Review: Deadlands 2: Trapped

Posted by Cory Casciato On November - 5 - 2009

deadlands2The second film in auteur Gary Ugarek’s Deadlands series, Deadlands 2: Trapped, manages to improve in almost every way from the original Deadlands: The Rising. The zombies look decent, it moves at a much better clip than the original and it’s well shot considering the minimal budget, with an oversaturated and washed-out look that’s questionable, but not necessarily bad. The acting is passable for a microbudget zombie flick, but the dialog is execrable and the story is derivative and meandering. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a group of strangers are trapped by the strange, murderous mobs of zombies that are suddenly everywhere as a result of a government test… Derivative can be okay, but you have to execute well enough to make it enjoyable, and D2:T simply does not.

In my review of the original Deadlands, I noted that apart from a whole lot of enthusiasm for zombies, writer/director/producer/star Ugarek had little or no skill in any of the areas needed to bring a zombie movie to life. That’s no longer true. He’s wisely abandoned acting. He’s a competent producer. His direction is decent, but shooting his own writing, he doesn’t have the distance to see where it doesn’t work, leaving us with interminable stretches of back story and needless setup. I’m pretty sure Ugarek could take a decent script and make a decent movie, but his inability to write either dialog or story torpedoes any gains made in other areas.

Deadlands 2: Trapped/US/2009

6 Responses to “Review: Deadlands 2: Trapped

  1. […] talky, meandering, pointless, ill-conceived mess. His sequel, Deadlands 2: Trapped (that one is reviewed here), is several orders of magnitude better — enough to pull it out of the bottom ten, anyway […]

  2. […] commando unit. While I was no fan of either of its predecessors (first review here, and second review here), you can’t say Ugarek lacks ambition. Perhaps the third time will be the charm. […]

  3. Jess says:

    The only thing holding this movie back was the poor acting, by Joe Durbin in particular. Not only is Durbin a bad actor, he manages to be so bad that potentially good films wilt at his feet. Just awful.

  4. Dale says:

    Jess, I think you’re being very critical of Joe Durbin. We just finished a film in which Durbin is the star. The film has already won multiple awards and we think Joe is a big reason for that. To each their own but if you would like to see a great performance from Joe; order Maxwell Stein at

  5. Dale says:

    Also,I forgot to add, that I thought the entire cast of Deadlands 2 did a great job. Making an indy horror flick with a small budget is no easy task. I salute anyone who is brave enough to try. I enjoyed Deadlands 2.

  6. […] try to raise $1 million dollars to make Deadlands 3. Read my review of Deadlands and/or review of Deadlands 2 before you break out your checkbook. (Buy […]

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