Crass, unfunny horror-comedy has graphic violence, language.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Witness Infection is a 2021 comedy-horror movie in which two Mafia families under witness protection must face off against a horde of zombies. Expect a fair amount of zombie horror violence: scenes of zombies ripping the stringy flesh and entrails out of their victims, and scenes of humans shooting zombies and bashing zombies with baseball bats, and a particularly gross scene in which one of the characters stomps on the skull of a zombie, spraying blood and gore all over the woman who was on the verge of becoming one of the undead. The movie has stereotypical clichés of Italian American mobsters and their wives and girlfriends. It also has some drinking, including gratuitous shot drinking, where the action stops, in conjunction with a caption announcing that it's time for the characters to down shots of booze. Creepy sexual harassment occurs, as a man asks a woman behind the counter of a pet grooming store if she has ever "groomed a man," and makes references to Cinemax and the Playboy Channel. Constant profanity includes "f--k," "motherf----r," "Jesus f--kin' Christ," "s--t," "p---y," "p---ified," "a--hole," "poodle f--ker," "jerkoff," "bitch," "d--k," "t-ts," "goddammit," and "damn," plus there's some potty humor.
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What's the Story?
In WITNESS INFECTION, two rival mob families end up in the same small California town after being placed in witness protection. Carlo (Robert Belushi) has been left alone by his father to work in a pet grooming store, but he's now being forced by his father into an arranged marriage with his brother Dominic's girlfriend Patricia, since Dominic "shoots blanks." At a dinner that should be a celebration, Carlo announces that he's not going to marry Patricia, causing Patricia to threaten murder once she goes back to her father. Now Carlo, with the help of his co-workers Gina and Vince, must drive to Patricia's father's house to face the consequences, but along the way, they begin to see strange behavior. On the streets, they see familiar faces, but they are now zombies with rotting flesh. When they arrive at their destination, they see that many in the house have turned into zombies, and it seems to perhaps have something to do with the sausage sandwiches purchased at a beloved local food cart. Now, instead of finding a diplomatic way to get out of an arranged marriage without getting whacked, Carlo must work together with Gina and Vince as they stop the growing zombie hordes, and Carlo must return to his own home to see if he can rescue his own family before it's too late.
Is It Any Good?
This is an excruciatingly unfunny comedy centered on zombies and the Mafia. Witness Infection is a movie that manages to pair the worst clichés of mob movies with the worst clichés of zombie movies. Joke after joke after joke falls flat, and the movie seems to operate under the assumption of "When in doubt, add fart sound effects and/or swearing." The only remotely funny part of the movie centers on a spirited monologue from an African American character who shows up in the third act and insists that the color of her skin is not, unlike every other horror movie, going to get her killed. It's a welcome bit of satire and self-awareness that's short-lived, and, unfortunately, there aren't more moments like these.
The profanity is nonstop and gratuitous. There apparently was a belief in the writer's room that using the expression "poodle f--ker" at least three times would garner some laughs. Ditto bad New Jersey accents, and the aforementioned flatulence. There's a feeling that more could've been done with the premise, particularly with the idea that people are turning into zombies after eating the sausages from an Italian food cart. But instead, it's just a collection of bad and overused Mafia clichés and tropes and bad and overused zombie clichés and tropes. Overall, it's a dumb and trite movie where nothing seems to work, from the jokes to the story itself.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about stereotypes, like the ones of Italian Americans in Witness Infection. Why are stereotypes harmful?
How does this compare to other zombie movies you've seen? Why are zombie movies so popular?
The movie attempts to mine humor out of clichés from mob movies. Does it work? Why, or why not?
- On DVD or streaming: April 11, 2021
- Cast: Robert Belushi, Jill-Michele Melean, Vince Donvito
- Director: Andy Palmer
- Studio: Freestyle Digital Media
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 81 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 25, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Ravenous (Les Affamés)
Unique but very bloody, violent take on zombie genre.
Night of the Living Dead
'60s zombie classic is still intense and gory.
Horror-comedy hybrid is gory, crude ... and not for kids.
For kids who love horror
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