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Zombie Contagion (2012)
(15) Running time: 88 minutes
Director: Justin Timpane
Starring: Daniel Ross
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
Zombie Contagion comes from Revolver Entertainment, normally a reliable source for not only horror, but films in general. However, things have gone incredibly wrong here with a film that, dare I say it, felt more like a chore rather than a privilege to review. That’s not to say the film is not without a few minor high points, but for the most part this is painful, and I don’t mean painful in a “so bad its awesome” type of way either.
Zombie’s are infecting the humanity thanks to some dumb wizard wannabe who has used a spell to resurrect his dead brother Eric. Problem is, Eric now has his own special gift: he can blow blue light beams into people’s mouths and turn them into the undead, and guess what, he is building an army. For what purpose? Who knows, who cares? What we get here is watching Eric being followed around by a cast of some of the worst zombie’s I have ever seen in a film. They attack houses at random: a family sitting down for dinner (a scene so cringe worthy I actually had to leave the room), a house with two lovers kissing on the doorstep (“listen… do you smell something?” says the woman in a blatant rip off from Ghostbusters), or a further attack on some young lad who broadcasts his own podcast while having a go at Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Indiana Jones and Star Wars for no apparent reason. Hell, this podcasting moron even requests as he is about to be killed: “time to die?… can I have breakfast first” followed by the moron and Eric having breakfast before he is zombified.
The scripting here, in case you hadn’t already noticed, is awful. The pacing is slow and the narration takes until about half way through to actually lead anywhere. What we eventually learn is that the wannabe wizard must search for an array of skilled fighters (whom all seem to already know him) and do battle with Eric and his zombies. In all fairness some of the films highlights comes from these later scenes. While we learn who the skilled fighters are we witness them in situations that appear out of their depth. A man gets caught up in a fight at the gym, another is delivering a pizza and decides he has had enough of rude, demanding customers and takes out his frustrations on a ten foot German behemoth. These fights scenes are so badly choreographed, with incredibly loud punch, kick and swooshing sounds that they will have you falling off your seat with laughter. Here, the film almost redeems itself, and while the rest of the film continues in this slapstick manor, it soon becomes tiresome and the very unfunny script will begin to really annoy. Added to this the fact the actors all appear to want to be somewhere else, the film once again falls flat. I mean, if you were part of an elite team of chosen zombie killers, and when faced with hundreds of the bastards, would you really bellow out “I guess it’s fighting time!!!” Please!
The film leads to an irritating rip off of Lamberto Bava’s classic Demons, and if this is intended as a homage to that classic, it misses the mark. Yes the end does satisfy (a bit), but there is only so much bad acting, timing, effects, editing and fighting one viewer can take. Added to this the fact the makers seem to have employed that same rock band that churn out that god awful rock music you hear in almost every budget-less horror, the final scenes just drag. There is no urgency to any of the action, and I will be truthful here, I couldn’t wait for the film to finish. It might just be me, but if you can see the funny side to some fat, bearded idiot who has wizard powers and can only use simple commands like “revive” (to bring someone back to life) or “elsewhere” (to transport himself to a different place) then you might get a little more enjoyment out of this than I clearly did.