Wasteland (2013) and Eradication (2022)

Two films in one review?  Eh?  What?  Really!?  Why??

Well.  For two reasons.  One, I watched them back-to-back and, two, they tell the same story.

Both are about a man living alone during a super-pandemic of zombie proportions, hiding and protecting himself from the dangerous world outside.  Whilst alone he is also in contact with others as somehow some form of ‘communications’ still works.

They broadly/tangentially examine what it means to be alone in the age of the internet, in hiding, isolated, unresolved, living in fear of the outside.  Wanting, needing, but too afraid, too conditioned to reach out.  In each case ‘he’ is waiting, desperate for the return of the woman that had to leave and that he let go being too scared to commit.  And in both cases they get their wish.  And then they wish that they hadn’t.

So, to each film:

Wasteland (2013)

Rating: D

Dir: Tom Wadlow
Star: Shameer Seepersand, Jessica Messenger, Mark Drake, Rachel Benson

Most used word in my notes: boring.

Meet Scott (Seepersand), seemingly the least well prepared survivor of yet another zombie apocalypse.  Seriously, have these people not watched the many and varied ‘public information films’ about what to do and what not to do!?  Anyway, Scott is hiding in some remote barn-come-shed, set somewhere in a barren nowhere in the midlands, with a ‘CB’ radio to reach out and contact the (very few) others.

Overall it looks quite nice, but it’s flat and hampered by the performances, where the words are read out loud, seemingly without emotion or elan.  A decent text-to-speech might have done better.

This is obviously low budget and it has some of the worst sound that I’ve not heard for, well, a long time.  Far too often the dialogue is hard to hear or distinguish, or buried beneath the continually intrusive music.  Not since Bame in Chris Nolan’s Batman have I mugfnn gddg smmty mnmnae so much… or is it so little…?

The highlight for me was the use of the word ‘flesh-atarian’ to describe the zeds.  10/10 for that!

The film ends on a note of optimism, with Scott having at last found a purpose along with possible redemption.  But.  God it was a boring, flat, dull, slow, and utterly uninvolving journey to get there.

Eradication (2022)

Rating: D

Dir: Daniel Byers
Star: Harry Aspinwall, Anita Abdinezhad, Christian Masters

My notes for this film cover half of one side of a piece of A4.  This is normally a bad sign.

Well, at least this production had more of a budget and is set in a very nice part of America, and you can discern the dialogue, which is nice.  And they don’t overdo the music.  Also nice!

David is stuck in his mountain cabin fit only for the very rich, albeit marked down by not having a jacuzzi or a steam room.  Otherwise it’s really rather nice.  Scott from Wasteland would be sick with envy if only he knew.  Or cared about anything, or could mugfnn smmty gddg mmnae.

Sadly this film, whilst not as boring to watch, is more stupid than Wasteland – which in fairness wasn’t so much stupid as dull.  There are a few cute touches along the way, but it’s just too unbelievable on too many levels – and yes I appreciate that it’s a zombie film but, even so, you will have to suspend a lot of (dis)belief.  For example, his food is flown in by drone, and his blood taken away ‘in exchange’, by his wife who he can ‘zoom’ with but not meet.  So.  Yeah.

It does however have a cute ending which, whilst decent, sadly, can’t redeem it.

Summary: Which one to watch?  Neither, if I’m being honest.  However, if these were the only two films available, pick Wasteland.  It is more boring, but overall it is still the better film, and stays with you a bit longer as it’s more visceral and at turns quite bloody.

So, overall, it’s a D for the pair of them. D for dull, derivative, d’uh and DONE!!!

And finally Esther, it’s another DD review from me…. …sorry Jim… but That’s Life… [Jim: the eighties called, they want their reference back]