Get the Hell Out Review: Over-The-Top Zombie Action | TIFF 2020

Get the Hell Out

Courtesy of TIFF

At the start of Get the Hell Out, a forewarning appears on the screen, guiding the viewer right to the heart of the matter:

“Warning, if you have symptoms such as dry eye, headache, urge to bite, about the mistakes you made, please close your eyes. A wrong movie makes you suffer for only 90 minutes. A wrong government makes you suffer for 4 years.”

I’m not particularly savvy on the politics of Taiwan, but in truth, the message is applicable in the US as well. What I will say is that it’s entirely possible that there is a deeper theme to the film that was completely lost on me. Then again, I’m not from the area.  It’s also possible that a satire that portrays politicians as zombies wears its intentions right on its sleeve. Fortunately, understanding the sociopolitical situation in Taiwan was not a prerequisite to enjoying this film.

The easiest way that I can familiarize some of you to the movie is to liken it to a video game: What if Dead Rising became a movie that took place in a government’s parliament building? You kinda get the gist? Over-the-top characters, acting and action, with an ever-present zombie threat. Capcom would be proud.

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Get the Hell Out is a colorful, non-stop, seizure-inducing explosion of comedy. In the first twenty minutes of the film, it’s nearly impossible to catch your breath, as you’re introduced to the characters, plot, and motivations, all while you laugh at the mixture of animation, over the top fight scenes, and political maneuvering.

If you’ve ever been on the internet ever in your life, it’s likely that you’ve come across one of any number of videos that show the brutal nature of being a member of parliament in Taiwan. Brawls and water balloons are a regular part of the political process, whether it’s about infrastructure reform or appointed positions within the government.

Director Wang I-Fan takes this already absurd backdrop as a baseline and cranks the volume up to 11.  The film is many things all at once. What becomes immediately apparent is the director’s eye for camera work and comedic timing. This film could just as easily be an action-comedy, as it could be a satire.

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The basic plot of the film has us following former representative Hsiung and parliament security guard Wang. Due to unfortunate circumstances, Hsiung has been ousted from her seat as a representative, but will use her skills and experience to get Wang elected to achieve her political goals. She isn’t the only one who has her sights set on controlling Wang’s political ambitions. What ensues is a battle to control his political ambitions on the eve of a zombie apocalypse.

Beyond the frantic camera work, there’s genuine heart to this film.  There’s a good balance between the larger than life nature of the characters and motivations that are generally rooted in something the audience can get behind. I-Fan does a good job of slowing down, when necessary, to give you a glimpse into the pathos of the characters. Of course, this is before he drenches them in arterial blood spray again…and again.

As I said at the top, there are likely deeper themes that will be lost on a westerner.  Ultimately, this is irrelevant. The film has enough comedy and action to sustain the average viewer, even without that knowledge. Get the Hell Out is currently seeking US distribution. I hope it finds it. I know a lot of us could use some catharsis from our own political process.

“Get the Hell Out” screened in the Midnight Madness section of the Toronto International Film Festival.

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Brandon Jones

Unexcitable. A killer. A gentleman and nerdy before it became cool. Jonesy is a lifelong techie, cinefile, gamer & political junkie. He's the host of LRM's Premier, Flagship and International podcast, Breaking Geek Radio.

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