Heavy partying throws a young woman into a alternate post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies, where she's soon bound to stay. On the road she and a few others are trying to survive, but now and then reality is coming back.
A lot has been done with the zombie genre, and in many modern films it feels like repeats even though it's not always the case. That has to do with the zombies themselves more than anything, I suppose. This has kept me on distance to some zombie flicks, but "Toxic Lullaby" was one I figured I'd give a shot, even if just to widen my horizons a bit. A german, drug-filled zombie survival flick seemed like a good way to do just that.
Unfortunately "Toxic Lullaby" quickly becomes rather confusing, even if you get the gist of it. A young woman hooks up with a couple of people and they start taking loads of drugs. Soon she finds herself in a post-apocalyptic world. Obviously, the drugs have thrown her into this world and now she's stuck there. It becomes a rather typical film about survival, in typical locations and with the occasional trips from and to reality. It doesn't offer much that is unique for post-apocalyptic films, zombie films, or independent films. In the end you can't completely hate it because they do most things right, just slightly less tedious and confusing. Considering the amount of similar indie films I've seen, this is far from the worst.
It's up to you if you want to throw in a bunch of context to the obvious drug references, or more meaning than needed in terms of the drugs throwing her into that post-apocalyptic world. It's there, and it's impossible to miss it (so it's not a hidden layer), but I can't say it changes anything about the movie. It still just comes off as a post-apocalyptic tale.
If I say "post-apocalyptic", you'll say "zombies". A typical move which is also the case here. I'm not sure why it has became so typical to mix the two. Yes, I understand that a zombie invasion could lead to the end of humanity, but I still think people should try and do something different with it. Hell, maybe the concept isn't the problem, but rather the fact that every one of these seem to be set in exactly the same locations (woods and a few run-down buildings), and with the exact same blue-ish (or yellow-ish) tint/colors. I have a hard time caring once I put on a film and these things appear one by one. It doesn't help when the movie itself is just "decent" at best.
"Toxic Lullaby" doesn't stand out in terms of zombies either. It's not that they are bad, just nothing very interesting. Some make-up, sometimes some blood, but mostly they look tired and I think we need more than "tired" in 2012. I'm not expecting every movie to have as lovely zombies as Tarman from "Return of the Living Dead", but.. you know... SOMETHING! I think that the zombies are secondary, even if that, to the story, though. So I'm not gonna make a rant out of it.
I think the ambition and ideas are there, and even small details such as the zombies being called "sleepers" makes it watchable. Ralf Kemper would most likely be able to woo me with a different project. Or at least I hope so. It would require a lot more originality and a less confusing story to work. Which in the end is what kills "Toxic Lullaby". That and the lack of interesting characters.
It's a film for the die hard post-apocalyptic or zombie fans. Those who want to see it all, no exceptions. You'll find a lot of things that you'd feel are "must have" for these genres, therefor you might want to check it. The rest should probably skip this one, because although it's not terrible, I don't think it is worth the time and effort. You decide for yourself!