We’re in the homes stretch now and Day X kicked off the final third of our selections. I picked this one because I needed a few low-budget zombie epics to fill out the roster (they are such a huge percentage of what is out there it’s folly to ignore them) and because one of my girlfriend’s friends is in it (Melissa Holmes — hi, Melissa!) and it is always amusing to see someone you know in a movie, no matter how bad — and Day X was pretty bad.
Not epic, painful, worst-of-the-worst bad, but definitely not good. It had some cool stuff going for it — the leads were almost competent actors, for example, and there were a couple of cool ideas. But also many problems: the poor makeup (black base paint smeared on faces? Really?), shoddy direction, obvious padding, terrible editing, and many other issues equaled a lot of squandered potential.
The plot was a government-experiment-gone-wrong scenario that seemed a little like something that was cooked up after spending too much time with a bunch of 9/11 Truthers. The quasi-zombies (the lead character kept insisting they weren’t zombies because they weren’t actually dead, but no one else listened to him) were a cannibalistic and venomous twist (yes, that’s right — poison zombies) on 28 Days Later‘s Rage zombies. There was a weird, under-explored subplot with a creepy looking girl that could neutralize the venom by kissing the people who got bit and kill the zombies by biting them.
That subplot sort of summed up the movie’s core issue — the few interesting things it did, it didn’t do enough with. Lack of focus? Misunderstanding what they had? Too many cooks? Who knows, but the results were haphazard and a little frustrating. The movie was sort of amusing and moved along quickly enough — in part due to its 74 minute runtime, even with the aforementioned obvious padding — to not really wear out its welcome, but in the end, it was pretty disappointing.
Next up, we tackle five of Japan’s finest, starting with Versus and ending Friday with Tokyo Zombie.