Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Jan Nemejovsky, Jaroslav Dusek, David Alan Novak, Stepan Kopriva, Jan Dolansk
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
"A comedy Full of Cheeky fun with buckets of raspberry hued gore" ?Eddie Cockrell, Variety A zombie horror-comedy about finding the meaning of life! A blind philosopher, a shotgun wielding children?s TV show star, a nihili... more »
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Great Zombie Comedy!!
Rachel Lovinger | NY, NY | 11/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you can't get enough of zombie comedies this year, I seriously recommend this one, made in the Czech Republic of all places! I saw it at the Tribeca Film Festival (NY) and it was tremendous fun. Bloody, funny, and smart. An intellectual twist on the "secluded retreat" idea - a group gathers at a hotel to do a weekend course about the meaning of their lives. And of course, they're overrun by zombies.
I especially love the way the film weaves between existential exploration and hilarious gore-fest. It works on so many different levels - while your first reaction to it may be mostly visceral, your attention will soon shift to the clever jokes, the interesting characters, and the joyful way it plays with film conventions.
This is a rare and unusual film to come out of the Czech Republic. I was disappointed that it didn't get a theatrical release in the US, so I'm really glad that it's coming out on DVD. Humor/horror fans will not be disappointed!"
Pass me that moonshine!
Matthew King | Toronto, Canada | 04/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There have been lots of great horror/comedy movies that have combined rednecks, zombies and gore, films like ?Dead and Breakfast?, ?Shaun of the Dead?, ?Redneck Zombies? (Ok maybe that last one was not so great). There?s just something about rednecks in the deep woods swilling bottles of moonshine and soon turning into flesh-eating carnivores that make for a most humorous and entretaining horror experience. ?Choking Hazard? is a welcome new entry into this genre, a film out of the Czech Republic that attempts to combine splatter comedy with existential philosophy on the meaning of life. Surprisingly, it actually pulls it off quite well.
A group of city dwellers looking for direction in their lives enroll in a Zen-type course supposed to do just that. When they arrive at the hotel where the course is taught, their eccentric new teacher informs them that he has planned a field trip for them and they soon head off in wilderness and board a cabin deep in the woods. This diverse group of characters, which include a bored couple, a Zen master, a slacker, a couple of nymph princesses and a Jehovah witness porn star (!) soon find themselves at the mercy of zombie woodsmen trying to break into their cabin.
?Choking Hazards? hits home on many levels. Most of us have struggled with this dilemma of finding out our meaning in life, our place and our purpose in society. The Zen teacher?s philosophies were intriguing and provided many chuckles and I found myself in agreement with many of the statements made. That doesn?t mean however that ?Choking Hazard? tries to be some some sort of message film or take itself seriously. In fact, nothing at all about this film is taken seriously. You know you?re watching some sort of exercise in mondo-camp when a pack of zombies start marching to the beat of a rockabilly tune, when some of the said zombies are dressed like Neo from the Matrix and practice kung-fu and finally when said zombies attack women not for the purpose of food, but for the purpose of mating.
As for the red stuff, it is splashed in generous doses of goo that looks like it was taken straight out of a jar of chunky strawberry jam. There?s some really creative gore scenes in here but don?t expect a non-stop splatterfest, this film places a premium on comedy and dialogue while the gore takes a bit of a backseat. Do rent this film if you enjoy comedy/horror hybrids and if you want to see something different within the genre. I mean a Czech horror film with a blasting soundtrack of Czech metal and Czech punk rock? How often do you get the chance to see something like that?"
Save your money
W. T. Fork | 12/22/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I love horror & horror comedies, but this whole movie tries way too hard to be 1 big joke about Zombie Woodsmen & it fails hard. If you feel you have to own this, you don't. Buy something else in the Horror Comedy genre like Dead Alive, Brain Dead, Army of Darkness, Street Trash, or Brain Damage. You'll be sorry if you're looking for something decent. This movie maybe alot better if you know fluent Czech, incase something is lost in the English subtitle translation."
Gotta Love Those International Zombies
!Vision! | 03/31/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The increasingly popular Zom-Com (zombie comedy) sub-genre continues to grow, a development in recent years, and now is beginning to find international roots. Choking Hazard is, to my knowledge, the first entry from the Czech Republic. It is quite a colorful little movie and the different cultural take on the subject matter definitely adds some freshness. The film may not be for everyone though. The zombies are far from traditional, from their completely unexplained presence to their almost slapstick follies. The zombie-fan-only in-jokes may be lost on the general viewer and the almost smug self-absorbed subtext may have your eyes rolling. These very things may put off some viewers but may actually be the films strongest points, if you'll let them.
The movie starts with a small group of misfits (two insufferable academics, an obnoxious nihilistic slacker, an anal-retentive self-loather, a promiscuous club hopper, and a porn star/Jehovah's Witness) gathered for a weekend-long seminar on the meaning of life and existence. It all takes place in the secluded setting of a resort hotel in the deep woods and is hosted by a blind professor whose lesson is that reason and instinct must always be in balance, a theme that will actually play out perfectly in the film. Their deeply introspective weekend is of course interrupted by the emergence of hungry dead out to devour them, an event that proves fortuitous for the professor as he uses the threat to further lecture his ideology. The characters are forced to shed their fundamental natures and learn to balance reason and instinct in order to survive.
Sounds like a heavy handed philosophical art film, but hardly. The lighthearted approach and sarcastic humor purposefully outshadow the philosophic concepts and may even prove that such musings are less than practical. Even the death scenes are played comically, a feat that usually doesn't work, but manage in all their goriness to show the logical conclusion of each characters disposition given their flaws. They are portrayed as living clichés, not movie clichés, but people subscribing to prosaic conventions out of habit or out of what's expected of them. You only begin to care that they live when they care. It's a great lesson in adaptability, as the belligerent rebel becomes the hero and the conformists perish.
For those simply wishing for an enjoyable film, these underlying themes are just that... underlying. You won't notice them if you don't want to. There is enough splattering gore and laugh-out-loud moments to satisfy the most hardcore zombie fan. Some of the most humorous moments come from the characterizations. The two academics are vegans, who hypocritically will eat meat but only if it has died by natural causes. They eat roadkill more or less. Then of course there is the porn star who is also a Jehovah's Witness, a walking contradiction who discusses orgies one moment and then fervently exults the satisfaction of being a Christian the next. The film is a mix of humorous styles, extremely clever and biting one moment, but then boisterous and lowbrow the next.
Stylistically, the film shows its foreign roots. Quick editing, low angle shots, and off-speed camera adjustments hail a non-traditional style, which is of course a good thing. Right from the beginning, the film establishes a fast paced music video approach that only lessens long enough for us to meet the characters. The hard rock score sounds fantastic and matches the pace of the film perfectly.
The acting delivered is quite good all around, with Jan Dolansky shining as the lead slacker-protagonist. There was much room for the actors to work with in the plot, as it wasn't much more than a simple siege story. All of the actors really find their characters and lend them the uniqueness that was completely necessary to balance out the utter zaniness. The directing too, had nice comedic timing that showcased real potential.
All in all, Choking Hazard is a really good film. Any cultural obstacles are easily overcome and the existential dread of zombies translates in just about any language. Thankfully, the film is subtitled in English rather than being dubbed. The DVD release from Fangoria International is top quality with an anamorphic 2.35:1 presentation. The sound is also crisp and clear with a Dolby Digital mix and of course the previously mentioned rocking soundtrack."