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TADFF Review: ‘The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale’ is a Delightful Departure

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The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale

South Korea has proven to be a goldmine of genre film offerings. Between films like Train to Busan and I Saw the Devil, they’ve consistently delivered intense, dramatic, heavy-hitting films that just rip your heart from your chest. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re not going to find it in The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale

What you will find is a quirky zombie film laced with off-kilter characters, hilarious comedy, and a new shift in direction for the ever-cinematically-present zombie virus. Directed by Lee Min-jae, The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale follows a rather dysfunctional yet productive — if not dishonest — family who runs a gas station/garage on the outskirts of Poongsan. Thanks to an experimental insulin that — when tested on human subjects — has rather adverse effects, the family finds a fresh new zombie on their doorstep and discover that its bite actually has restorative de-aging side effects. Soon, the men in town catch wind of this unconventional boost in virility and line up to “cash in” on this rare opportunity. 

The zombified human test subject (Jung Ga-ram) and Hye-gul (Lee Soo-kyung), the daughter of the family, strike up a sweet little love story that is perfectly woven in with the humor of the film. Every encounter is softened with a comedic flush to show that the film doesn’t take itself too seriously. It has all the signs of puppy love without being suffocatingly heavy-handed. 

The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale is positively charming. Each of the characters have a wealth of personality; Ji-won Uhm in particular plays her strong-willed and very pregnant role with deadpan delivery, and it’s an absolute delight to watch.

There are several sight gags throughout the film that have a great payoff (including one of my personal favorites — the flying side kick — and a perfect little reference to Train to Busan), and the comedic timing is perfection. The situational absurdity combined with the family’s antics make the film — overall — gloriously fun and wildly entertaining. 

While there is plenty of zombie violence, there’s never too much carnage. It makes for a really easy watch for even the most hesitant horror viewer. It’s also a nice light meal of a movie; while the zombie genre has deep roots in sociological and cultural commentary, The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale makes its points about class and societal divisions without getting too bogged down in the minutiae. It never feels like it’s preaching a message, it just wants to have fun. 

Not only is The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale a wildly charming and deliciously entertaining film, but it’s beautifully shot. Thanks to Lee Min-jae’s excellent direction and the stellar cinematography by Cho Hyoung-rae, the film is blessed with some gorgeously framed, perfectly lit, occasionally-in-slow-motion shots that breathe fresh air into what many consider to be a tired subgenre. There are moments that soar across the screen with beautiful dramatic flair, while others line up a shot in just the right way to land a hit of humor. 

At 1hr 52min, the run time can feel a little long. That said, that’s not an outrageous amount of time — especially for Korean cinema — and it does pass with ease. The pacing is so consistent throughout that nothing feels like it’s dragging. A dramatic turn in the third act keeps the action moving along and helps to ensure the story is fresh while indulging in some classic zombie tropes. 

The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale is a lighthearted and cheeky addition to the oeuvre of zombie films, and one that definitely deserves attention. It throws fresh meat to the lore of the undead that’s light enough to be easily digestible, but keeps enough focus to make a damn fine film. It may be Lee Min-jae’s first feature, but I’m definitely buying what he’s selling.  

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Stranger Things Season 4 Blooper Reel

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As part of the TUDUM: A Global Fan Event releases, Netflix has given Stranger Things fans a nice little treat. I’m a huge fan of behind-the-scenes and blooper reels! I loved seeing the characters we know so well break the 4th wall when overwhelmed with a case of the giggles. Even the powerful Vecna couldn’t escape landing on the Stranger Things season 4 blooper reel!

Watch our favorite actors break character in this brand new blooper reel below. 🤣

We also found some other behind-the-scenes videos from Stranger Things Season 4 that we thought you would like. With the news of Stranger Things Season 5 being the end of the series, we’re watching all these videos before we have to say our final goodbye. I don’t think we’re ready for this story to end. 😭 Until then, have a laugh with our friends from Hawkins, Indiana!

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‘Cloverfield’ Film Finds a Director To Helm Next Entry

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Cloverfield

We have seen an incredible three Cloverfield-based films so far. The latest being Cloverfield Paradox on Netflix. The latest in the series also managed to lose steam for the secretive franchise. It went too far into the explanation of secrets that we had seen in the first two films. Once the wizard is discovered behind the curtain the game loses its momentum and fun. The upcoming Cloverfield film has found its director from Under the Shadow’s Babak Anvari.

The director’s Under the Shadow was a great piece of horror. It was entirely effective in its scares and story.

There is no word on where the fourth Cloverfield film will take audiences. But, that is for the best. These films have always been shrouded in secrecy and that is what has made them fun. Well… the first two films anyway.

The synopsis for Cloverfield went like this:

As a group of New Yorkers (Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Odette Yustman) enjoy a going-away party, little do they know that they will soon face the most terrifying night of their lives. A creature the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Using a handheld video camera, the friends record their struggle to survive as New York crumbles around them.

We are happy to see that Anvari is going to helm this entry. We can’t wait to see what he brings to the franchise and to see what direction this entry takes.

What has been your favorite Cloverfield chapter?

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‘The Winchesters’ Trailer Effectively Adds Another Chapter to ‘Supernatural’

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Winchesters

If you thought that Supernatural was over after its very long and successful run, think again. The Winchesters takes us back into the world of Supernatural in a prequel. The series will go way back to tell the story of John and Mary who are the very reason that we have Sam and Dean.

The first trailer for the new series is looking particularly great and effectively adding to Supernatural lore.

The synopsis for The Winchesters goes like this:

Before Sam and Dean, there was John and Mary. Told from the perspective of narrator Dean Winchester, this is the epic, untold love story of how John met Mary, and how they put it all on the line to not only save their love, but the entire world..

The Winchesters premieres on October 7 via CW.

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