Monday, January 2, 2012

Zombie Apolcalypse

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
 
Zombie Apocalypse - 2 out of 5
One constant will always remain true in the world of media:  If something does incredibly well, try and copy it--failing that, completely rip it off.  How else can you explain why every year, every station is coming out with new cop shows and medical dramas--and none of them every offer anything new to the equation.  Or look at the world of the undead...when the tweens of the world started wetting their pants and getting into cage matches over Team Edward and Team Jacob, every hack with Microsoft Word started writing their own vampire book and networks all across the television waves put out their own shows about young, leering vampires in love--granted a statutory rapey type love but some sort of love, nonetheless.

And then there's zombies...

Every since George Romero created the modern day zombie, the presence of zombies in the media has been a pungent presence (pungent because they're decaying flesh...get it?).  In the last decade or so, zombie fiction has almost taken over the world like...well, like a zombie apocalypse.  The problem is, like usual, most of this fiction is used to cash in on the craze and all creativity and any possibility of delivery something unique is thrown aside.  Hell, even Romero gave up on his creativity and gave us Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead.  I can only assume he's gone senile with those two creations.  However, there have been those who have become new path-makers in the world of the living dead.  Max Brooks wrote the amazing book The Zombie Survival Guide where he did away with the blood and guts that overwhelm zombie stories and made the emphasis on sheer survival.  Then, not far behind, Robert Kirkman brought out the epic comic book series, The Walking Dead (which, unless you've been living under a rock, ended up becoming an equally amazing television series on AMC).  Well, it's these two influences that most dominated the source material that became the scene of the crime for the theft of the film that is Zombie Apocalypse.  Even less surprising is the fact is was made the production company The Asylum and the television network SyFy (I will never forgive that stupid name change).  Both are known for their theft of more popular media.

Hey Crabman...watch out for those zombies.
Okay Rhames...you did the remake of both Dawn of
the Dead
and Day of the Dead...are you contractually
obligated to do a zombie movie every other year?
There's no surprises to the movie's story.  Read the title and you know what you get...two lovers trying to be together despite their parents trying to keep them apart.  NO!  You get a zombie apocalypse in Zombie Apocalypse.  In the movie, 98% of the world's population is infected with a virus that makes the carriers walking undead vessels hungry for living flesh while the few that still enjoy the occasion plate of spaghetti and meatballs try to get to the last sanctuary on Earth.  In an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, EMPs are set off all over the world to destroy all electronics.

WHAT?!?  EMPs?  Did the governments of the world think zombies can drive cars or forget they are capable of walking?

Apparently the world being populated with the living dead won't stop this girl from
doing her hair and make-up in the morning.  Must look fabulous while killing the undead.

Don't think for a second that I popped this into my DVD player and expected brilliance--absolutely not!  I wanted to watch an extremely shitty zombie movie (and there's literally thousands of them out there) and laugh my rear end off.  And guess what, I got that...although, it took some time before I could laugh at it because you have to forgive the film for its blatant theft of The Walking Dead before you can get around to making fun of it.  Sure, the movie will try to fool you and make it sound like they are honoring Kirkman's work by naming an off-screen character after him but don't fall for it, the movie is just trying to ripoff his work.  For example, if you read or watch The Walking Dead, you are familiar with the nicknames they give the zombies.  Nicknames like geeks, roamers, etc.  Well, in Zombie Apocalypse, they decide to go a step further and give nicknames to every freakin' possible zombie that could ever possibly exist.  For example, the following is an exchange that never actually happened in the film and I'm making it up to best illustrate my point....

Generic Character #1:  "What happens if someone is bitten while there are going to the bathroom and become a zombie then?"

Generic Character #2:  "We call those "Dumpers."

That exchange never actually happened but the characters literally have nicknames for some of the most ridiculous specific zombies that might happened.  For example, (and this example actually happens in the movie) a guy asks someone about using a flamethrower on a zombie and the other explains that all it gives you is a burning zombie trying to kill you and they call them "burners."  So, apparently that has happened and more than once because it happens often enough to make a category for them.  This also means that these survivors  making names for these zombies are complete idiots and don't learn their lessons.  So, I ask, HOW ARE THEY SURVIVING?!?
 
They call those ones the Thrillers for their amazing dance moves.
That .50 is magical
Continuing with the question of their survival, each and every character painfully lacks the common sense that would be needed to survive...but all that is pointless as they have guns that never need reloading as well as the fact they find a .50 gun where the bullets never have to be fed into the weapon.  All the character did was load once and fired without limit on what looked like barely a dozen bullets on the bandolier.  This film's focus on guns also comes as a source of amusement as character readily use them to kill zombies but immediately in the next scene, will chastise characters if they make too much noise because it "might attract more zombies."  Now, I'm no sound expert but I'm pretty sure the sounds of bullets being expelled for a gun will travel farther than the sound of someone dropping some change out of their pockets.  Oh, and staying on topic of the magic guns these characters find, they also found a grenade that I am 90% sure is the Holy Hand Grenade from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  I am not making this up, when this grenade goes off, the explosion is larger several miles away than it is ten feet from the blast.

"Shhhh...be quiet, you'll attract more zombies.  Wait, there's one, I'll shoot it!"
So, the writers stole a lot from The Walking Dead but it was obvious they didn't pay attention to what they were stealing because, apparently, you don't have to destroy the brain to kill the zombies in this film--well, sometimes you do and sometimes you don't (I guess it depends on the need of the plot).  In fact, often zombies are killed by minor scratches by one character with a samurai sword that, it's very clear, the actress doesn't know how to properly hold or wield.  It's pretty funny watching her hold it and use it...and it's even funnier that she's running around in designer boots.  Now, I'm no survival or hiking expert but wouldn't your feet hurt in designer boots if you're walking all over a zombie infested country?
 
This actress' inability to make a convincing swordsman (swordswoman?) is an endless source
of hilarity in this one.
Okay, they're just fucking with me now, right?
A zombie tiger?!?
I could go on and on about how bad this movie is and how painfully obvious it was that it was out for a quick buck.  I could talk about the fact the special effects are awful and that the movie actually contains a zombie dog and...wait for it...a zombie tiger (oh my!).  I could even talk about the fact that zombie extras are recycled and you'll see them scene after scene, being killed multiple times.  I could even go on about the awful acting but this is a low budget, direct-to-DVD release that was just trying to get the salivating masses of zombie fans cash (and the sad thing is that I'm a zombie fan).  However, as bad as this film is (and it's really flippin' bad) it's a blast to watch because it's one of those films that is awful on a level that it becomes a ripe source to laugh at and make fun of.  And trust me...there's a lot to make fun of on this one.

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