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Army of the Dead: The Musical!

(Though this post contains spoilers for the new Netflix film, Army of the Dead, it’s not anything you wouldn’t expect from a big budget, action-packed zombie film. But the GORE, oh my god, there is gore in this post. Turn back now if you have a weak stomach.)

Zack Snyder’s new film, Army of the Dead is a tsunami of gore, endless bullets, (unless they need to run out for dramatic purposes) and badasses. Written by Zack Snyder & Shay Hatten and Joby Harold, and directed by Snyder, the movie is a torrential downpour of blood and guts with some family drama thrown in for good measure.

Army of the Dead is not, in fact, a musical. But I kind of wish it was. I know, I know, the zombie musical has been done before but what if, and hear me out with this one, what if it was done with song parodies? I’m going to take you on a tour of this violent blockbuster via the tunes in the movie, but with my own, slightly altered lyrics.

Ready? Me neither.

First, we’re introduced to a heavily armed military convoy as it heads through the Nevada desert, having picked up its payload from Area 51. The soldiers pontificate on what they could be transporting since the contents are on a need-to-know basis. They figure it could be anything from the original Constitution (but the one written in the founding fathers’ blood) to Amelia Earhart (but alive) to a full-on alien. Spoiler alert: It’s none of those things.

It’s a zombie. An Area 51 zombie.

But we’ll get there in due time. Along with the armed military convoy, we’re also introduced to a couple of Vegas newlyweds. The kind of Vegas newlyweds who probably got married by an Elvis impersonator after only having known each other for two alcohol-fueled days. As they drive off into the sunset, the bride decides to get a little amorous.

(To the tune of “Suspicious Minds” as performed by Elvis Presley)

We’re driving a car

I can’t pull aside

Because you’re giving me head, baby

 

Why can’t you see?

Because you’re head’s in my lap

I’ll just close my eyes for one second

 

The car starts drifting over

We’re in a head on crash (a head on crash)

With the military, baby

We’re in a head on crash

 

Payload is compromised

There’s a zombie inside

He’s killing all the military men

And so the movie begins. The big, bad, Area 51 zombie attacks and turns a couple soldiers and they stand on the hill, looking down on the bright lights of Las Vegas. 

Then, there’s a hell of an opening credit sequence. 

(To the tune of “Viva Las Vegas” as performed by Richard Cheese and Allison Crowe)

Topless zombie showgirls gonna chase me down 

Gonna bite me, I’ll expire

There’s fountains of blood and headshots galore

So crank the sound up higher

 

There’s a million angry zombies waiting out there

Parachuting soldiers up in the air

They’re firebombing everyone they just don’t care, so

Here come the zombies, here come the zombies

Then Dave Bautista, who unconvincingly tries to pull off being someone named Scott, gets approached to steal $200 million from a vault under the strip. If successful, Bautista and his crew split $50 million. Only problem is, there are still thousands of zombies roaming the walled off city of Las Vegas. They’ll all have to risk the possibility of being turned into flesh eating monsters. Probably not all of them will make it out alive.

It takes literally zero effort to convince his crew to join him. Not one person balks. In fact, national treasure Tig Notaro’s character doesn’t even want to hear what the job is first. She’s all in 100 percent because she hates her life “so deeply” that the thought of making a couple million for one day’s work is more than she can pass up. The rest of the crew more or less follows suit.

After accepting the job, that night Bautista has a nightmare flashback about the time he had to kill his wife in front of his daughter. Heavy guilt he’s carrying. Now, it’s time for the team to gear up.

(To the tune of “Bad Moon Rising” as performed by Thea Gilmore)

I see Bautista pulling weapons

This guy is digging up his saw

This one’s got lots of assault rifles

The team is rearing, ready to go

 

Don’t go off alone

Or you’re probably gonna die

There’s some zombies on the rise

So, with the team ready to go, they go over the plan. They’re going to bust into the joint, get the money, and leave via an abandoned rescue chopper that’s sitting on the roof of the casino. A quick in and out. Oh, and by the way, they only have a short window to do this because the government is going to drop a nuke on Vegas in a couple days. And so, our heroes head into the danger zone.

