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Wednesday, March 28, 2012


  Many of us have seen zombie movies such as, "Night of the Living Dead," "Survival of the Dead," and "_____ of the Dead.” We have seen some characters become great zombie killers like Tallahassee, and Shaun. Now it is Juan’s turn to try to fill in the blank. Does Juan earn his place as “Juan of the Dead (Juan de los Muertos)?"
  Juan (Alexis Diaz de Villegas) and his best friend Lazaro (Jorge Molina) are enjoying life as much as they can on the island of Cuba. They are continuously looking for a new way to make some money while doing as little work as possible. In the middle of their latest plan, their country suddenly becomes infested with zombies. After learning a little bit about the zombies, Juan comes up with a plan to form a group of zombie killers for hire.
  This movie certainly has an interesting cast of characters. Lazaro isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but is as loyal of a friend as you can find. His son, Vladi (Andros Perugorria), would much rather hunt ladies than zombies. One lady that catches his eye is Juan's daughter, Camila (Andrea Duro). She is tough on her father, but even tougher on the few zombies she gets a hold of.
  Then comes the unique tandem of La China (Jazz Vila), and La Primo (Eliecer Ramirez). At first glance the audience might think La China is a woman, but nope, that's a guy who is determined not to let Juan have all the money for himself. La Primo is the brawn of the operation. He looks like one of the strongest guys on the island, but has one huge weakness in a world of zombies. La Primo faints at the sight of blood so La China has to lead him around with a blindfold on.
  Last but not least is Juan. He might not be book smart, but he is certainly street smart. He uses his street smarts to lead this group in the battle against the zombies. Besides the great idea to form this group, he comes up with a creative and amusing catch phrase to answer phone calls for their service. With Lazaro armed with machetes and La China a slingshot, Juan uses the all mighty paddle. While he might seem to be all about the money, Juan proves to care for his daughter, friends, and country in the end.
  Besides all these great characters, there are plenty of zombies. None particularly stand out, but there is definitely a high zombie body count. In one scene, maybe 30 or 40 zombies get wiped out in seconds. With the high body count comes a great deal of blood. Juan continually has his shirts soaked in blood, and even takes a blood bath in one scene. Not all the zombie scenes are about killing them, as some of them are out right hilarious. One of the funniest zombie scenes is when Juan, Lazaro, and Vladi try to figure out if an old man zombie is a vampire, or just possessed.
  Being that the movie takes place in Cuba, there are some political themes, but they don't get in the way of the movie. If you are Cuban, there are certain things that you may relate to that others might miss. If you’re not Cuban, there is still plenty to laugh at, and enjoy. The movie is in Spanish, so some of you should be prepared to read some subtitles.
  Not everything is smooth in the movie. There are a few moments when the special effects fail. In one scene, they try to be creative with the use of a car, but the effects are kind of awkward. The underwater zombies are interesting, but there just seems to be something off with them. However, they do a nice shot looking up from under the boat. 
  Unsure of what is happening to his country, Juan tries to take advantage of the situation by forming an unusual group of zombie killers. Each member of the group brings something different to the table making this an extremely entertaining movie. When the jokes aren’t flying, the zombie heads are. They do an excellent job of pointing out certain aspects of life in Cuba without it interfering in all the zombie fun. Besides a few special effects glitches, Juan earns his spot as “Juan of the Dead.” I give this movie 3.5 pools of blood.


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