Nerdlocker Exclusive – Fantastic Fest Review – Juan of the Dead!


9:15 pm – Juan of the dead

A zombedy about a poverty stricken Cuba that happens to be ravaged by zombies. Juan of the Dead, director Alexander Brugués takes zombies to a whole new level in his new movie. It’s also a leap in a different direction from Alexander’s 2006’s Personal Belongings. Juan of the dead is set in Havana and all its many non opportunities. Slacker Juan (Alex Días de Villegas) is always looking for the next big scam. Once the country is overrun with zombies, it is up to the opportunistic hero Juan to rid the island of the undead for money. A group of likable characters evolve, including a transvestite, a muscle man afraid at the site of blood, Juan’s daughter (whom is on vacation visiting her grandma), Juan’s best friend, a bumbling oaf named Lázaro (Jorge Molina), and his son California. Juan figures out a way to make money from the leftover survivors by creating a ghostbusters motto, The company slogan: “We kill your beloved ones.” Of course the phone rings off the hook and the ragtag team is on one adventure zombie kill after another. Some end in less disaster than others but all are funny and bring out the campiness in this film. In a joking manner, there is a heavy political tone to the movie but I’d rather not touch. Just know that Juan is one person I would want near me in a crisis like this. His resourceful attitude and quirkiness sets him apart from most zombedy heroes. I liked Juan of the Dead indeed. One thing I will mention, I have never seen so many people participate in a zombie movie like this. For example, there were at least 1000 zombie extras in one scene, meaning non CGI. Very impressive!

Check out some pictures of the Q&A with the director!

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I grew up on Kung Fu theater movie weekends, a lot of Top Ramen Noodles, G.I. Joe's, Evil Knivels Stunt Cycle and Stretch Armstrong. My Movie reviews and Artist Interviews have been a regular around Follow me on Twitter @arainbolt. or email me

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