Yes, it's an ode to other zombie films. But I don't see it in the same category, or as trying to emulate these films, at all. For one, it's not scary in the least. I consider this one a black comedy, nothing more. If anything, the opening scene gives it away. By having the filmmakers-within-the-film making an awful, cheesy film, it's good-naturedly parodying horror.
But on second thought, there is one REALLY scary thing about the movie: the acting. But again, I can almost imagine that working in the movie's favor. Horrifically stupid scenes, like when Paul the makeup artist says "I don't know, but if we stay here we're going to end up like the others," and he moves to the side to reveal Dr. Eibon standing behind him, really add to the comedy factor. I think the bad stereotypes are further proof that the characters are supposed to be idiotic. I found the soundtrack a bit annoying at times, but that's not too noteworthy.
I wouldn't consider it trying to be a "zombie epic," it's just not dark enough... So in that sense, yes it fails. As a zombie comedy, I think it does its job well. Back to the characters. I think the stereotyped, badly-acted characters bring out the self-referential humor. I see it as a parody. The same goes for the zombies. You've got Dr. Eibon, your obligatory mad-scientist-turned-zombie, and Gaunt and Maggot, you're badly-made-up slow zombies. The characters that turned into zombies were just as cheesy. But from a comedy standpoint, it worked. The movie exploits all the bad things about zombie movies, without dissing those movies, and has fun with them.
And while some scenes were bad enough to make me roll my eyes a bit (the electrocution, the burning zombies, the "exploding" head, the cemetery fight scene..), I think that overall the movie flowed well. The characters were stupid, as most zombie movie characters are, but they did keep the plot advancing. And they didn't do too badly dealing with the situation. There were some awkward-feeling moments, but no one was "smootching" in the midst of a herd of zombies, and the story did give you some of the character's motivations behind their actions (e.g., why Eibon was bringing people back, why David didn't want to call the cops, and so on).
So while it's a mediocre horror film at best, I think it's a rather entertaining comedy-for-horror-fans.