Zombie American

Glen’s just your average American dude, trying to make his way in the world. And he’s got, oh, just a little, well…defect. He’s a zombie. But you know what? He’s OK with it, and you should be too.

Played by quickly-rising star Ed Helms in a limited three-chapter series, Zombie-American, in classic web video minimalism, does a lot with very little.

The only ‘prop’ here is Helms’ face FX, by Anthony Pepe, which is used to nice comic effect, including a little Q-tip ballet. The icy-green eyes are also a key touch, allowing a nice edge of walking dead to counter-balance Glen’s happy-go-lucky bearing.

There’s something in Glen’s matter-of-fact, persevering demeanor that has a hint of tragic to it: whether he’s doing the crossword, flounderingly shooting hoops or trigger-pointing at himself in the mirror – ‘I look good…‘ – there’s an undertone of melancholy that runs throughout. It’s just enough of a departure from the Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy shtick (they’re the guys behind Funny or Die) to make you forget about that gestalt. It provides a nice reprieve.

Chapter 2 is where the zombie triptych peaks (appropriately enough): Glen talks about the perils of dating, and the importance of getting out there. And as he phones his blind date to set up a time, warns her that, “Oh, and by the way I’m a zombie,” and then witness his awkward wait at a table in the brick-walled restaurant where he’s stood up, there’s a universality that’s all too familiar to the lot of us.

Helms and his far less known/exposed co-writer and director Nick Poppy have come up with a rather sweet turn of writing with Zombie-American, even if it does, in the traditions of the Daily Show and shorts on Saturday Night Live, feel all too familiar.

Check it out at FunnyorDie.com.

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