2012 begins and the Zombie Movie Train keeps right on rolling along with no end in sight. Next stop: Australia. The film is Primal, which is technically about some evil ancient force that feeds on blood and rape, but I felt it qualifies as a zombie film, since said evil force turns humans into sharp-teethed super monsters that eat other people. If that’s not a zombie, then you can just go to hell! Oh, sorry, let loose with a primal urge for a moment there…
It’s the basic set-up here: group of good-lookin’ young people set off for adventure in the wilderness and things go horribly wrong. Guess what happens to the first woman who has sex. Give up? She goes skinny dipping and turns into the aforementioned monster thanks to some water that has been tainted by the spilled blood of her friend, which inadvertantly ressurrected the evil force inside a cave they passed through. Still with me?
The movie is pretty well-acted and thankfully doesn’t take itself too seriously. The woman who turned into the killer primal beast seemed to be having a lot of fun with the role as she got to grunt and jump and howl an awful lot. This is mostly a one monster show. The climax degenerates into a weird escape through the cave for our last heroine standing that features slimy cave-tongues, a giant bad-CGI slug-thing and attempted slug-on-woman rape. This stupidness almost ruins the movie, but it reallly doesn’t last long enough to do too much damage to my overall enjoyment. It was a fun little monster flick that ultimately ended up in our Top 20. My grade is a B+
Next up, it was time for another installment of “How Crazy is Japan?” In theory, I enjoy me some wackiness from the Asian cultures but Zombie Movie Night hasn’t had much luck with it. Bio-Zombie was pretty great, but Battle Girl and Vs. were both disappointingly boring. Could Wild Zero swing things back in the good direction?
The short answer is NO. The central problem is that there is so much Japanese wackiness that it impedes what is going on. Right from the start, I really had no idea who I was supposed to be rooting for, or even what was going on. There are about a dozen scenes of just plain weirdness before we even see our first zombie. I like my wackiness to stay within the context of the story, such as in SARS Wars, but here, it takes the place of character development and plot. Things eventually pick up a little when all the different threads and characters start coming together, but by the time this happened, it was way too late. I was already checked out. I don’t know, maybe this is a good movie in Japan that got lost in translation…but I doubt it. The grade is C-.