Zombie films have come back into vogue, and American Zombie combines the genre with another filmmaking technique that recently gained popularity: the mockumentary. The film premiered earlier this year at Slamdance before making its way to SXSW. Documentary filmmaker Grace Lee (The Grace Lee Project) has switched to narrative filmmaking with entertaining but inconsistent results.American Zombie takes place in a contemporary America with one crucial difference: a virus is causing people to become undead -- at the moment of a violent death, the virus assumes control of the bodies and re-animates them. In this alternate universe, educational filmmaker John Solomon (playing himself) decides to make a documentary about the "revenant culture" and enlists the help of his friend, documentarian Grace Lee (playing herself).
John and Grace focus their film on several Los Angeles-area zombies: Ivan, a convenience-store worker who draws a zine in his spare time and has a live "zombie hag" girlfriend; Lisa, a florist specializing in funeral arrangements, who makes string art and has trouble with decaying flesh; Judy, who is in denial about being undead and devotes her time to scrapbooking, organic farming and fantasizing about her dream wedding; and Joel, who has founded ZAG, the Zombie Activism Group devoted to helping the undead find meaningful work.