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Archive for March 1, 2022

From Parts Unknown aka Fight Like A Girl

Scientist, jars of green stuff, soldiers invading? Zombies! Right out the gate, From Parts Unknown isn’t messing around and tells you exactly what kind of movie This is going to be.

After the zombie attack we get our title credits played  over a women’s wrestling match. The title song, song by the lead actress, actually gives it a bit of an 80s feel… That whole Rocky movie inspirational rocker sound.

We switch to a graveyard, where our female wrestler Charlie is mourning another wrestler, who’s head literally got punched off in the ring.”

Her friend is worried that she’s going to go back to wrestling, and he has a right to wonder since as she lied to him about it, and that night sees her back in the ring, being choked by a feather boa.

Back in the real world, mean girls and office jerks abound at her job, as she tries to manage a comedically tall stack of reports. The company has some seriously sinister lighting though, with a flag that looks a little too close to that of another evil party. They’re developing a video game called From Parts Unknown. It’s a fighting game, with wrestlers fighting zombies in the ring.

Of course they’re also creating zombies in the basement. Well, it’s accidental, testing the game and certain chemicals… But there’s a problem. Beefcake gas mask zombie is breaking free!

The infection quickly starts to spread… Avoid zombie Nookie at all costs! Despite the growing number of zombies in the company, inter-office squabbling going on.
As we push through some flashbacks, we noticed an eerie quiet in the air outside the building. Charlie is leaving for the day but is distracted by a magical glowing ticket from the sky and later into a wrestling gym and more flashbacks.

Basically, it’s just a really slow second act, but you got to get through it because it’s a connective tissue that will launch us into the back half of the film where things start to go wrong and get bloody.  A couple of guys escape the building and jump in their truck so they can go pick up Charlie at the wrestling match.

“Maybe instead of fighting, we could Just go run and hide?”

No, that’s not going to work. Time for  wrestling girl, psycho programmer and wimpy sidekick to go clear the building! Cue the metal soundtrack. Find the scientist, kill zombies, blast the computers, Kill more zombies. You know, by the numbers.

The thing is, the film knows when to be bloody, and it knows when to be funny. It knows wonder bring the gore and the action, and it knows when to go back for reinforcements. The one thing Anderson hasn’t quite got down yet is the drama… but to be fair, this really isn’t that type of film. The pathos he occasionally tries to inject just doesn’t fit the mold (though he does manage a surprisingly emotional moment at the very end). While the middle of the film is poorly paced, it’s definitely worth it once you get into the 40 minute mark or so, and the zombie mayhem begins in earnest.

More than his other films, this one has a much more Full Moon, comic book feel to it. It’s certainly his most polished and well thought out movie, and may be his best one to date. At least, until Nova Star comes out…

I can’t wait to see what Daniel Armstrong does next.