Wasting Away (R)
Antlers Hilton Carson Room, Saturday, April 26, 9 p.m.
In this campy comedy from Matthew and Sean Kohnen, four 20-something friends eat contaminated ice cream and are transformed into zombies only they don't know it. They're puzzled when injuries don't hurt, body parts fall off at inopportune moments, and everyone else seems to move in double-time. To keep us oriented, the filmmakers switch between color (the zombies' perspective) and black-and-white (the world's). When the zombies meet a similarly contaminated military man, they vow to fight those who'd destroy them. As the moaning, stumbling, undead friends face danger, their bonds grow deeper, two find themselves in love, and heroes emerge. The acting is perfectly cheesy and the script is sharp, resulting in a hilarious blend of Friends, The X-Files and Shaun of the Dead. It's no surprise the film won the Audience Choice Award at Hollywood's Screamfest. Jill Thomas
Pikes Peak Center Main, Sunday, April 27, noon
Though Meet the Spartans beat their film, 305, to theaters, Daniel and David Holechek also parody 300, the bloody action flick about the Spartan Battle of Thermopylae. Of course, Meet the Spartans was almost universally loathed by critics, leaving 305 to fill the gap. The "mockumentary" began as a short film, but drew so much attention on YouTube (with more than 3 million hits), the Holecheks expanded it to feature-length. The Air Academy High School grads tell the story of five warrior wannabes who look and act more like castoffs from The Office than fearless soldiers. When their leader Claudius (the "East district manager" of the Spartan army) is captured by Persians, Testicles (the hunk of the bunch) must lead the others on a journey to rescue him. Though the flick is more pleasantly silly distraction than gut-busting giggle-fest, you'll probably wind up smiling. Jill Thomas
Pikes Peak Center Main, Sunday, April 27, 7:30 p.m.
When we first meet advertising exec John in this moody thriller from Evan Meszaros, he's sitting motionless in his office, staring at a blank computer screen. It's clear he's a troubled man with something on his mind. Then we learn his father has recently died, and John is planning a trip with his wife Diane to Windcroft, his dad's rural Pennsylvania farm. At the farm, we meet Mindy, a woman from John's past, and become aware that something more is happening inside the characters. The film's brooding suspense, skilled acting, character development and gorgeous cinematography come off as super-professional. But as the ending grows violent, the plot twist customary to the thriller genre just isn't as convincing as it could be. (By the way, coyotes are one of the film's "scary" elements, but here in the West, the characters' fear of them may not connect.) Jill Thomas