If a fallen U.S. soldier came back to life, what would he say?
In "Homecoming," we find out.
The short film opens with a man and woman driving down a dark road, when they encounter a zombie crossing their path. They run over the zombie, only to meet up with a military-issue Humvee filled with more and more zombies. A gunfight ensues, and the man ends up shooting his female companion in the head.
Fade out, fade in.
Washington D.C. and other parts of the nation become overrun by zombies. They can't be killed, but only one thing can stop them: Their undying desire to ... well, that's for you to find out.
Part horror flick, part political commentary, "Homecoming" is an eye-opener for anyone who craves a, shall we say, different angle on - to use the movie's term - this country's current engagement. The parallels between the characters and situations in the movie and in today's political and social climate are pretty obvious, even down to the Ann Coulteresque cover photo. [Not the exact cover photo, but you get the idea. Nice touch, guys.]
In the film, the fallen soldier zombies become the incarnation of the nation's collective conscience, nagging and tugging away at its psyche. And their message gets through to many, including at least one person who was partly responsible for starting this mess in the first place:
The face of this war had always been ugly. We've always tried to hide it from the public. But then, they were among us, these dead young men, these monsters, demanding only that we look at their faces and acknowledge what we had done.
Our nation's leaders and spin doctors - in this movie, at least - faced their Day of Reckoning and were forced to answer to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
If you, Dear Reader, examined your conscience and reflected on your ideas about the current War on Terror, how would you react if you suddenly had to explain yourself? What would you say if you were face to face with a fallen U.S. soldier?
Directed by Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Howling, Rock and Roll High School) and written by Sam Hamm (Monkeybone, Batman, Batman Returns), "Homecoming" is part of the ongoing "Masters of Horror" anthology series and airs this Friday, Dec. 2 at 10 p.m. on Showtime. Rumor has it Showtime will be offering a free preview this weekend. Check with your local cable company for details.
UPDATE 12/2: Our most esteemed BARBARian colleague, King of Zembla, offers up a conversation with "Homecoming" Director Joe Dante here.
UPDATE 12/5: One of the best BARBARian writers and all-around great guy (just don't get on his bad side) Shystee, scores an interview with "Homecoming" screenwriter Sam Hamm here.