Fun, funny, and surprisingly sweet, the horror comedy about zombies and mobsters, “Witness Infection”, is sick but pleasantly infectious.
I love zombie films and I must admit, though not a super brainy or meaningful film, Witness Infection made me laugh out loud quite a few times and is filled with some really gnarly undead action. I saw this for the first time at the virtual 2020 Portland Horror Film Fest and liked it a lot.
When two rival mob families get moved by the Witness Protection Program to the same Inland Empire city, there are sure to be problems. Attempting to keep the peace between these two families, during a food-based zombie pandemic, will prove to literally bite them all in the butts, or elsewhere!
In Witness Infection we meet the Serrelli and the Miola families. These are a bunch of mean mobster characters, except for Carlo Serrelli (Robert Belushi). He has been protected all his life and works at the family dog grooming business alongside his girlfriend Gina (Jill-Michelle Melean). His dad kept him out of the daily killing routine, and let the tougher brother, Dominic, do all the dirty deeds.
When his father finds out that his brother is sterile from taking steroids, Carlo is told by his father that he must marry Patricia (Erinn Hayes), the daughter of a rival mobster in the Miola family. If they found out Dominic was shooting blanks and there would be no bambinos, his brother and his whole family could be in great danger.
Luckily for Carlo, tainted sausages from a favorite restaurant start a zombie plague. Things go bad fast, and the wedding gets forgotten in all the mess. It is a sad story for the families, but the apocalypse really works in his favor!
What I liked:
Though I could have done without quite so many gross-out bits, I did like that it made me smile anyway. Much like in Cooties, the perfect comic timing of the familiar actors helped, and director Andy Palmer (The Funhouse Massacre) managed to mix the mob and zombie tropes together so that it worked. There is even a bit of romantic comedy thrown in, too!
The supporting characters were great. I loved Carlo’s friends. His girlfriend Gina, his cousin Vince, (Vince Donvito), and a badass bartender named Rose (Monique Coleman) who really takes out the zombies in this apocalypse are all a blast to watch.
What also helped my enjoyment of this film was that it feels like a movie where everyone was having fun. The dialogue was not forced, and the characters were very fleshed out (unless they got eaten of course). Also, it wasn’t a bunch of teenagers; there were actual adults in the film!
What could have been better:
As an SFX artist myself, I would have liked better zombie makeup However, this micro-budget film did not have the money spent on The Walking Dead, so that complaint really has to be overlooked.
A deep story this is not, but there are a lot of fun moments in between the fart and vomit jokes.
Witness Infection is a unique, entertaining, and kick-ass addition to the zombie comedy genre. Mob justice, family duty, zombies, and love are all mashed up together for a crazy, funny, and truly disgusting film. I laughed a lot and was surprised with what winds up being a pretty happy ending.
You might want to bring a barf bag along with your popcorn though; there are some very gross scenes. But if that doesn’t bother you, you should be in for quite a fun home movie night watching this one.