Change can be painful, and as the Czech cinema begins to tackle more conventional western genre themes (the police procedural with BOLERO, zombie horror comedy with CHOKING HAZARD), more conservative critics and viewers will be distressed.
What did you like in Choking Hazard?
Well, my Variety review details the strengths and weaknesses I see in CHOKING HAZARD. Essentially, what I like about the movie is its cheerful demeanor, an unforced comedy vibe fused with a splatter movie that obviously knows its history. Movies like this have built-in audiences around the world, so, ironically, CHOKING HAZARD will play better around the world than most "conventional" Czech films about eccentric villagers and strained love affairs.
What public responses do you expect?
Even compared to American horror films, CHOKING HAZARD has just enough technical skill and physical comedy to satisfy genre fans. That Marek Dobes and his cast and crew produced the movie for so little money in eye-catching widescreen is enough to confirm their determination to make quality genre films. And since it is the first movie of its kind from an industry not known for horror films (or, as I said, genre films at all save such spoofs as LEMONADE JOE and SMART PHILIP), people wont be used to this kind of film. But I bet they do great on tape and DVD; I know I'll buy the disc when it's released in Prague.
What will the American audience think of it?
As I write this the American premiere of the movie is still a few days away, but my guess is that audiences who show up perhaps expecting an inferior product will be surprised by the very same things that surprised me when I saw the film in Plzen: the skill with which the gore is done, the strange rhythms and overall imagination of the humor, and the polished technical package.
Which are your favourite zombie films?
My favorite zombie film is George Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD. I think it's notable that the recent remake - which I also liked - has been selected for an out-of-competition screening in the competition section of the upcoming Cannes festival. The entire concept is so rich in social metaphor (consumerism, in the case of Romero's film) that the genre itself will remain undead as long as filmmakers can approach the subject with wit, cleverness and style.
(c) Ghoti a Zdenek Trinkewitz
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