I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and boy am I excited to get there. This program of all new-to-me movies has been a grueling one, and as I near the end, I am certain of one thing: I will never do it again. Oh, I’ll do another zombie movie marathon, of course — but I’ll make damn sure the next one is full of stuff I already know and love. There’s just too much crap out there not to make room for the great stuff, even if you have seen it an infinite number of times. Anyway, enough general grumbling about shitty movies, on to the specific grumbling about shitty movies!
A Little Bit Zombie
Here you have a silly little trifle of a movie about a man who gets bit by a mosquito carrying a zombie virus. It’s not enough to cause him to go full zombie, but it’s enough to make him (wait for it…) a little bit zombie. He’s about to get married to a shrieking horror of a woman, and boy is she pissed about this whole zombie thing. This one is yet another zombie comedy, and it is even funny here and there, but ultimately it’s not too compelling. It does have Stephen McHattie, who was incredible in Pontypool, as a professional zombie killer, and a surprising, even shocking, twist at the end, but it’s still a pretty meh affair overall.
Rise of the Zombies
Yet another movie from The Asylum! It’s a bit mistitled, because the zombies have already risen and taken over by the time the movie starts, but whatever. Levar Burton, Danny Trejo and Mariel Hemingway headline a cast of nobody else you have ever heard or will hear from again. They start on Alcatraz. They look for a cure. They seek an evac point. Levar Burton stays behind to do zombie experiments. It’s all kind of perfunctory and disconnected, while maintaining a vague air of competence — pretty standard stuff for The Asylum, really. It has a few standout moments, notably the gross-out/hilarious scene with the zombie baby, but it’s really forgettable and unremarkable when you come right down to it.
What would a zombie apocalypse be like if you were trapped in a toilet stall? That’s the premise of this odd little British zom com, and while it isn’t always super plausible, it is a nice, new angle on the standard apocalypse tropes. The protagonist is a unpleasant little man who’s in the midst of stealing from his work when the zombies hit the fan and he gets trapped in a stall. Then he spends the rest of the movie trying to get out. It has some funny moments, but it’s a little slow, and it’s hard to care if the guy makes it out alive, simply because he’s kind of jerk anyway. Still, pretty pleasant if undistinguished.
A little bit Re-Animator, a little bit weepy romance and a whole lot of filmmaking incompetence. This was one of my most anticipated of 2010 and let me tell you — it didn’t live up to the hype. It was honestly pretty bad, but it could have been good! Maybe. With a better director and a serious rewrite (protip: cut both of the stupid twists near the end, okay?). Anyway, four friends (all super unappealing, with the exception of the one who dies first, of course) go to a cabin. One friend — a medical researcher on the verge of a breakthrough! — confesses his love for another. She loves him too! Then she dies, of course. And he brings her back! But has to kill a hooker to do it. Then, to keep her alive, he has to kill her again and inject her with more brain juice from yet another dead chick. Then repeat. It’s an interesting premise, actually, but it isn’t put to much use here. Intriguing, but ultimately a failure.
The Dead 2: India
I watched The Dead last year for my zombie movie marathon, so why not the sequel this year? I thought the original was a solid homage to the classic Romero and Romero-inspired zombies. It looked good and it didn’t insult my intelligence. Sure, it was a bit slow and unoriginal, but still a nice, B-list zombie movie. The second suffers from more of the same, albeit at a brisker pace. It just repeats the formula of the first with a slight twist and a new setting and it feels even more derivative and unnecessary the second time around. The title says it all, really. Curiously, this one felt exploitative in a way that the first one didn’t (or that I didn’t notice). I also couldn’t help but think it was mostly an excuse for the Ford Brothers to visit India.
Oh, look, another of my most anticipated films of 2010! Then it got delayed forever and I kept checking on it and nothing then it was out! So yeah, totally not worth the wait. Or the original anticipation. Shoddy looking, with sound issues that were outright comical at times and plot holes you could drive a truck through, it was a weird watch. I kind of started hoping it would prove so bad it would rise to The Room levels of comical ineptitude and sheer WTF, but alas, it simply stayed at the level of a bad TV movie. There was some WTF, though not enough to make the movie interesting. It’s about a farmer facing hard times until a zombie apocalypse hits and his regular life problems seem inconsequential all of a sudden. Sort of. Despite its badness, I don’t want to spoil the film for those who might wish to see it, so I’ll just leave it at that.
Our third (and final!) entry from The Asylum is actually not miserable. It isn’t any good, mind you, but it isn’t miserable either. It’s a very basic zombie scenario — for no reason, all the dead suddenly come back to life one night! And I do mean all. Like, dead fuckers are crawling out of graves everywhere. And chasing and biting people — the usual. Two families have to survive! Well, everyone has to, but the film focuses on two families (really one family and its friends and neighbors, really). Mostly of interest for the large number of familiar actors slumming in it, it does move along at a brisk enough pace to hide its total lack of substance, which is actually a noteworthy accomplishment in the annals of shitty zombie movies.
Okay, just two more movies to go…