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Saturday, November 13, 2010

L.A. Zombie

This evening Kevin and I went to Bruce LaBruce's "L.A.Zombie" at a fundraiser show at the Artesian. It was shorter than I expected and certainly a lot less explicit. I did ask him (when he was in my class the other day) if this really appealed to the porn clientele and he did admit that his porn producer thought it was disgusting and that no one would want to see it. On the other hand, that producer had only put $20,000 into it (which isn't a lot of money in movie circles) so could live with it not having much appeal. The big surprise for Bruce was to discover that the copy he showed tonight was an American recut (without consulting or even telling LaBruce) and removed the most offensive part. No, not the spraying of inky black alien semen over a dead man's face. They removed the image of the actor urinating. Censorship is a funny thing.
The film, overall, was a rather unstructured journey as the zombie wanders from place to place finding dead people and, as the poster correctly claims, fucking them back to life. There is no real conflict in the usual dramatic sense. The conflict actually exists on a different level than between characters, it exists between the audience and the characters as we struggle to come to terms with a monster which is loathsome in appearance and in representation (the zombie epitomizes the homeless of Los Angelos) but who does nothing wrong and actually does much more good than harm. We seek ways to define it as a monster, regardless of whether it deserves that label or not. So who is really the monster?

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