ZOMBIE FOR SALE (aka THE ODD FAMILY, THE INFECTED FAMILY, 2019)
Directed & written by Lee Min-jae.
Starring Jong-ryol Choi, Se-ah Jang, Jae-yeong Jeong, Ga-ram Jung, Nam-gil Kim, Soo-kyung Lee, Ji-won Uhm
Find out more about this film here!
A down and out family of grifters cross paths with a zombie created by an unethical pharmaceutical company and use him in a get rich quick scheme. The zombie’s bite seems to imbue the bitee with extra-energy, vitality, and super strength. Unfortunately, those effects fade over time and those who received this miracle cure-all turn into mindless zombies.
This premise sounds…familiar… It’s funny that the same big pharma that many have rallied against for previous years for rushing through testing and capable of causing unknown side-effects has become the US’s new savior in this modern day and age, but if you’re looking for a story that offers up quite a resonant message about putting all of your eggs in one presidential message…I mean, basket, look no further than ZOMBIE FOR SALE. Taking quite a few pages from the international sensation PARASITE, ZOMBIE FOR SALE also focuses on an eccentric family of con men and woman who are just trying to make it in this harsh world. While that South Korean film had its lighthearted moments, ZOMBIE FOR SALE is all light hearted most of the time. Even when supposedly scary stuff happens, things are done in a broad and cartoony fashion that tells the viewer this isn’t a film to be taken seriously.
ZOMBIE FOR SALE is undeniably likable as a film as it really does offer up some goofy antics to chuckle at and while everyone is acting for the cheap seats, it still manages to be funny, if not a bit too long with a runtime of almost two hours. This one even ends on a light-hearted, pro-family tone that will warm the heart of even the coldest of cadaver fans out there. There’s even a romantic storyline reminiscent of WARM BODIES about the initial zombie, adopted into the family and dubbed Jjong-Bi (played by Ga-ram Jung) and a teenage daughter that I’ll qualify as downright precious. His love of biting into cabbages instead of human skulls is a sight gag that works even on repeated usage. Each of the eccentric family is likable in their own weird way. Now, none of the laughs had me on the floor or losing fluids unintentionally, but ZOMBIE FOR SALE serves as a rather sweet, all ages horror film with a sentimental and tender side all the way through.
The effects are close to nil here too, so you don’t have to really worry about gore and grue for the younger viewers as the zombies kind of just look like people who haven’t bathed in a while with some dirt schmutz on their faces and tussled hair.
It’s no TRAIN TO BUSAN, but ZOMBIE FOR SALE is harmless horror that manages to comment more about our current global situation than it most likely intended as it was made in 2019. Still, watching it now and one can’t deny some of the similarities. I was able to scoff those away though and simply enjoy this downright sweet little farce centering on a wonky family and their pet zombie, appreciate it for what it was, and simply have some fun with it. You don’t always need gross out gore, somber despair, and post-apocalyptic scope to make a zombie watchable zombie movie. ZOMBIE FOR SALE proves that.