for robbing a bank, right?
The movie opened, however, just AFTER the bank heist. The driver, Q, joined by his boss, Tony, sit in the front of a white van. Tony’s best friend’s son’s first bank heist, (as well as Q’s), and the son, named Danny, was shot, so he is in the back, joined by Muscles, Crazy Steve, and guy who is basically “bank robbery middle management” named Pat. The kid, (not a child, just considered a kid) Danny is bleeding (“It’s going to get all over my new shoes” Crazy Steve keeps saying and Danny is not looking too hot, so the gang try to take him to a hospital, but some weird virus, or whatever, is making that tricky, so they say, ‘fuck it, we will handle at the safe house’. (I cut out a large amount of action here, because this is a review, and not a play by play, or a “all about Gangsters, Guns, and Zombies” blog. PLEASE go watch this film to avoid missing some hilarity and other brilliant stuff I discuss later)
The movie then takes us back to the van where we drive for a good long while, we find out the safe house has been compromised, and Tony says ‘hey second spot is on the coast, lets head there, more so with all this zombie ass shit going on’, so Q directs the van towards the coast, with the help of his often joked about GPS “little box”, and they continue. Along the way, Danny dies, too much blood loss or whatever, obviously none of them are doctors so who really knows how it happens. The smell is killer, and “somethings leaking out of him” so finally the gang convince Tony “He was my best mates son!” to let them bury kid in the forest countryside. “He always loved the countryside” Tony tells himself, and, having trouble, and obviously feeling very bad about the situation, they bury the kid.
While they pray over Danny’s body, they see a scientist running away in a gas mask and white puffy suit that keeps them from getting infected, one assumes. The scientist is being chased by medieval dressed cosplaying zombies, which is fucking hysterical, and when they make a joke about one of them, the “fat tin can cunt”, and the zombie hears, and returns to the group to fuck them up.
Of course by now, Danny, who has also reanimated as a zombie, has joined this equation. Tony struggles to kill him, finally does when the rest of the zombies are coming back, and the group get involved in a tight fight, finally winning, and the camera shows them all pounding the heads in with their feet, crushing skulls and shit.
It feels like the end of the movie, honestly. You know how it goes, these independent horror movies are always so devastatingly short, you expect it to end right here, no closure for the characters, just fading to black as the whole group kicks a zombie to death.
And then it isn’t, no, not at all. The group returns to the van, continues driving, and we find that Crazy Steve has been bitten, which, is pretty spot on for zombie movie trajectory, really, albeit it most movies don’t have that false end thing going for it.
The group drives for a while, pulls over to siphon gas (making Q do it to “learn” because none of the white assholes want to do the thing they all claim they can do. This part isn’t expressly stated, and is more my own opinion, but, like hey, I would like to think you know what I mean, if you have ever been around people who pull that whole “you gotta learn” thing when they really just don’t wanna do it) They put the little bit of gas in a plastic bowl, and, spoilers, (although obvious to anyone) it spills.
They never actually get more gas so this whole scene only serves to help the Crazy Steve story arc.
Crazy Steve, in the bathroom, is having massive troubles, puking blood, stomach aches, struggle city, blood coming out of his eyes, very obviously, Crazy Steve is becoming a zombie.
Pat goes to find Steve, doesn’t find him, in the bathroom we just saw him in. Pat returns to van, lets gang know, hey, blood everywhere, I think Crazy Steve is dead.
Meanwhile, there is a crazy zombie soccer team, who chase the gang off, after Q pukes on petrol, and manages to siphon some into a stupid plastic bowl. Gang runs to van, Q gets them all in, runs back for the gas in a plastic bowl, leaving the team stranded without keys, but safe in the van, albeit surrounded by the zombie soccer team. Q races towards the petrol, chased by a zombie soccer player, bashes the soccer player without spilling the petrol, SOMEHOW, and then…literally bumps into Steve. Spills the gas. All over Steve’s new shoes, which, as you recall from Danny and his blood, is bothersome to Steve.
