Zombie Movie Night March ’12

Last night I noticed, as we watched another two movies with bleak, depressing failures as endings, that the zombie genre really isn’t a happy one. Your story is either going to have the hopeless ending, the kind of hopeful ending but we’re still probably screwed or the old stand-by, NON-ending.

Once you go zombie, it’s hard to go back. The world just isn’t going to get better all of a sudden, and if it does that’s the WORST cop-out ending EVER! So what I’m saying is that if you want to be a zombie fan like me, hopefully you’re not already clinically depressed because it’s not always fun to do this.

If magic was real, the outcome of WWII might have been different because those Nazis had their hands in everything! Outpost tells the tale of a modern day crew of mercenary soldiers, led by Ray Stevenson, aka the good Punisher, as they accompany their latest client into the bowels of an old war bunker. It seems the Nazis had been working on a machine that could unite all natural forces or something which would in turn create a breed of super soldier who could be invulnerable, invincible and invisible. As our heroes will soon come to learn, it totally worked!

Kind of. The Nazis, while powerful, seem to be stuck haunting the bunker with no other aspirations but to kill since that’s what they were bred to do. It comes up that the mercenaries can’t leave because the investors have secretly staked out their families but even after they decide to leave anyway, it is said that the place won’t let them leave. Except they don’t even try. The Nazi ghost zombies have shown no power to haunt beyond the treeline but our heroes for some reason just accept their doomed fate anyway and decide to go down shooting.

My brother put it best when he said Outpost is a better movie than it is a zombie movie. It really is more in line with Predator or a haunted house romp. The Nazis fit my previously-mentioned loose definition of “zombie” but they could also very easily be called “ghosts.” It’s not a bad thing. It’s just that I would call it a horror movie before I called it a zombie movie.

Also of note, the mercenaries are so ethnically diverse, we had to turn on the subtitles to understand all their mumblings. There’s British, American, African, Irish and Russian all represented. Nice to see they can all get along in the name of killing for money.

Outpost’s grade as a movie is B+ but as a zombie flick it’s a C.

Next up was The Dead and with a name that original and exciting, it has to be good!

Well, no.

It starts off strong as we join the action pretty much in the middle of the fall of Africa. This movie never ever stops having zombies in it. They are always on the attack or on their way from the background. And they are a well done, creepy effect. Which is why it’s so frustrating and inexplicable that this film is a snoozefest.

I think the problem is that there’s no plot beyond “trying to survive.” We’ve seen this problem before and what it leads to is that for every truly great and tense scene there are 3 others that are boring and pointless. There’s not much time for character development when you’re running for your life. I’m pretty sure our hero didn’t utter one single word of dialogue for the first half hour. But that was okay, turns out, since when he did talk, he was a terrible actor.

The movie never really fleshes out the ideas it has either. The perfect example is when a dying mother gives our hero her little baby to take care of. He doesn’t want to mercy kill the mom, but he does. He doesn’t want the burden of a baby, but he takes it. A tough, raw emotional scene, right? What’s he going to do with that baby while he’s trying to survive??

Umm, in the very next scene, he’s going to hand it over to a bunch of people driving by on a truck and then walk away. Emotional impact- gone! And why didn’t he get on the truck too? Instead he decides it’s a better idea to wander around the desert dying. Huh wut? Whatever. The Dead is a dud. D+

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3 thoughts on “Zombie Movie Night March ’12

    • Yeah, I started out writing about how these 2 movies had bleak endings then realized that the last few we watched did too and then realized that they all do

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