Go Goa Gone (Movie Review)

Jan 27 2014

Go Goa Gone PosterIt’s as though Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. watched the first Hangover movie, looked at each other, and said, “You know what that needed? More zombies.”

I watched Go Goa Gone on my flight back from Japan, so I was in a loopy mood, so my apologies if this review is overly charitable.

Go Goa Gone tells the story of a few brain-daed young Indian men who excitedly decide to crash an ultra-hip party on an island in the ultra-hip Indian state of Goa. They arrive, the party is even crazier than they imagined, drugs pass from person to person (though the protagonists abstain), and everyone falls asleep.

The next day, everyone who took drugs is a zombie.

Cue a comedic zombie survival horror movie. Unlike, say, Shaun of the Dead, which focuses on character relationships and personal journeys, Go Goa Gone is more of a comedic set piece. It’s about the marriage of a college frat boy movie with the constant threat of things trying to eat you.

Fortunately, the film maintains a certain level of intensity, just enough to drive the characters forward and create genuine tension. These people are not in the right frame of mind to fight off zombies, and being Indian, they don’t really know the “rules” of fighting zombies. This provides a clever solution to the problem of characters in a zombie movie acting like they’ve never seen a zombie movie.

Fundamentally, though, Go Goa Gone is a comedy. It’s mostly a collection of jokes and brief scares as zombies leap out.

The filmmakers were smart enough to keep the horror at the right level of intensity. The movie rarely terrifies, but it delivers a few scenes of characters searching through empty houses where you just know a zombie is going to leap out any second.

The actors deliver wonderfully broad performances, never annoyingly over-the-top but just ridiculous enough to create conflict and generate a few laughs. Even better, there are no song-and-dance routines. I suppose you could count one rave sequence, but it’s…well…a rave sequence, so the actors aren’t square-dancing and looking at the camera.

None of the special effects will shock or horrify. While effective, most of the zombies are just messy-faced extras. While this lack of gore might disappoint some viewers, it also ensures you’ll never be distracted from the on-screen action. These are all simply zombies.

There’s absolutely no depth to the film, other than exploring very bad decisions made by a few characters. Instead, it sends up both party movies and zombie movies, and does so very effectively.

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