Originally published on Flickering Myth on 28/08/16.
Zombie movies these days seem to fall into two camps. To quote Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies director Dominik Hartl, “it’s either a laugh or a scream”, and you can bet with a title like this it certainly isn’t the latter.
In fact, that’s what makes this one such a crowd-pleasing delight straight from the off: Hartl knows his audience and never waivers from delivering cheer after blood-soaked cheer all the way through. Pumping the plot full of ambiguous green ooze, classically clueless zombies (okay fine, classically clueless zombies wearing lederhosen) and a pack of wild, animatronic deer, Hartl embraces the silliness of the film’s title and thankfully never looks back.
It’s so hard to make the undead scary in 2016, when remake after sodden remake has left audiences pretty fearless around the dozy, rotting corpses. Even The Walking Dead gave up on trying to elicit scares from its titular bad guys a few years ago, making comedy a much more attractive option when it comes to bringing back the flesh eaters.
With comedy comes self-awareness too, and Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies certainly boasts plenty of that as well, but Hartl’s real trick here is to make sure it’s never pandering or smarmy. True, it’s pretty expected when the characters start riffing on zom-com pop culture and how much they love the fact that the undead in question aren’t “runners”, but it doesn’t make it any less fun to watch.
Comparisons to Dead Snow and other snowbound gore-fests are obviously expected, and aside from its sparky title, it’s likely that Lederhosen Zombies will be considered slightly less memorable in the overall grand scheme of things, but really, in terms of the zombie-side of the B-movie horde, this one is actually surprisingly up there with some of the most enjoyable.
A lot of this is down to the Hartl’s straight-forward, no-frills approach to narrative, but the rest (and to these eyes, the bigger chunk) comes from the film’s sensationally inventive flair for violence. From snowboard-powered decapitations to snow-plough-driven decimation; it’s clear that if Hartl were in Zombieland, he’d be winning zombie kill of the week consistently for months.
It might not necessarily be the most extravagant or (even remotely) thoughtful of films, but Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies is a considerable slice of genre-based silliness that’s highly likely to excite any seasoned fan of cinema’s most consistent flesh-eaters.
Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies was screened as part of HorrorChannel FrightFest 2016.