Starring: Mike Castle, Oliver Cooper and Taylor Blackwell
Directed by: Josh Monkarsh
Running Time: 84 minutes
Buffalo 8 Productions
Our Score: 0.5 out of 5 Stars
When I began writing movie reviews about a decade ago, I noticed immediately that I had a problem writing more about how much I didn’t like a movie as opposed to writing a movie. I didn’t want to contribute to the general negativity of the Internet, and I wanted to celebrate one of the things I love in life, movies. So over the years I’ve tended to write more, in terms of word count and number of reviews, on movies I love. As for movies that are bad, I tend to keep it short and sweet, or sometimes don’t say anything at all if it’s at a movie festival where I could write more on something enjoyable. So, since I didn’t watch “As We Know It” at a movie festival, I’ll keep this short and sweet. This movie is downright awful.
James (Mike Castle) is dealing with writer’s block after the recent break-up with his longtime girlfriend Emily (Taylor Blackwell) He’s sulking in his Hollywood Hills home when his even longer longtime best friend Bruce (Olive Cooper) shows up. Bruce isn’t there to cheer him up though, he’s there to tell him that the world is ending due to a zombie outbreak caused by soy milk. Then there’s about 80 minutes of flat jokes, maybe six boring zombies, little blood or gore that would warrant the zombie genre tag, 90s movie references that feel more like people you don’t like laughing at their own farts, and dialogue that feels like it’s trying to be wittier than Quentin Tarantino.
If the film is a parody or an attempt to mock zombie movies, why does it take place in the 90s before the revival and rise of the zombie genre in the 2000s? If it’s attempting to make fun of Hollywood, why does it try to make James a sympathetic character? Is the film supposed to be a funny juxtaposition of friendship and love dynamics during a crisis? If so, why are the stakes so low and flimsy? The tone is such a mystery, it’s hard to tell sometimes if “As We Know It” is ridiculing the characters or if the dialogue is truly as limp and plodding as a zombie. I don’t think the acting is bad, I just don’t think the cast knew how to interpret the script or what the point of any of it was. Its ineffective script, purpose and character conversations were apparent early-on. Very rarely do I automatically know I’m going to hate a movie several minutes in.
Like I stated earlier, I don’t want to rip this movie, and unfortunately it’s very easy because it’s very bad. It reminds me a lot of my movie project in my video production class. It was a seven-minute short that sounded awesome in my brain and I thought it looked great as I wrote it out. Then the final product was handed to the professor who gave it poor marks, including how one frame was out of focus. At least “As We Know It” was in focus. It has that going for it.