Banned by the Aussies, queer zombie movie gets VIFF screenings

While censors in Australia found Toronto based film-maker Bruce LaBruce’s L.A. Zombie too much for Melburnians to handle, apparently the same isn’t true for Vancouverites as the film gets set to play the 2010 Vancouver International Film Festival.

L.A. ZombieThe film, written and directed by LaBruce, was banned from playing at the Melbourne International Film Festival this summer despite a claim of “artistic merit”. Commenting on the Australian ban of L.A. Zombie to the Sydney Morning Herald in July, LaBruce was both shocked by the hypocrisy that allows mainstream movies depicting extreme violence towards woman to be shown but not one with a penis, and ecstatic in knowing that the controversy will help fill movie theatres.

L.A. Zombie stars international porn star and model Francois Sagat (pictured right in a scene from the film) who at first appears to be an alien zombie roaming the streets of Los Angeles in search of dead bodies trying to bring them back to life by having sex with them. As the movie progresses it becomes increasingly unclear whether he really is an alien zombie or a schizophrenic homeless person who is suffering from delusions.

“Zombie and porn. What a beautiful combination,” said LaBruce. Having worked in both genres since the early nineties, it wasn’t until 2008 when LaBruce “stopped pussyfooting around the living dead theme and made an actual zombie flick”. The result was his first foray into queer zombie movies with the 2008 film Otto; or Up with Dead People which played as part of the 2009 Vancouver Queer Film Festival.

With the controversy preceding the VIFF screenings there is little doubt that L.A. Zombie will not only be one of the most talked about films this year, it will most probably be one of the hottest tickets as well.  Festival goers though will have to settle for the soft core version of the film though as the promised hardcore version will only be available on DVD.

L.A. Zombie

A masterpiece of melancholia, Bruce LaBruce’s oneiric second foray into the gay zombie porn genre is about an alien (who may or may not be a homeless schizophrenic, played by French porn star François Sagat) who emerges from the ocean and finds corpses in Los Angeles to bring back to life. Not for general audiences. More information on this film at

Sat, Oct 9th 11:45pm Empire Granville 7 Th 2
Tue, Oct 12th 4:00pm Empire Granville 7 Th 1
Wed, Oct 13th 9:45pm Vancity Theatre

Director: Bruce LaBruce | Country: Germany/USA | 63 min

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