Harold's Going Stiff (2011)
A Zombie Mockumentary
Oh dear, you are stiff aren't you - Penny
When widower Harold Gimble (Stan Rowe) noticed his arm had gone stiff whilst gardening he visited his doctor who put it down to just arthritis, that is until other men started showing up with the same issue and not just old people. It leads to the discovery of O.R.D. - Onset Rigors Disease which sees just men not only losing their ability to move but also speak until they end up resembling zombies and appearing angry. With more people suffering from O.R.D. groups of vigilantes have been springing up with no O.R.D. sufferer safe including Harold Gimble who as patient zero and the slowest when it comes to his decline may hold the key to a cure.
I hate mockumentaries for the simple reason that the subject matter; be it a wedding or a dog show, has to have some sort of connection to the audience to make the humour work. That was until I came across "Harold's Going Stiff" which admittedly caused me to groan when I learned it was a mockumentary but made me smile with it being based around zombies. As such I wouldn't say that "Harold's Going Stiff" it is the most original movie going and it often ends up being moronic but at least for once the jokes worked better than in other mockumentaries.
Now considering that "Harold's Going Stiff" is only 77 minutes long it has a lot going on. On one hand we have some inept sort of comedy of a trio of friends who have turned vigilantes with part of the comedy being that they are moronic in the way they behave. But then at the same time we have the sort of horror of them beating these comical zombie like characters senseless. There is also Harold's nurse Penny who not only gives him incredibly vigorous work outs but works as an online sex caller of an evening. There are also a variety of other gags and some of them are of the moronic sort which only the writers must have found funny but there is a lot of humour and most of it works
But here is the remarkable thing as for all the comedy and horror there is some depth to this thanks to the clever decision to make Harold an older man. As such as we watch him struggling to take care of himself like older people with arthritis might and it certainly makes it strangely eye opening to those who are old and living alone or put in to care where they don't get the one to one interaction needed.
What this all boils down to is that "Harold's Going Stiff" is a surprisingly good movie and of the first mockumentaries I have come across which actually entertained me. But this is a horror movie with a difference and it is also a movie with some depth which whether intentional or not opens your eyes.
Tags: Zombie Movies
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