The premise of Zombiepura, Singapore’s first feature-length take on the (passé) genre of zombie flicks, is simple enough. The undead have risen and it’s up to a ragtag, mismatched team of Singapore Armed Forces national servicemen and other survivors to save the day.
It could have been a sharp social commentary about the nature of tedious monotony in military vocations and the zombie-like sheeple going through the motions of mandatory conscription, or even examine the question of the Singapore’s readiness in times of actual crisis. Reviews after the flick premiered last week, however, revealed that it’s a typical local movie that stumbles along with usage of patois, crass humor, army tropes, and utter predictability.
But one thing that the makers of Zombiepura appeared to have nailed is the horrifying shrieks of zombies. It’s all thanks to Arif Suhaimi — the vocalist of local grindcore outfit Wormrot — who was tasked to perform the voices of the undead. Unsurprising for the vocalist of one of the world’s foremost extreme metal bands, Arif excelled at providing the righteously blood-curdling screeches.
It’s an ingenious move on the part of Zombiepura’s producers as vocalists of metal bands have been proven to be amazing voice performers for anything scary. Mike Patton, who sang for various experimental rock outfits like Mr. Bungle and The Dillinger Escape Plan, did fantastic jobs voicing the zombies in the game Left 4 Dead, the monsters in I Am Legend and other demonic entities.