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The Sadness(2021)(Review)[Foreign Friday]

Zombie movies are a hard sell nowadays; the fatigue of the walking dead is unavoidable. In order to convince an audience to watch a new zombie film, you need to present something original to make it worthwhile. “Train to Busan” & “One Cut of the Dead” are two great examples that show how much more you can do with familiar tropes. Director Rob Jabbaz has presented a film so violent and upsetting that it assimilates itself among the most gorey zombie films ever released.

‘The Sadness’ is simply the story of a disease that breaks out in Taiwan that turns its victims into hyper-violent, ultra-creative monsters. Instead of being a disease that kills its host and turns them into mindless shambling corpses, this disease instead just erases your civility. They are fully capable of conversation, learning, observing, and planning which makes the danger even more believable and haunting. It plays out like ‘Mayhem’, ‘Hostel’, & ’28 Days Later’ combined. While they are not technically zombies in the movie, the set up, the viscera, the story beats, and many trademark visuals play this film out like one.

It is very fast paced with lots of extreme, over-the-top violence and some very dreadful set pieces. Entirely filled with offensive dialogue and upsetting scenes of torture, it doesn’t let go once it begins to take flight. Filmed for a moderately large budget considering the subject, it’s a film that really needs to be seen to be understood.

My only down beats would be the fact that it really doesn’t go big for how often we see a world like this on screen. Also, it has enough mayhem to justify the extremity of watching of it, but if you were to remove that one motive, it is still a story you have seen a thousand times of a pair of lovers who are separated just before an outbreak occurs and they try to survive and find each other during the thick of it all.

But that’s just me being nitpicky to justify not giving it a perfect score. I was very excited and I will safely say it was exactly what I had hoped it would be. If you can handle the blood, the upsetting dialogue, and the traditional zombie tropes yet again, then you will have a great time. It just had its US premiere through Shudder just last night, so the steam on this potato is still hot.

4/5
“The Sadness” is currently streaming on Shudder.

‘Til Next Time,
Mike Cleopatra

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