I normally do not break format to write a subjective review, but in 30 years, I have never seen anything like Johnny Markussen's XOMBIES. I am actually baffled over the film and how it was created. At first glance, it appears as if Markussen has used the rotoscoping process to create animated images of the characters. There are other times when it seems like the characters or vehicles have been shot using still photography, and that their cookie-cutter images have been layered over an inanimate background, then manipulated frame by frame using the dioramic 3D process. It is impossible to explain this awkward and unnatural shooting style accurately, and since there are no other films to compare it to, I have included several images below. If one thing is certain, it is that Johnny Markussen has huge aspirations that far exceed his budget. XOMBIES 3D has an enormous scope, and because of this peculiar shooting style, Markussen is able to take his characters through war-torn city streets and diabolical laboratories that presumably never existed as physical sets. There are some ambitious moments that show a real talent for comic-book framing and large-scale direction, so given an appropriate budget, the director has certain potential. But then.. there is the acting, writing, and special effects.. All of which fail miserably.
XOMBIES only works in the theoretical sense, because the execution itself is terrible. When the xombies aren't walking around in ridiculous paper mache costumes, they have had ugly computerized wounds splattered across their bodies. After they are struck, animated blood and body parts are strewn across the screen. Markussen even uses dolls in place of zombie children. The shooting style constantly distracts from the action on screen, because the viewer spends more time wondering what the hell they are seeing than concentrating on the film. The characters are broken into two basic groups: the poor saps that seem to be taking the film seriously, and the crazy bastards that realize what an awful mess they have gotten themselves into. This means their performances are either intentionally bad, or just plain bad. Markussen is in on the joke the entire time, however, and just has a blast experimenting with different visual styles while blowing the crap out of a ton of xombies. After bombing in Cannes, XOMBIES 3D has been making its rounds in the indie scene, where it is sure to be picked up by someone like Brain Damage Films, who can appreciate a bad movie when they see one.
Movies like XOMBIES 3D:
TROLL 2, BIRDEMIC, ZOMBIE BLOODBATH, BONE SICKNESS, PLAGA ZOMBIE, RETARDEAD, TERROR AT BLOOD FART LAKE.