“My FUCKING NEW SHOES”
Q stares at him. Steve shows him the bite.
Q: “I’m sorry about your shoes.”
Which is such a great moment. Seriously love this scene so much.
Q returns to the van, informing the gang that Steve is a weird crazy half zombie and is handling the zombie problem so they best use what it left of their gas trip the light fantastic out of there.
The gang leaves, sad, and arrives at a house in the country side, looking for gas, now totally out of petrol. Important to note that Pat pointed out that Danny was never bit, he merely died, and yet he still turned.
They arrive at an old ladies house, where a grandma and her granddaughter Cass have been holding up, the grandfather had already bitten, shot and reanimated from the bite.
The grandmother, an obvious (and self proclaimed) racist, doesn’t like Q, and threatens to shoot him, many times, “shoot his black ass” mortifying Cass who obviously loves her grandma but is both appalled by racism and maybe turned on by Q. Frankly, Cass and her grandma are being obnoxious because the gang is literally like “Can you just tell us where the nearest place is with petrol and we will bounce” and Cass and Grandma keep being all “move and we shoot fuck off and leave” kind of crazy, which is always annoying, when writers can’t make genuine conflict, but that’s also how stupid people can be when shit gets bad.
Anyways, zombies show up, entire gang ends up inside, and now they are a team.
Q and Cass start getting cozy, like almost instantly. Happy quiet moment is ruined when Tony tries to leave with the food and petrol, a whole ass fight scene ensues that eventually leads to the inevitable bite from a zombie on the grandma’s arm, and she demands Q take care of Cass. Q promises, and they all leave while the grandma screams curse words at the zombies and goes out like some badass fighter. (Again, I am cutting plenty of stuff out.)
The gang travel, Cass grieves, they camp out at night, Q has terrifying nightmares, they all head to the coast, to steal a boat at day break. “Best time to steal a boat.”
Boat stealing goes…a bit sideways, with Pat falling down and snapping his ankle. Q does this big heroic run away thing, you think he is gonna die, and the gang (spoilers) saves him. This all goes on probably longer than you would think, but again, not in a terrible way.
Everyone gets to sail off into the sunset, presumably to live to fight another day.
Blog Readers, BRo’s- This was a long as fuck movie, and it could have ended three times. This movie may be VERY obviously self financed (I don’t know if it was, it just seemed like it was), and low budget, but you get a ton for the price, and you get a ton of movie. You get to see things you don’t always see in a zombie flick, and a lack of budget means the actors have to try that much harder…and the worst actors get killed off. It’s actually quite impressive what all they do with what is, honestly, very little.
This review is already crazy long because of the recap of the movie, but, the recap is vital because you really do get so much movie out of this cheap little movie, and, it isn’t even bad stuff. Damn near feels like three movies in one.
Funny, a bit cheesy, but also with moments of tension and fear. Plenty of social commentary, but subtle, like you want with a zombie story, and, while we do have plenty of guns, it takes place in Europe, so you don’t have the entire movies dialogue covered by gun shot sounds, and more clever ammo commentary, namely, no unlimited ammo.
The real reason I loved this movie, however, was how inspirational it really was. As someone who will be likely self financing her own zombie content, it was wonderful to see something at an obviously cheaper price point still be so entertaining. It was great to see people be unafraid to have dialogue and acting cover parts of the movie where the budget isn’t there, like a big hospital scene or some safe house is compromised scene. These kinds of scenes take more set costs, actor costs, etc etc, just to get a short scene that isn’t actually needed.
Guns Gangsters and Zombies was a beautiful film for showing how to get a ton of great zombie movie into a small zombie movie budget, and for that alone, I love it.
This movie kind of lit a fire under me and reminded me that long form, indie zombie stuff can be amazing, and everything I am doing, hard as it may be, is totally fucking worth it.
This isn’t an expensive movie by any means, obviously, so if you get a change to pick it up or watch it, do it. it’s a great time, and as long as you aren’t a movie snob, you should enjoy yourself.
Keep in mind, it IS a cheap film, and you will love it.
Thanks for reading