‘There are no vampires mum, you were just bitten by a crazy man.’
The zombies are Russian to Finnish you off. Or should that be the other way round? The Russian horror comedy Shopping Tour is a further excursion into the new age of zombie films where the realm of capitalism is perceived to be a threat which makes us all victims of the undead whether politically or socially. That is, if you can be bothered with a subtext amidst the multiple malls and mauls offered by the flesh eating living dead.
Mother has decided to treat her son to a holiday, albeit one that she desires rather more than he does when he discovers what it entails: ‘you didn’t tell me this was a shopping tour,’ he moans. The trip is a coach tour with a group who plan to cross the border from their homeland of Russia into Finland, the purpose: to purchase. This is an excursion where consumerist passions in department stores and malls in foreign climes offer hopefully unforeseen delights and bargains. Son has at least brought his mobile phone with him, with which he can film the trip. Unbeknownst to him, however, the footage he shoots is about to reveal a series of shocking events, an annual ritual held in Finland. For it is Midsummer and this country has a strange and deranged tradition: for one night only they eat foreigners. So our bus tourists have a long ordeal to endure until daybreak.
The link between consumerism and violent death/horror has been seen in a number of films over the years, perhaps most notably in George A Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1976) but also such films as The Mist (2007) where society meets uncertainty in mall brawl consumerist hell. Shopping Tour takes these principles and stirs in some cod cultural elements which combine with the current trend for video horror to create something that is inherently silly in its cannibalistic encounters. Events unfold via the shaky mobile phone camera ‘found footage’ as fellow tourists are devoured amidst consumerist incidents within environments designed for capitalism. A supermarket zombie road movie, gore and giggles combine in Shopping Tour which revels in its faux traditions as a central theme behind the gruesome frolics.
Consumerist cannibalism in a modern environment with fun, grue and much munching on guts, Shopping Tour is amusing and gross in equal measure.