Okay, so we all knew this had to happen eventually.

What Southerners have been ranting about ever since they got their collective a*s handed to them back in the mid-1800s has finally come to pass.

The South…Has Risen Again.

And it’s hungry for people meat.

So what we have here is that, indeed, the South is rising again, at least in the town of Thorsby, Alabama. And it’s what you expect–the zombies are hungry for human flesh, and attacking the living to get it. So now the town’s video store clerk, a recently fired (for gross incompetence) deputy, a Homeland Defense agent, and a naked guy, must now rise up to defend the town.

I’m not kidding about that naked guy.

Indeed, the beleaguered video store clerk, God bless the video store guys of America and abroad, thank you all to pieces, is pretty much right. There ARE only three truly good American zombie movies, and George Romero made every one.

The rest are a collection of Romero ripoffs–some of which are better than others–and stuff too baffling to try and discuss even in THIS column, which every week confronts and rants about the most baffling parts of the video store shelves.

But at any rate, I’ve got to applaud “Hide and Creep” for being one of if not the first (that I can remember, anyway) to make a video store guy a major hero.

No, I’m not counting “Clerks.” Though Randal is the ideological hero of the video store guy profession, he does not count as a hero, even as an antihero, because he doesn’t actually do anything. He’s a convenient foil for whatsisname at the Quick-Stop. You know, whiny Mr. “I’m-Not-Even-Supposed-To-Be-Here-Today”.

But anyway, back to “Hide and Creep.”

I could go through, and list every single crack-up moment that’s in “Hide and Creep,” but I’d need a two-part column just to do the job properly. Everything from our video store guy explaining the plot (“So what we’ve been hearing on talk radio about a conspiracy of aliens or the military to produce a race of flesh-eating ghouls to feed on the living is true, and people are renting zombie movies to learn how to defend themselves? Yeah…I can’t rent to you any more.) to the unpleasant sight of a man waking up in the woods without pants or girlfriend (“Gail? Where’s my car? …where’s my PANTS?) all in the first three minutes makes “Hide and Creep,” without question, the single funniest full-length zombie movie I’ve ever seen.

The single funniest short zombie movie I’ve ever seen goes to “Snow Day, Bloody Snow Day,” which I hear is making the film festival routes.

But anyway! Focus, dammit!

I can’t believe it, but Harry Knowles actually got one RIGHT for a change. He said this was good stuff. But then again, with the crew at Film Threat backing his play, and even Kevin Smith’s outlet nodding its assent, it’s hard not to get it right.

“Hide and Creep” is unbearably good stuff. It’s funny, it’s bloody, it’s violent, it’s even a bit of social commentary, it’s pretty much everything you could want in a zombie movie.

The ending is pretty much like the rest of the movie. Good, and funny, and pretty much what you could hope for. The one problem with indeed all zombie movies is that they stop, but they don’t really end. The nature of the movie is that the problem is never really over–it goes on until all the participants are dead. But the movie has to stop somewhere.

That and I don’t know HOW zombies suddenly got to be afraid of the dark….

Plus, there’s a couple of absolutely fantastic twists to the ending that’ll just amaze you. I’m not kidding.

The special features include audio options, feature commentary, a behind the scenes featurette, and a short film, “Birthday Call. that comes with some interesting pre-show commentary in the form of text. It’s also surprisingly good for a three minute black and white film that doubles as a Coke endorsement. Product placement, anyone?

Plus, we get trailers for “War of the Worlds,” “Frankenstein,” “Jolly Roger: Massacre at Cutter’s Cove,” “Hide and Creep,” and “Lethal Eviction.”

All in all, “Hide and Creep” is a terrific addition to the American zombie film landscape, joining Romero among the greats.

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