At the movies with zombie Gene Siskel

I thought I had it bad eating as a zombie.

Sure, a steady diet of co-eds and soccer moms can give an undeadfellow a wicked case of the runs, but nutritionwise I always feelpretty good-considering that my lungs serve as a home for a familyof dung beetles and my intestines are lifeless tubes of dried bileand mouse droppings. As for my totem d’amour, my Howard Johnson, mysatellite of love, well, let’s just say the only reason for zombieGene Siskel to see the new Olsen twins movie is for the comedicstyling of Eugene Levy.

But as bad as I thought I had it, what I’ve got is not nearly asbad as the fate befallen Morgan Spurlock, writer, director and starof his new documentary “Super Size Me.”

Mr. Spurlock crisscrossed the country for this film,investigating the detrimental effects that fast food culture ishaving on our lives. Through interviews with everyone fromdietitians, P.E. coaches and kids, to the son of a co-founder ofBaskin Robbins, Spurlock looks to answer the question some of ushave been asking ourselves for years: “How did I get so fat?”

And if it wasn’t enough being faced with unnerving statistics ondeclining health, the financial side of obesity care and harrowingfirst hand accounts of the effects of such a dangerous lifestyle,Spurlock gives the movie that extra oomph by doing the unthinkable.He eats at McDonalds. Every day. Every meal. For a month. And if hegets offered to super size his meal he has to say yes. The resultsare devastating.

We watch his health decline rapidly. In the span of onemonth, he goes from being a 185-pound man in relatively good healthto a 200-plus snackable with liver damage.

Watching him eat meal after meal – including a gruesome scenewhere his desperate attempt to finish a quarter-pounder results inon-camera ralphing – is most likely the most disconcerting part ofthis movie. He debunks the yogurt parfait, takes the spin out ofthe side salad and practically kills himself to prove somethingthat we should all already know: Junk food is bad for us.

While the sentiment of the film is one close to my heart, thefilm itself is nothing short of disastrous. The formula is pure,unadulterated and unwatchably Michael Moore right down to thecartoon interludes and grainy video.

I’m just not a documentary person. I love the politics, butmovies like “Bowling for Columbine” and “Super Size Me” arepumped-up versions of Frontline on PBS. The movies are dull attimes and, while being socially provocative, are essentiallyself-serving and one-sided.

Documentary films are exploitive by nature and come dangerouslyclose (as in the case of last year’s overrated parade-of-the-nerds”Spellbound”) to making a mockery of their subjects through thesimple revealing of their humanity. It takes flair to make adocumentary film-worthy, and while someone like Errol Morris canmake a powerful and poetic movie about almost any subject,Spurlock’s film would be lost without his Jackass-style antics.

Since the majority of you will probably never read EricSchlosser’s amazing expos� “Fast Food Nation,” I’d say theimminent popularity and wide release of “Super Size Me” is probablya good thing for the United States. And we could use a good thingright about now.

If “Super Size Me” has accomplished anything, it would be thesuccess of keeping this zombie film reviewer away from the foodcourt. No more snacking on the flesh of fifteen-year-old boys inStone Cold Steve Austin shirts. Sure, they’re easy to catch andcome with free comic books, but the health risk just isn’t worthit.

From now on I’m only eating hippies and vegans. So next timeyour paying $5.50 for a bun with sprouts, watch your back.Patchouli stink or not – I’m going to eat your ass.