14. [REC] 3: Genesis

Director: Paco Plaza
Stars: Leticia Dolera, Javier Botet, Diego Martin, Ismael Martinez, Mireia Rios, Carla Nieto

Paco Plaza, one-half of the Spanish filmmaking duo behind the double whammy package of [REC] (2007) and [REC] 2 (2009), apparently doesn’t care much for the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Riding solo for [REC] 3: Genesis, Plaza conceived the zombie version of 1982’s Halloween III: Season Of The Witch; you know, the one that has nothing to do with Michael Myers. Here, though, the rabid flesh-eating are still accounted for, but Plaza has totally abandoned the first two films’ claustrophobia, creepiness, and visceral intensity; for the stand-up-and-cheer [REC] 3: Genesis, he’s put together a goofy, balls-out horror-comedy in the vein of Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive. And the result is a wild blast.

Starting off in the series’ familiar first-person/found-footage style, Plaza quickly abandons that technique for a traditional movie feel, and that’s also when the over-the-top gore and laughs begin. The setting is the wedding of lovers Clara (Leticia Dolera) and Koldo (Javier Botet), a joyous occasion that’s interrupted by the groom’s uncle and his bitten-by-a-dog, infected hand. And before long, nearly the entire party has gone all ghoul, the groom randomly has on Medeival armor, and the suddenly ass-kicking bride uses a chainsaw to cut a zombie’s head in half.

[REC] 3: Genesis is the rare horror-comedy in which all of the jokes connect, especially a running gag about John Sponge, a kids’ entertainer unable to use “Bob” for copyright reasons. Understandably, die-hard [REC] fans cry foul at such a stark thematic departure, yet, for those able to settle into Plaza’s shamelessly ridiculous tone, [REC] 3: Genesis is a gruesome delight.