'Corona Zombies': there's already a horror movie about the pandemic - it's terrible, but it knows it is

This spliced-together patchwork of B-movies, news clips and new footage was put together in just under a month

'Corona Zombies' was released on Full Moon Features this Friday. Full Moon Features
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There are two things you need to know before you even consider watching Corona Zombies. Firstly, this new film is not for the easily offended. And secondly, it takes absurdity to new extremes.

Also, I use the word "film" loosely, as it's an hour long and you can only watch it by subscribing to streaming platform Full Moon Features (also home to films called Ooga Booga and The Gingerdead Man), which costs $6.99 (Dh25) a month or $59.99 a year with a week's free trial.

It came out on Friday, and was put together in 28 days, which may lead you to wonder how, amid the coronavirus crisis, they were able to shoot such a production while still maintaining a safe distance. The short answer is: they didn't.

All of the cast and crew members who worked on Corona Zombies are actually in isolation. Cody Renee Cameron (who was also seen in El Camino) is the only actor in it, and you'll notice she appears on screen alone, even when the face-mask-wearing zombies attack.

The rest of the film is a spliced-together patchwork of two other films that have been re-dubbed (1980's Hell of the Living Dead and 2012's Zombies vs Strippers), clips of Donald Trump and that viral video of the American spring breakers who weren't fazed by (or didn't believe in) the pandemic.

Cameron plays Barbie, who lives in a Santa Monica trailer park, and we meet her just as she's learning about the flood of "corona zombies" now plaguing the Earth. She's on the phone to a friend, telling her all about her supermarket ordeal and how someone almost hit her for trying to take some toilet roll.

"Haven't you seen the news?" the pal asks. "News? Ews," Barbie responds. Yes, that's the level of intellectuality we're looking at here, folks.

Don't worry, though, as Barbie does put on the news, and hears all about the symptoms of the virus, what social distancing is and how the corona zombies have taken over Scampbell's bat soup factory, where this coronavirus originated.

Then we meet the Corona Squad, the task force that's on a mission to defeat the zombies. They also have to take down the criminal who hijacked a toilet paper cargo ship, causing a national shortage of the household item.

The toilet paper debacle is a running theme throughout, as are plenty of other timely cultural references and now-cliched jokes (another questionable zinger from Barbie: "Wuhan? I love that rap group").

In one scene, as the news shows a clip of some women being mauled by a horde of zombies, the anchor emphasises how moments like this only go to show "social distancing, washing hands and certainly steering clear of soup are the new norms".

Also expect buckets of blood, guts and gore – but not the realistic kind.

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It's the first-ever film made about the coronavirus and it won't actually be the worst

The film contains some sexism and racism, but also plenty of self-deprecating ridiculousness.

Of course, there's also the question of whether it's even appropriate to be making a movie like that at a time like this, as it makes light of a very serious situation. The words "too soon" certainly spring to mind, especially as death tolls across the world continue to rise.

As with any film or show of this ilk, you really need to take it all with a giant pinch of salt.

So should you watch it? If zombie movies are your thing, and you can acknowledge them as pure escapism that isn't to be taken seriously, then you're probably fine. If not, I'd skip it.

But then, escapism is what some people need right now, and it's the first film made about the coronavirus, there will be plenty more to come in future and this probably won't actually be the worst.

But perhaps you should watch it at midnight with popcorn and lots of friends doing the same thing via Zoom to really make the most of it. Because you definitely won't be watching it again.