World Horror Cinema: Cuba
By Sam Reeve
My rating: 6.5/10
As the title may suggest, Juan of the Dead is Cuba’s answer to Shaun of the Dead. But other than being a zombie horror-comedy featuring a slacker duo (one of whom wields an oar, reminiscent of Shaun’s cricket paddle), Juan is entirely its own film. With plenty of zombie action, funny characters and a dash of politics, this is one movie you don’t want to miss.
Set in modern-day Havana, zombies start cropping up at about the 2-minute mark. The Cuban government claims them to be “dissidents” sent by the Americans to undermine the country.
Juan, the deadbeat dad hero of our story, is joined by his overweight roommate, Lazaro, and his son, as well as his own teenage daughter. With their apartment building’s roof as headquarters, they set up their own business as zombie killers who will rid you of your turned loved ones or neighbours.
The film has some slow parts, and the ending is surprisingly depressing unless you keep watching the credits, but it’s otherwise hilarious and entertaining. The makeup is quite good, and besides some cheesy-looking digital effects Juan of the Dead is a high-quality film with a great cast.
Below you’ll find the trailer, and you can watch the full movie online with English subtitles here.