Go Goa Gone (2013)

Go Goa Gone (2013)

Go Goa Gone (2013)

Go Goa Gone (and it took me an embarrassing number of attempts to get that title right), was released in 2013 and it was directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. The movie has the honour of being the first Hindi zom-rom-com ever released (or so it claims).

So, what has this zombie comedy got to recommend to it?

There’s not a huge amount of innovation in the plot – it basically follows a couple of slackers and their uptight roommate who travel to Goa to kick back and have a good time, the story meanders along at an appropriately lolloping pace for the first act or so. And then one of our heroes falls in love with a fellow visitor to the resort, who convinces them to come out to an island party, where a new drug is being debuted – of course, the drug winds up turning the partygoers into ravenous zombies, and the group have to battle their way to safety with the help of Mafioso/zombie hunter Boris.

As I said, don’t come here looking for ground-breaking, scintillating, edge-of-your-seat plotting. This film pins its colours to the comedy genre from the off, so human drama and character development is set to one side in favour of setting up comedic situations and scenes (The Walking Dead this is not..).

Go Goa Gone (2013)

Go Goa Gone (2013)

That aside, the film is actually a good chunk of gory, tongue-in-cheek fun. It’s pointedly politically incorrect, and packed with jokes that scatter-gun between sharp and witty to gross and eye-rolling.

The lead performances are solid, sharing an easy, comfortable chemistry that helps lubricate a lot of the more questionable gags, and goes above and beyond simple ‘stoner’ humour.

Go Goa Gone (2013)

Go Goa Gone (2013)

But the film’s biggest strength is probably it’s desire to go above and beyond what we recognise as the zombie genre. Yes, okay, the story itself isn’t new, but changing the backdrop and giving it all a twist of Bollywood sensibilities give this a pretty fresh edge that most Western audiences might not have encountered before. It exploits that for all it’s worth, with Boris dipping into a Delhi accent from time to time, and ladles on huge doses of imagination to keep things moving. This is probably closer to a caper movie than a horror one, but the addition of the zombies, along with some well-timed gory sequences, edge it just into schlock-horror territory.

The setting is also a refreshing change, most of the movie was filmed in the Mauritius, and the sandy beaches and blue ocean really makes a nice contrast from usual colour-bleached looking zombie apocalypse movies that are churned out these days.

Go Goa Gone (2013)

Go Goa Gone (2013)

The film isn’t without it’s flaws. For one thing, it’s definitely far funnier than it is scary – no terrible thing, but when you consider movies like An American Werewolf in London (1981) or Dog Soldiers (2002), which so sublimely blended the two, it seems like a shame a better balance wasn’t struck.

And, when you have a film with this much energy and absurdity and imagination, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re not going to be able to stick the landing. Go Goa Gone does sort of grind to a halt for long stretches, with the zombies becoming monotonous and losing any freaky factor they once might have possessed pretty swiftly. The characters and dialogue aren’t quite sharp enough to stop those one-liners getting in the way of actual plot, but the actual ending, when it does come, isn’t too bad, even if it is predictable.

Go Goa Gone (2013)

Go Goa Gone (2013)

While it’s not masterpiece, Go Goa Gone is an elemental zomedy caper that promises more than it delivers. That said, there should be enough here to keep you amused if you are looking for something ab it differetn –

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Written by: Louise MacGregor