While Zombie Beach is a bit more complicated than the title suggests, it does deliver on its promise. The 70-minute horror comedy is clearly a labor of love for Mukesh Asopa, as he directed, produced, co-wrote, and starred. The three other screenwriters are Twinkle Asopa, Rajesh Asopa, and Carey Lewis. Given that two of them share the same last name as the director, it would appear that this is a real family project.
Roshan (Mukesh Asopa) has arrived back to the States after some time in India. His girlfriend, Vanessa (Katherine Stefanski), and best friends, Mike (Wade Gamble) and Justin (Josh MacDonald) are enthusiastic about his return. Unfortunately, Roshan’s less thrilled, chiefly because his sleep is fitful. Each night Roshan is having strange dreams where he’s on a beach fighting zombies. But, after checking in on Mike and Justin’s photoshoot on a beach one afternoon, those nightmares of the undead become all too real.
There’s one other major character in Zombie Beach that still needs to be mentioned, The Holy Man. Played by Kamal Nandi, this character is central to threading all the plot strands together. But to say much more would be treading into heavy spoiler territory, though there are two points to know about The Holy Man. First, the character is the most serious of everyone, and his narration opens the film. Unfortunately, this sets up a mistaken idea of what the movie will be and is just a massive exposition dump. Secondly, Nandi does an excellent job and makes his role the heart of the picture.
“…Roshan is having strange dreams where he’s on a beach fighting zombies.”
Asopa seems timid as Roshan at first, but once the zombies begin to bite, he comes into the role more. Stefanski is sweet, while Gamble and MacDonald come across as true friends. As the cops who are embroiled in the zombie fighting, Rick Cordeiro and Lisa Dang will leave audiences doubled over in laughter. They steal every scene they’re in, thanks to their killer comedic timing.
While the characters occasionally will do something dumb (who ignores a warning sign about zombies?), these folks are well-drawn. The Holy Man, in particular, has an interesting backstory and a great reason for getting involved. Viewers will empathize with everyone in Zombie Beach thanks to the well-written characters.
While the low budget is readily apparent, especially in the lighting, Asopa has chosen angles that maximize the creep factor. Long shots with shambling corpses creeping up behind the leads are filled with tension. The zombie effects are also good, with their sinewy jaws and blood-splattered faces.
Zombie Beach may not be a perfect ride, but it is sure to satisfy anyone looking for some imagination with their undead confections. The acting is decent, the pacing is good, and the zombie effects stand out. Thanks to the abundant humor, Asopa’s little flick is a lot of fun.
"…the zombie effects stand out."