“I Was A Zombie For the FBI” is a movie that proves Marius Penczner and John Gillick had an absolutely pathological love for fifties era monster movies.
So what we have here is the admittedly strange tale of aliens who plan to enslave the planet by converting its populace into zombies with the help of two escaped criminals, something called a “ZomBall”, and Earth’s favorite beverage. And, of course, the Fearless Government Agents who try to stop them.
First, the opening menu is great fun. With swirling magnifying glasses and case folders, it really does look like some kind of crime drama.
Even better, they’ve set it up JUST like an old fifties-era feature. Those of you who watched “IT” over the long New Year’s weekend on Sci-Fi will be happily surprised. Looks JUST like something they would’ve watched at the Orpheum.
How can I tell? Because they actually separated it out into CHAPTERS. Chapter one, for example, is “Flight of Doom”. Check out the flavor text on this one:
“Once again, the notorious Brazzo Brothers’ plan to steal the super-secret formula to Uni-Cola is foiled by their arch rivals, Special Agents Rex Armstrong and Aloyious “Ace” Evans. As the G-Men prepare to escort the Brazzos to Center City Prison, little do they realize what dangers lie ahead as a storm darkens the skies over Pleasantville…”
Is that not exactly what you’d expect to see out of a three-reel popcorn muncher down at the Bijou in 1955? A little hackneyed, a little hokey, but so earnest it’s downright authentic. They even got cars and props and costuming that look just as authentic.
And by the time the aliens and the zombies and the stop-motion monsters start cropping up, it goes from a pretty fair crime drama to an all-out monster movie spectacular.
Now, I’ll freely admit that this isn’t my cup of tea. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with this movie, and if you’re into old crime dramas or monster movies, you are going to go nuts over this one. Authenticity was the order of the day here with “I Was A Zombie For the FBI”, and it shows. Detail is downright impeccable–maybe someone with an extensive knowledge in automotive history or fifties costuming may notice some small flaws, but they’re definitely beyond my range of comprehension.
The ending is a really exciting prospect–it’s an excellent ending in exactly the style you’d expect out of a fifties monster movie.
The special features include a making of featurette, special effects and sound featurettes, and deleted scenes.
All in all, “I Was a Zombie For the FBI” is by ends thrilling, funny, and above all, so incredibly authentic that one could comfortably be convinced that this was found in the basement archive of some fifties studio somewhere and brought back to DVD just for us.