Focus Features/Entertainment One
Director: Alejandro Brugués
Writer: Alejandro Brugués
Stars: Alexis Díaz de Villegas, Jorge Molina and Andrea Duro
What they say: When Havana begins to fill up with zombies, Juan, a 40-year-old slacker, is forced to become a hero, defend his country and protect his own on an island that has turned into a real bloodbath.
What I say: The zombie genre is pretty damn tired at this point. When zombies are a big hit on TV you can tell they have lost their scare factor. In order to stand out a zombie film would have to have a fresh perspective. Luckily Juan of the Dead accomplishes this. Set in Havana, Cuba Juan is a low level hood who hangs with his best friend and their gang. Running scams, fishing, and slacking off make up most of their days. But when the undead start to appear it’s up to Juan and his crew to step up and combat the zombie menace and possibly profit from it as well.
The film does a pretty good job of letting us get to know Juan and his crew before all hell breaks loose. There are several complications along the way that keep the story moving. The film does a great job of slowly setting up the zombie threat before it really hits. The film also touches on the power of friendship and following your dreams. The film is well made, well acted, proficiently directed, and a lot of fun. Juan and the rest of the cast elevate the scenario above the typical zombie fare and make this an enjoyable romp.