TAD 2021: Super Z dir. Julien de Volte, and Arnaud Tabarly

Zombie features at Toronto After Dark are never your run of the mill selections. With so many entries in this horror sub-genre, and so many ways to adapt the subject matter to social commentary, it’s unusual to find a unique offering in the field.

France’s Super Z is definitely unique.

Having its World Premiere virtually at Toronto After Dark, this entry in the genre is absurdist, crass, hilarious, gory, undeniably French, and filled with just a bit of social commentary, which can be interpreted a number of ways depending on the viewer’s perspective.

In a remote lab, a scientist has stumbled upon a formula to improve on zombies, with the intention of turning them into a subservient, but somewhat intelligent serving class… slaves. And while the formula works, improving their longevity, and their intelligence, it also makes them incredibly rude, and insulting.

Making their escape, the decaying, hungry zombies, who have been family bonded by the formula, look for a place of their own, somewhere to live, eat, fornicate, and just, mostly, stay out of humanity’s way, unless its time to eat.

The parents, Gertre (Johan Libereau) and Stephana (Julien Courbey), are passionate, finding their way through their relationship, while trying to provide and raise their children, Marcelline (Audrey Giacomini), Georgette (Florence Bebic-Veruni) and the newly turned, second generation Yvon (Fabien Ara).

There is sibling rivalry, and love, as Yvon falls for a local farm girl, Augustine (Marion Mezadorian), and the realization, that they aren’t going to be able to live peacefully. So Gertre comes up with a plan to make everyone like them…

Pursued by the lab’s men, life isn’t going to be easy for the family, but it’s guaranteed to be bloody, and, to put it simply… out there.

This one is unbelievably crass, dancing on the line of offensive, while languishing in the land of bizarre. It’s an interesting entry not only in the zombie genre, but in the annals of Toronto After Dark.

But, like I said, under the blood, the humor, the over-the-top aspects of the film, there is a message there. There’s commentary on racism, and concepts of family.

But don’t worry, if you don’t want to find them, you can simply enjoy the wackiness that is Super Z. Like a lot of entries at TAD, not everything is for everyone, and once again, this is a title that would definitely work well as a communal theatrical experience. So if you’re looking forward to this year’s zombie feature, gather a group of friends, ensure you have beverages, and other accoutrements, and check into the weirdness that is Super Z.

You can get tickets for this feature, check the festival’s schedule, and see what else is out there here. Make your choices, and I will see you in Toronto… After Dark!

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