freaksofnature

Freaks of Nature: Aliens, Vampires & Zombies Collide in Surprisingly Hilarious Fashion [Review]

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From Sony Pictures, director Robbie Pickering and writer Oren Uziel comes Freaks of Nature. The film stars Nicholas Braun, Mackenzie Davis, Denis Leary, Bob Odenkirk, Joan Cusack, Keegan-Michael Key, Ed Westwick, Vanessa Hudgens, Patton Oswalt, Ian Roberts and Josh Fadem. It hits VOD and Bluray February 9th.

In the town of Dillford, Vampires, Humans and Zombies used to get along, but with the arrival of extraterrestrial beings, it’s humans vs. vampires vs. zombies in all-out mortal combat. Now three teenagers must try to get things back to “normal.”

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Tentatively called “The Kitchen Sink” in it’s early development days, because the movie literally shoved everything it could into it, Freaks of Nature turned out pretty damn impressive in spite of it’s insanely overambitious concept. The small town of Dillford is home to zombies and vampires. Both monsters have been integrated into society – it’s just a thing that happened a while ago – don’t worry about why or how, just deal with it.

Keegan-Michael Key in Columbia Pictures' "Freaks of Nature."

Eventually aliens wind up attacking the town (because why the hell not) and Dillford is thrust into absolute chaos as humans, vampires and zombies try to survive not only against each other, but the aliens that have invaded their town. What makes Freaks of Nature work so well, is that it doesn’t rely on it’s ridiculous B-Movie concept alone and the writing is extremely sharp and clever. The jokes are always on target and the cast is actually happy to be there – including the bigger names like Bob Odenkirk, Denis Leary, Joan Cusack, Patton Oswalt or scene stealer Keegan-Michael Key who plays a vampiric teacher.

L-r, Nick Braun, Mackenzie Davis and Denis Leary in Columbia Pictures' "Freaks of Nature."

I laughed my ass off throughout Freaks of Nature and the jokes that hit could’ve worked in any setting, let alone one as absurd and frenzied as this. One of my favorite moments is where a horde of zombies are tearing some dude to pieces and he asks, “Why did he put one intestine down and pick up another one?!?!” This is funny shit. Or when Odenkirk and Cusack try to talk to their son about smoking pot. Priceless. For a movie that didn’t need try this hard on the comedic bits, they did it anyway and I applaud writer Oren Uziel and director Robbie Pickering for putting so much effort into such a ridiculous concept.

Nicholas Braun was a terrific lead as well. Just the way he delivers his lines felt real to me. He’s in the middle of a vampiric slaughter and his stoned girlfriend offers up sex, so he calmly says to himself out loud in this genius dry manner, “Yes, Ok. We’re gonna go back to my house and have sex.” Everything Braun delivers in Freaks of Nature is pitch perfect. His friend played by Josh Fadem deserves a freaking award for his transition into a zombie over the course of the movie. Fadem went FULL zombie and it worked — it worked so well. He may very well be zombie performer of the year and in 2015 we had a shitload of zombies on film and TV.

Josh Fadem, left, and Chris Zylka in Columbia Pictures' "Freaks of Nature."

For a smaller budgeted flick, Freaks of Nature looked damn good. The special effects, both practical and digital were all on point. I was worried that the aliens would come across as a little goofy, but they worked. Especially in the end when Werner Herzog makes an appearance (sorta) – holy shit was that ever great. “Why does the alien have a German accent?” Freaks of Nature was a blast and I’m sad that I missed it last Halloween but I won’t forget to put it on my playlist this coming October – it’s a perfect addition alongside other horror comedies like Deathgasm or The Cabin in The Woods.

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Editor-In-Chief of Fox Force Five News. I had a zombie cameo on the opening page of The Walking Dead issue #91, where I was killed with a machete... It was awesome.