The woods have recently grown so full of zombie comedies that one must pause to recall the last time there was a fully serious undead pic.

The woods have recently grown so full of zombie comedies that one must pause to recall the last time there was a fully serious undead pic. Do we need yet another zom-com? Well, there’s always room for a good ‘un, as the rather charming “Wasting Away” proves. While the sometimes slack pacing could use another editorial pass, Sean and Matthew Kohnen’s tale of two twentysomething couples, oblivious to the fact they’ve turned into lurching freaks, is amusing and ingratiating. Limited distribution is possible, embrace by horror fans via DVD a sure thing.

An inept military experiment’s toxic results somehow spill into the bowling alley where shy-guy employee Timmy (Michael Grant Terry) hangs with dim-bulb crush Cindy (Betsy Beutler), plus wiseguy Mike (Matthew Davis, doing a neat Bruce Campbell) and his wised-up ex-g.f. Vanessa (Juliana Robinson). They don’t even notice dying and getting reanimated. Others do, however, baffling the previously black-and-white quartet with color-shot screaming and running. Pic has deadpan fun at the expense of horror and teen-pic cliches, with perfs right on pitch. Tech aspects are OK, but some tightening would be welcome.

Wasting Away

Production

A Wasted Pictures production. Produced by Sean Kohnen. Directed by Matthew Kohnen. Screenplay, Matthew Kohnen, Sean Kohnen.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Allan Fiterman; editors, Michael Schwartz, Emily Chiu; music, the Newton Brothers; production designer, Jasmin Graham. Reviewed at Another Hole in the Head, San Francisco, June 12, 2008. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Matthew Davis, Juliana Robinson, Michael Grant Terry, Betsy Beutler, Colby French, Joel McCrary, Jack Orend, Richard Riehle, Tracey Walkter, Oren Skoog, Will Stiles.

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