Sunday, May 22, 2016

Zoombies

***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 (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! We are getting dangerously close to jumping the zombie shark, people.



Zoombies – 2 out of 5

The zombie train doesn’t really seem to be on the verge of slowing anytime soon.  While the undead have been popular since George Romero first gave us his …of the Dead films, it’s very clear that The Walking Dead really shot the popularity of zombies into the stratosphere.  For the last several years, we have been overloaded with a ton of zom-fic.  Every guy with a camera has churned out their own cheaply made undead feature and rarely do they ever attempt anything new or unique—usually it’s just the same story told with really bad make-up effects and terrible acting.  Zoombies actually gets some points for attempting something new—but it doesn’t change the reality of how this one is just as cheap as, well, literally everything else The Asylum has released (because, of course, this would be from The Asylum).

So...this was in the film.  Yeah.

At a state-of-the-art zoo, a mysterious virus is discovered in some monkeys.  After the staff fails to contain the creatures, the virus quickly spreads through the animal population and it’s up to the newest member of park’s security; Lizzy (Ione Butler), an ambitious intern named Gage (Andrew Asper) and the park’s director; Dr. Ellen Rogers (Kim Nielsen), to stop the outbreak.  Can they stop the creatures and effectively halt the spread of the virus or will the animals escape and unleash a worldwide plague?

Zombie Monkey has to be a band name--if it isn't, it will be now.
By the way, I'm starting a band called Zombie Monkey...

Going into a film called Zoombies, my expectations were pretty low.  Considering that the film is about zombie animals and was released by the kings of terrible filmmaking; The Asylum, the only real hopes I had for the film was it would be good for a laugh thanks to the endless potential for riff-ability—I hope the rebooted Mystery Science Theater 3000 is willing to pay the money to get their hands on this film, it will be worth it.  For the most part, my expectations were met but, in a unique way, they were also exceeded.

I'm assuming the gorilla costume was purchased from the Congo garage sale...

Zombie birds?  Is this how the birdemic got started?
Don’t get me wrong, Zoombies is a terrible film that is filled with all the prime examples of horrendous filmmaking one would expect from The Asylum.  Editing is so bad that I questioned whether or not the zoo actually existed in a time loop because there is literally scenes from earlier in the film somehow cut into later moments of the story.  The special effects are sorta embarrassing when you realize that there are random kids with no budgets making things that look more realistic and then uploading them for no hope of pay on YouTube and the film never delivers on any fun kills or gore as the low budget and bad special effects forced these scenes to be worked around at nearly every pass.  However, despite how utterly awful Zoombies is, I had an absolutely blast watching it.

I...I can't even come up with a caption for a zombie giraffe carrying a girl.

"Bro, you okay?"
Often when I watch bad movies, I like to live-tweet the experience and try to make a Twitter event akin to MST3K and RiffTrax.  Even without doing this, I would have been laughing and riffing while sitting by myself in my living room but by transferring my gags to social media, I found out that the writer (Scotty Mullen), director (Glenn Miller) and even one of the stars (Kim Nielsen) are very, VERY fond of liking and retweeting nearly every mention of this movie.  I’m not entirely sure that the director was even reading my tweets because I’m clearly teasing the film but it made for a movie that was already easy to laugh at even that much more fun to experience.

Nielsen even responded to me about the "murder boner" tweet.

"A man named Dennis Nedry installed all our security
programs before he left for his other job.  What could
go wrong?"
One thing that did kinda surprise me about the film was the fact that the acting wasn’t terrible.  For the most part, performances (and pretty much everything, seemingly) are an afterthought with a film from The Asylum.  You usually either get has-beens, bad actors who treat the role like it is their big break or, very rarely, an actor who is giving off a performance that is too good for the product.  I expected really bad acting in this one but was shocked to find that, with a few notable exceptions, the performances were pretty serviceable.  Granted, none of them are really that great and matters aren’t helped by how one-dimensional every character is but, for a film from The Asylum, the performances weren’t that bad.

I do have a major beef with this film though:  This girl just decimates a zombie
koala and THEY DON'T FUCKING SHOW IT!!!  How can you rob viewers
of that?!?

Zoombies is cheesy and, honestly, a bit dumb.  The story is poorly constructed, the characters are each defined by a single attribute and have no depth, the film doesn’t deliver on any cool kills and the filmmaking is all-around pretty damn sloppy BUT, that being said, the film is one of those “so bad, it’s good” affairs and all those elements that would normally destroy a film and kill all of its entertainment value actually ended up working in this film's favor and made it fun to view.  Sure, I still give it a 2 because, even though I had a lot of fun watching it, the entertainment value isn’t derived from anything that is genuine from the film but rather from its faults.

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