By its name and short synopsis, the mini-miniseries Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse sounds like a fantastic piece of satirical escapism. The movie and tabloid industry’s elite are brought together for the next great superhero blockbuster, and it’s interrupted as Hollywood falls victim to a plague of body-chewing zombies. It’s the kind of logline that inspires heightened anticipation, so it’s a massive disappointment that Ralph Tedesco and Joe Brusha’s plotline eschews any form of actual storytelling and relies mostly on a stereotype-heavy shooting gallery of half-assed movie star insults.
Here’s the nutshelled narrative: unknown actor Michael May gets a job as the lead in League of Defenders, and he takes his godawful friend with him to the Roosevelt Hotel for a costumed script reading, for social media purposes. Though the comic hides from last names, the “movie” also stars Dwayne Johnson as a brain-dead child, Shia LaBeouf as…Shia LaBeouf, Tom Cruise as the method actor who suddenly becomes his superhero, Bryan Cranston as someone who hasn’t left Breaking Bad behind entirely, and more of that kind of shit with other actors. (Somehow Michael Bay is also a character, despite there already being a Michael May here.) It’s the kind of satire Mad Magazine would use if it were an elementary school newspaper insert. I’m also fairly certain neither of these writers understands how marijuana works.
On a brighter note, David Lorenzo Riveiro’s art is pretty good, although these zombies are of the grey-face-and-small-wounds variety, so there’s not a lot of distinction happening. But it doesn’t make up for this cast of personality-purged characters and a paint-by-numbers setup. I mean, how does one ruin Justin Bieber getting bitten by a zombie? Pick up a copy of Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse #1 to find out.