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Well, At Least We Know Where the Brains Are in Washington. BRRRAAAAAAAIIIINNS!

Sadly, we can never seem to put liberal fantasies about politics in their well-deserved graves. First Commander in Chief gets picked up for a full season, then a small blog-flurry has erupted over reviews in the Village Voice and on Slate. These bits of unintentional humor cover the upcoming zombie-flick Homecoming by director Joe Dante, showing this month on Showtime (motto: programming not smart enough for HBO).

Homecoming's premise: Iraq-war casualties burst from their flag-draped coffins and take to the streets seeking suffrage opportunities, specifically the chance to vote for anyone who will stop the war. (They wish to vote Democrat, which turns on its head Chesterton's claim that tradition is the democracy of the dead.) Of interest to zombie-flick afficionados will be the Monkey's Paw mechanism by which the uprising takes place. According to the Voice, the redivivus brigade begins its march after a right-wing political consultant tells the mother of a fallen soldier that he couldn't wish for anything more than her boy to come back and tell her the importance of the conflict.

I don't have a TV, much less cable, so if anyone's seen this I'd welcome their review. It strikes me that it's possible, if only barely, that this won't suck. After all, Dante is responsible for Gremlins and the Twilight Zone movie's remake of "It's a Good Life," both of which had didactic subtexts and yet were good fun for schlock films. I'd only be the nine-thousandth commentator to mention that political overtones are fairly common in the zombie-flick genre. Perhaps Dante pulls it off again.

The tone of the reviews, however, suggest this will be not much more than a dull polemic, sure to appeal to those who feel they've not been getting their message out. Says the Voice:

At once galvanic and cathartic, Dante's film uncorks the rage that despondent progressives promptly suppressed after last year's election and that has only recently been allowed to color mainstream coverage of presidential untruths and debacles.

If what we've had from progressives since 2004 has been suppression, I can only suggest that hospitals stock up on their stores of sedatives.

Thankfully for Mr. Dante, his movie is being shown on a second-rate cable network as part of a series of productions with little or no executive control. He himself points out the typical problem with films like Homecoming:

Somebody has to start making this kind of movie, this kind of statement. But everybody's afraid—it's uncommercial, people are going to be upset. Good, let them be upset. Why aren't people upset?

Sermons by their very nature are vulnerable to two things: they upset the audience by telling them that the behavior they enjoy is actually a sin; and they inspire those less interested to fidget in the pews. The first goal is laudable, but movies are more likely to fall into the second trap.

Sadly, I won't get to see this unless I break my vows and start using Bittorrent. Did anyone find it funny? How about anyone who doesn't find Michael Moore to be a masterful political wit? I can imagine Ann Coulter as a zombie snack being a pretty good study break if it were handled with a light touch and genuine humor.


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