If you’re like me and have enjoyed the horror genre from an early age, it is almost inevitable that you would have seen a zombie film at some point.
There are many movies that take the genre and use it to explore the deeper meanings of the human condition, society, and consumerism, using the horror as a metaphor to learn and grow from. The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale is not one of those films; it instead uses the sub-genre to craft a quirky, irreverent Korean horror film that will surprise and excite—it’s also one of the most fun zombie movies I have seen in years.
The film begins as most genre films do, by giving the audience an idea about what started the zombie outbreak, which, in the case of this film, is bad experimental insulin. As the pharmaceutical company performs illegal experiments on humans, they end up discovering a resilient virus strain that revives the dead. As our zombie-zero (Jung Ga-ram) awakens and makes the slow trek to the town of Poongsan, the stage is set for things to get zany.
Poongsan is also the home of the Park family, a dysfunctional and often dishonest group that with the help of their broken-down gas station, work to grift friend and tourist alike. After the patriarch of the family, Man-duk (Park in-hwan), gets bitten on his head by a zombie (Jung Ga-ram) and de-ages, starting to look and feel like a much younger man, the rest of the clan see dollar signs and the potential to take the town for everything they have.
This eclectic family includes son Joon-gul (Jung Jae-young) who is married to very pregnant, Nam-joo (Uhm Ji-won). His brother who was recently laid off Min-gul (Kim Nam-gil) with the oddly violent and love-struck daughter Hye-gul (Lee Soo-kyung), introduced by showing her going to bury a bag of recently killed bunnies, rounding out the crew.
As the town learns of the rejuvenating power of a zombie bite, soon all the men in the town want a turn. They all want the chance to be younger and have a second shot at youth. If you have seen any zombie film before you can guess how a town filled with men suffering from zombie bites will go, but I will refrain from telling anything more, for fear of spoiling what is a fantastic and surprisingly effective final segment.
There is a lot going on in The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale, from comedy to action to some classic Korean horror. Director Lee Min-Jae manages the balancing act to keep all the parts together, and he does a monumentally good job with this offering. There is a lot to like here, both in the performances to the way the film unfolds. From the odd romance between the zombie and Hye-gul to the antics of the family as they all try to one-up each other, The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale keeps you guessing in the best possible way.
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale never takes itself too seriously and manages to work with and subvert the many tropes that we have seen countless times in the genre. With strong performances, a fun script, and a story that keeps things interesting and diverse well into the end credits, it is hard not to recommend this movie. The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale is a must-watch for anyone looking for something fresh from the rotting carcass that has become the zombie sub-genre. See this one out, you won’t be disappointed.