In 2020, the world was placed on hold due to the global pandemic. And ever since, filmmakers have used this outbreak as a basis for the stories they bring to the masses. The trend has sparked a new subgenre called COVID Cinema, which includes Host, Songbird, Locked Down, The End of Us, Recovery and Together, just to name a few. With all of these films (and many, many more), it’s no wonder the general public has reached a fatigue level.
This may have been a reason why shows like The Walking Dead lost steam and ended (though it was already on death row in 2019). In 2023, Zombies and plagues are so last year (see kids, I am hip on the lingo).
So, why is it with this maximum level of burnout that I am reviewing a movie about a deadly pandemic that includes Zombies? Because it is an incredibly hilarious horror comedy. And we all know that I love some comedy mixed in with my gore (if it’s done correctly, that is).
The Zompocalypse Therapy Sessions is an indie horror comedy released in late 2022 that follows the daily activities of Erica (Blaze Lovejoy, who is also the writer/director), a therapist who is stressed out by her work, as well as her home life. Lucky for her, she also deals with agoraphobia (the fear of crowds), so she finds herself safe when a viral infection spreads, turning people into Zombies. But as the pandemic continues and the world is locked down, the marital issues with her husband, Bob (Matthew Garcia), really affect Erica, causing friction with her clients, as well.
With clients being eaten by Zombies in the middle of therapy sessions and Bob turning into an undead biter, Erica finally decides a world ruled by ghouls is better than being locked down, and ventures out into the new world.
Calling The Zompocalypse Therapy Sessions a horror film is really a stretch. Much like Shaun of the Dead, TZTS is more comedy than anything else. The first thing I realized within only a few minutes of watching is that it does not take itself seriously, in any sense of the word. Erica is portrayed to an almost absurd level as an uptight, by-the-book therapist who believes she is helping people, never realizing that she needs more help than any of them. Even during the Zoom sessions, where she is literally watching her clients fighting for their lives, her professionalism is unwavering.
It isn’t until later in the film that she finally starts realizing what is going on, and decides she has had enough, setting out to save her remaining clients. Even after breaking, she still has lingering bouts of absurdity mixed with becoming a Zombie hunter. It’s hilarious, and honestly, the only way yet another COVID Cinema film could find success.
The Zompocalypse Therapy Sessions is a funny, campy and charming film. I give it four out of five stars. You are not going to find award-worthy special effects in this movie, but what you will find is a very well-written comedy that doesn’t miss a beat. Blaze Lovejoy pulled off triple duty seemingly effortlessly and deserves high praise for this humorous look at the pandemic. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea (I know some people don’t think the pandemic should be made light of), but for those who can find humor in the darkest of situations, it is definitely a must-see movie.