Most horror fans agree by now that most creative minds have pretty much tapped the zombie well dry, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of filmmakers still trying to reinvent the wheel. “Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies” does not re-invent the wheel and probably won’t change anyone’s mind on zombie movies, but for devotees of the sub-genre, there’s a lot of fun to be had. There’s some good music, a brisk pace, and a different setting beyond the typical country farm house or city back drop. Two snowboarders head out to the Swiss Alps with their manager Branka to film a publicity video for their corporate sponsor. When snowboarder and slacker Steve botch’s the filming altogether, the trio are left on the mountain, stranded.
Contributing to their bad luck, an entrepreneur who is anxiously trying to bring tourists back to his resort creates a toxic chemical that can produce actual snow. But when the chemical douses one of their investors, he experiences a violent reaction that slowly transforms him in to a flesh eating zombie. Now with most of the local population turning in to the walking dead, Steve, girlfriend Branka, and pal Josh are stuck in a local tavern along with its owner Rita. What holds down Dominik Hartl’s movie is that it never quite finds the balance between comedy and horror. “Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies” is never funny enough, nor scary enough and eventually settles on sitting comfortably in the middle where it derives only mild chuckles and tension sporadically. A lot of the concepts are never fully developed and seem almost hesitant to embrace their absurdity.
One moment we learn that the zombies can be lulled by music, but that’s never fully explored or turned in to a funny gag. There’s also a sequence where Steve and Branka dance to music amidst the lulled zombies that I was never sure was supposed to be considered absurdly funny or a sweet moment among the chaos. The premise is also under developed, with almost no explanation about the chemical that starts the chaos, and why the zombies can be tamed with music. Some gags do land, though, including a fun getaway involving a restaurant sign, and a very funny attempted escape on a very icy floor. “Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies” is well directed, and has a ton of great gore effects, including torn limbs, ripped guts, and a neat gag involving ski poles.
Director Hartl also tries to break the monotony with a lot of creative kills, including a ton of decapitations involving snowboards and various sports equipment. I don’t know if I’d call “Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies” a masterpiece, but if you’re looking for a solid distraction on a lazy Sunday, this might cure what ails you. I mean you can find worse things to do for seventy minutes. Trying its best to combine subtle homages with a different twist on the zombie movie, director Dominik Hartl makes good on his promise of a different zombie movie.