Super Z 2021

Super Z is a 2021 French horror comedy, written and directed by Julien de Volte and Arnaud Tabarly in their first feature-length directorial debut. The film is loosely based on the horror short The Foodies (2014), written and directed by both Julien and Arnaud.

“An unknown corporation is turning humans into zombies. To their complete astonishment, their experiments give birth to zombies that can think, talk, reason, and form a family unit. However, the genetically modified five escape and are pursued by mercenaries as they struggle with new family dynamics, chaos, and carnage.” – FrightFest

Super Z 2021 FrightFest 2022

Describing the story as distinctive would be highly understated as this peculiar tale is unlike anything witnessed on screen before or possibly afterward. The blend of in-your-face comedy along with its outlandish premise results in an incredibly unique take on the zombie genre. As the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, the comedic overtones come thick and fast with little respite between. Consequently, those expecting a serious flesh-eating horror may be disappointed, as the opening displays our deviant doctor, responsible for these reprehensible experiments, unashamedly boogieing to zombie-themed techno-pop and rarely increases in earnestness throughout its run time. However, this is in no way a negative trait, the absurdity of the comedy along with the breakneck pace of its delivery alludes to a wonderfully entertaining experience. Even so, this style of comedy may not be for everyone, with its mostly slapstick, though sometimes crude absurdity.

Although the concept of an undead protagonist isn’t unheard of, such as Colin (2008) or Fido (2006), Super Z body slams this idea through a table. These self-aware, hyper-intelligent walking corpses are quick-witted enough to talk, drive, shoot, and above all else, love?! Such an unusual family unit actually rivals the average modern family, with a loving father, a trans mother, two daughters, and a recently-turned adoptive son, the film certainly challenges the traditional concepts of a typical household with its contemporary display.

Truly a stand-out feature of the film, the special effects are a veritable visceral voyage of wet chunks and blood splatter. Indeed, any location these undead call home for any extended period soon becomes unrecognisable under a thick layer of gore, sprayed floor to ceiling in an impressively viscous display. Additionally, the make-up adorning these ferocious flesh-eaters follows a classic Dawn of the Dead style, utilising dark blue body make-up to allude to the effects of decomposition rather effectively, along with yellow-iris contacts lens lending to an affectionate representation of these murderous monsters.

Despite this wonderful effort, Super Z does contain some CGI effects interspersed throughout. Although implemented mostly due to budget restraints, these effects are a noticeable downgrade from the illustrious practical effects prevalent, yet they are only implemented when necessary, preferring to rely on the much superior realism of practical effects.

Fast-paced, humorous, and oh so vulgar, Super Z is a one-of-a-kind frolic into a genre that was in dire need of fresh meat. The combination of its outrageous comedy, grisly effects, and beautiful cinematography equates to an incredibly competent first feature-length directorial debut from Julien de Volte and Arnaud Tabarly. Although not for everyone, those who can embrace the film’s sense of humour will certainly get a kick out of this gooey monstrosity.

We saw Super Z (2021) at Fright Fest 2022

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Past Festival Coverage