Remains (2011)

Rating: C+

Dir: Colin Theys
Star: Miko Hughes, Evalena Marie, Grant Bowler, Anthony Marks

More or less another zombie flick, fairly standard except with a couple of semi-interesting tweaks, such as the way the undead got to sleep at night, snoozing gently where they stand. I also liked the use of Reno as a location: it’s the kind of low-rent, slightly-tatty version of Vegas which is a perfect setting for a zombie apocalypse. The film largely takes place in one of the casinos, where two employees, dealer Tom (Bowler) and waitress Tori (Marie) get trapped in the basement after the power goes out during one of their trysts.

When they eventually are able to surface, they discover that the the world has gone to hell, and most of the population are now zombies with an appetite for flesh. They team up with another casino employee (Hughes) and a survivor who makes his way in off the streets (Marks). Tom sees a truck convoy and attracts its attention to them: however, the army are keener on stripping the casino of its resources than helping. Particularly on the character front, this is pretty generic stuff, with your combination of nice guys and ass-holes, military with an agenda, etc. – nothing you haven’t seen in other genre entries before.

That’s what stops this from being much beyond a boilerplate member of the genre, more or less countering the interesting ideas mentioned earlier. The other aspects, such as the make-up and gore, are competent if unspectacular, and you wonder why it was deemed worth attaching the creator’s name of the comic-book on which it was based. Is Steve Niles a thing? Not familiar with his written work, and some Wikipediaing tells me he also did 30 Days of Night, which also became a semi-interesting movie, largely forgettable but with a couple of nice touches. I guess there’s a niche market for that kind of thing, and I’m expecting to see Niles’ work be turned into a generically-adequate werewolf movie in a couple of years.