(To the tune of “Then End” as performed by the Ravonettes)

They’re going in, beautiful friend

They’re going in, with all their friends

To start their elaborate plans

And hope everyone still stands

In the end

The zombies in this movie are smarter, more organized. They even have a hierarchy where the zombies answer to a King and a Queen. There’s also a sort of unofficial truce between them and humans. As long as the humans stick to the outer edges of the city, the zombies more or less leave them alone. It’s only when they get deeper into the shit that they run the risk of an encounter. Which is exactly where our heroes go in order to get to the booby-trapped safe that holds all their riches.

(To the tune of “Night Life” as performed by Elvis Presley)

Oh the zombies are a’ shamblin and the heroes are a ramblin’

Fire up, yeah, the generator

The safecracker is willin’, makes his first zombie killin’

And he dances, yeah, he dances

Oh the pressure plates are triggered and the bullets they fly

He gets to the safe with the help of his guys

You can’t be a quitter when you’re with these heavy hitters oh

Open, yeah, the safe

 

There’s a cocky looking douchebag who’s not there for the cash grab

He’s an asshole, what an asshole

They catch the Zombie Queen and what he does is mean

He beheads her, oh yeah!

He wants to take the head back to the government

To create a zombie army and to make a mint

That wasn’t the agreement but he really, really means it

Oh the dickhead, he’s such a dickhead

While our boy gets to work cracking the safe, the rest of the gang watches the news and finds out the dropping of the nuke has been moved up a full 24 hours, so now they only have about 90 minutes to get the money and get out. No problem, right?

Problem. Because in the meantime, the Zombie King finds his decapitated lover and needless to say, he’s unhappy about it. He takes her body back to zombie headquarters and reaches into her stomach and pulls out a tiny color changing zombie baby. A Zombie Prince, if you will.

The Zombie King wants his revenge.

All the zombies are coming out of the woodwork, hellbent on killin’. Up until now, our heroes have been dealing with relatively slow moving zombies. Shamblers, as they’re called. But this is another class of zombie. The fast ones. The thinkers. The ones that can dodge your attack. They have forethought and planning. Those are the zombies that await them now.

(To the tune of “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” as performed by the Culture Club)

Give me time to open up the safe

I need it quiet please

Meanwhile the zombies they are coming

This is a big deal

Man, they really want to kill me

Man, they’re really, well organized

Damn, they sure do want to kill me

I sure hope none of us dies

Spoiler alert: Some of them die.

Bautista’s daughter has slipped away from the group in search of a friend of hers who went missing in the containment zone the previous day. With only nine minutes left before the big kaboom, Bautista and Tig have to fly to another casino and rescue her. All while avoiding the Zombie King, or as Tig puts it so eloquently, “Was that a zombie in a goddamn cape?”

(To the tune of “Zombie” performed by the Cranberries)

Another head explodes and

Zombies are all murdered

And the violence is at its highest

When Zombie King takes it further

 

Because, as you can see, he’s got a lead headpiece

On his head, on his head, you can’t shoot him

With your guns or your knife or his knife or her guns

On his head, on his head, they can’t shoot him

On his head, on his head

 

He’s got a, lead headpiece, on his head, head, head

It’s on his head, on his head

Zombie, head piece, zombie, on, his head

It’s getting pretty spoilery around here, so let’s leave a little mystery–suffice it to say, some people make it, some people don’t. It’s about what you’d expect from an action zombie movie. And as with any horror film, there’s a happy ending for at least some of our characters… or is there?

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Written By

Seth Boston is an LA-based writer hailing from a small town in midwest Arkansas you've never heard of. He's worked in various positions on numerous TV shows including Eleventh Hour, The Forgotten, and The Mentalist. His prolific writing earned him the work for which he's best known, as a writer and producer on the Emmy-winning series Gotham for Fox.

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