Matthew Kohne’s “Wasting Away” Review

Great Concept, So-so Execution

Spoiler Alert

Matthew Kohne’s Wasting Away (also called Aaah Zombies!) is an independent horror/comedy film about a group of five people who become zombies. It stands out because it follows the peril from the zombies’ perspective, and it gives a funny, sympathetic look at their problems.

The scenes from the regular people’s perspective are shown in black and white with occasional green, whereas the zombies’ perspective is in full color. Not only that, but normal people see themselves as normal and zombies as slow moving, groaning monsters. Zombies see themselves as normal, and normal people as ultra-fast, high-pitched freaks. It’s a compellingly clever touch.

Not only that, but drunk people view zombies as normal (probably because their brains are running at much lower capacity.) Perhaps it’s a bit too convenient, but it works to make the film compelling.

We follow the five zombies as they try to make sense of the world, and their horror as they eventually realize they are the zombies. It’s a bit reminiscent of I Am Legend (perhaps not the Will Smith version).

Unfortunately, the story along the way is just not very exciting. There is some weird comedy which is more weird than comedy. The people too frequently dismiss complete strangeness (when one of the characters eats a brain, the rest, not knowing they are zombies yet, are basically OK with it.) I suppose it’s because zombies are ridiculously stupid, but it’s more frustrating than funny.

They accept their ultimate fate as zombies too easily, and seem to be fine with it at the end. The last act has them trying to escape to create their own society, and when the action should ramp up, it really kinda doesn’t.

It’s a fresh concept with a great movie hidden somewhere, but it’s not quite there.


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June 2011
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