Zombie Movie Night: December ’13

For December, we were able to stick to two more contemporary releases.  While new zombie films continuing to pour out is great for the subgenre and great for the core concept of Zombie Movie Night having sustainability, the fact is that “contemporary” does not automatically translate to “good movies.”

First up was Zombie Massacre, which Netflix credited as being directed by Uwe Boll, but it wasn’t.  Boll has a reputation for making horrible movies, though I have never seen any of them.  Regardless of its credits, Zombie Massacre would fit right in on Boll’s resume.  It’s pretty bad. Yes, some of it is entertainingly bad, but not enough to make it worth the time.

I will try to spend less time going over the plot than the film does (overly long exposition being Problem # 1 to present itself in the early stages).  The US government needs to cover up a super soldier experiment gone wrong so they send in a ragtag team of criminals and mercenaries on a covert operation to blow up a power plant and make it look like the city full of zombies was destroyed by a terrible accident.  The mercenaries get screwed over and left to die so they have to fight their way out before the clock hits 0.  Along the way, they pick up some strays like “daughter of the scientist who regretfully caused the calamity” and “random guy who conveniently shows up to save the day.”

Some of the action sequences are fun and the main actors try their best to make you care even if it mostly falls flat.  There’s a Scottish guy who wrings everything he can from the role, but his death still does not come off as tragic or heroic as obviously intended.  The best part is a brief scene where the US President has such a thick Euro accent, he has to tell his subordinates “I am the President of the United States.”  Actually, it might be worth a watch just for that LOL scene.  Grade: C-

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Next was Zombie Hunter, starring Danny Trejo.  He’s not the titular character despite what some versions of the cover art would have you believe.  His role is little more than a cameo, which might be a good thing since the last time we saw him he was a big part of the problem with Rise of the Zombies.  Here he puts in a much better effort for his few brief scenes.

With America having been destroyed by a new addictive drug that eventually turned its users into zombies, The Zombie Hunter travels across the vast wasteland killing every zombie he sees because why not.  After a car crash, he wakes up to find that he, in fact, is not the last man on Earth.  There’s hot chick, girl next door chick, fat guy, regular guy, creepy/horny teenager, and Trejo, a mysterious man of faith.  There’s little in the way of plot, other than a few interpersonal dynamics and the basic “trying to find someplace safe.”  The acting is mostly acceptable, the effects are, at points, laughably bad but nothing too egregious.  Zombie Hunter is an inoffensive and utterly unremarkable romp that lands in the middle of the pack, destined to be quickly forgotten.

Grade: C+

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