Zombie Massacre

Dir: Luca Boni, Marco Ristori
Star: Christian Boeving, Mike Mitchell, Tara Cardinal, Carl Wharton

Having enjoyed the directors' previous zombie flick, Eaters, we were looking forward to this one, despite reviews which could kindly be described as luke-warm. Unfortunately, they were spot-on: where its predecessor had some originality, wit and energy, this is hopelessly talky and poorly-performed, with ropey accents headlined by producer Uwe Boll playing the President of the US. Actually, that deserves credit since it's clearly not intended to be taken seriously: unfortunately, the rest of the film apparently is, but is little better. The plot concerns a four-pack of military clichés, inserted in to Romania to plant a nuclear device, in order to cover up all evidence of a zombie outbreak. There's Jack Stone (Boeving), who is doing it to be re-united with his daughter; John 'Mad Dog' McKellen (Mitchell), who is as you'd expect; Eden Shizuka (Cardinal), the silent ninja type (Cardinal); and Balkan sniper, Dragan Ilic. Of course, the general who sent them on the mission (Wharton) has no intention of letting them come back alive.

So much wordiness, and for a group supposedly low on ammo, they don't seem particularly careful: there's an entire 15-minute flashback (well, it feels that long, anyway) where automatic gunfire is being sprayed in the background. The zombie make-up isn't bad, but you don't get to see enough of it, and the take downs of the dead are even varied or original, with attention instead being paid to uninteresting characters doing uninteresting things. Sometimes they run and sometimes, they shamble; it depends on what's necessary for the plot. After everything has unfolded, almost exactly as expected, save for the inexplicable appearance of the Nemesis from Resident Evil: Apocalypse, there's an odd but memorable coda, which doesn't make much sense, but does include a swimming pool containing acquatic, topless zombies. Moments like that - and Boll's cameo - hint at what might have been. Instead, there's just about nothing here which you haven't seen a million times before, and generally done a good deal better as well.

[December 2013]

Dead boring
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