Sunday, May 12, 2013

Horror Film Review

Rise of the Zombies (2012):  I fear it will be quite some time before we see the last of stinky zombie flicks inspired by AMC's The Walking Dead.  Case in point, this 89-minute turd.  What follows will contain spoilers, which is either ironic or witty given that the film, much like month-old milk, was already spoiled before I clicked PLAY. 

Zombie apocalypse in San Francisco.  Something about the water supply.  Refuge camp on Alcatraz.  Zombies float on over, attack, and drive the survivors back to the mainland where they break into two groups; one (led by Danny Trejo) heads to an evacuation site, the other (led by Mariel Hemingway) to find a scientist (French Stewart) who's created a vaccine.  That's about it.  Oh, right.  Levar Burton.  He plays a scientist whose daughter was bitten and therefore stays behind on Alcatraz in an ultimately futile attempt to discover a cure.  It's an idiotic subplot that's really just filler and a waste of Burton.  As you can probably imagine, most everyone dies.  You won't care.  You may even be cheering.  Yeah.  It's one of those.

 Aspects of particular annoyance include the pregnant woman on the run in the beginning.  She escapes several attacks, ends up hiding in an ambulance on the Golden Gate bridge where she's found by Hemingway's group but then promptly gets bitten by a zombie.  They do a C-section, get the baby out, think everything's just peachy, and then the kid changes.  They toss it on the ground and stomp its head into jelly.  So the whole pregnant woman subplot is irrelevant and stupid.  Then there are the endless aerial shots of the city, a city supposedly devoid of non-zombie life, where we see cars and trucks driving around.  And so on and so forth...


Acting:  Surprisingly awful.  Best of the lot is Chad Lindberg as Kyle.  Worst has to be Hemingway. 
Story:  Full of holes and even more unforgivable, boring.
Direction:  The most positive thing I can say is that the narrative thread is consistent.  Beyond that...yawn.
Production Values:  Budget is unknown, but it's definitely a cheapie.  On the plus side, it's on film instead of video.  On the downside, most of the dialogue had to be re-dubbed.  It was filmed in San Francisco and they make sure you know it.  Shots of Lombard and Haight and of course the Golden Gate and Alcatraz.  Doesn't help.
Gore/FX:  It's really pretty gross.  Lots of guts and brains and flesh eating going on.  The zombie make up isn't bad.  The CGI is, though. 
Scares:  Not so much.
Ending:  Four people and a dog live.  Flying away on a helicopter.  In search of a lab to make more vaccine.  For a zombie flick, extraordinarily upbeat.  And therefore, extraordinarily wrong.
Verdict:  Should you watch Rise of the Zombies?  Really, don't.  The worst episode of The Walking Dead is ten times better than this mess.  In fact, just go watch The Walking Dead again.  Trust me.

Rating:  1 out of 5

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