Juan of the Dead (2011)
“He's Havana Killer Day”
I just watched Juan of the Dead — an obvious play, at least as far as the title goes, on Shaun of the Dead! Juan is a Cuban film, for a change; I don’t have many of those!
In Shaun, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost wander obliviously through the early days of a zombie uprising; once they finally realise what’s going on, they and a small group of friends set out for that bastion of safety: the local Pub.
In Juan, Alexis Diaz and Jorge Molina (who could perhaps, if you squint, be considered a rough Cuban equivalent of Pegg and Frost) wander obliviously through the early days of a zombie uprising (in fact, even once they realise that the dead are walking, they experiment with “Vampire”, “Demon”, and “Lycanthrope” without ever quite hitting on the Z-word!)
Once they realise what’s going on, they and a small group of friends do the only sane thing: they go into business!
“Juan of the dead. We kill your loved ones. How may I help you?”
For someone who, when faced with the option of fleeing the island to head to Florida, makes comment on being brought down by the evils of Capitalism, it seems an odd choice, but what would I know?
Juan and his buddy are joined by Juan’s daughter (her mother moved to the US years ago, but she’s come back for a visit), a young lad (who, of course, fancies the daughter), a transvestite named China, and China’s boyfriend, a hulking black muscle-man who fights blindfolded — because he faints at the sight of blood…
It’s pretty good, as zombie movies go — and if that wasn’t enough to convince you that it’s probably not one for the kiddies, it has a fair few sexual references too (including the scene where the five guys of the group get naked!) It had plenty of laughs too, though.
IMDB: Juan de los Muertos