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Thursday, March 25, 2021

Review: Witness Infection

Director: Andy Palmer

Screenplay: Carlos Alazraqui and Jill-Michele Melan

Year: 2021

Two mob families are sent by mistake to the same city as part of a witness protection program. To bring peace, there must be a wedding with members of both families, for which Carlo is the chosen one to marry the daughter of the head of the other family. Carlo initially does not agree with the idea but then accepts it and decides to go to her father’s house to let him know right when a zombie epidemic breaks through, caused by some tainted sausages.

The quality with which “Witness Infection” is presented will make you think that this was made with a healthy budget, while, in fact, is more a reflection of talent and passion for a genre. The director Andy Palmer (“Camp Cold Brook”) seems to have adopted the idea in Carlos Alazraqui and Jill-Michele Melan’s (“Reno 911”) script, this last one who also interprets the protagonists’ love interest, and reunites a few friends passionate with the idea set out to have a great time. As a consequence, the movie distills precisely these emotions. 

“Witness Infection” starts giving some clues about the zombie theme ( and the countless fart jokes that accompany the rest of the movie), to later sharply move towards the crime genre. In these scenes, we met Carlo, a shy dog groomer, who doesn’t seem to be a part of his family, his love interest and workmate, and his brother Dominic, with whom he holds no resemblance. Here is when Carlo gets the news that he must marry the daughter of the head of the other mob family so that both families declare peace and avoid his brother getting killed. 

From here, the movie keeps on going in the crime drama and comedy, and the protagonists and the families are better developed, where poop and fart jokes also dominate; easy comedy that is not all that effective. This part of the movie is somewhat slow, but the acting from the whole cast, particularly Robert Beluchi (“Devil's Due”) as Carlo and Jill Michele Melean as Gina, makes us interested in them and the plot. It is not until Carlo decides to go to the house of whom is about to become his father-in-law, and things don’t go out as planned that it moves towards horror. 

During most of the movie, scenes are added that give you hints of what’s going on with the tainted sausages and the increasing zombie population, but it only flirts with horror at this stage. In the third act, “Witness Infection” embraces the genre and exposes it through gore and violence, without ever leaving the comedy behind. The gore is effective thanks to the great special effects, and they come out so disgustingly that they go wonderfully well with the whole tainted sausages topic.

One part crime and one part zombie horror-comedy, “Witness Infection” combines amazingly well two genres that have little to do with each other. Even with its limitations, “Witness Infection” pulls from talent and heart to achieve a respectable horror-comedy with a quality that many filmmakers would not be able to achieve even with twice the budget. Without being a gem or a movie that would redefine horror-comedies, “Witness Infection” is a great movie to have a good time.

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