Zombie Apocalypse (2011)
(15) Running time: 87 minutes
Director: Nick Lyon
Writers: Brooks Peck, Craig Engler
Starring: Ving Rhames, Taryn Manning, Johnny Pacar, Gary Weeks, Lesley-Ann Brandt
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
See, I love zombie movies as much as the next person, and generally when it comes to zombie movies, expectations can range from medium to very low. Being a fan of zombie movies we accept a certain level of crap, in fact we expect it and deal with it. Every once in a while a zombie film will come along and re-invent the genre or give it a real boost of brilliance (28 Days Later, Rec, The Dead), but among the brilliant are the average, the one’s we accept. However, even die hard zombie fans have a breaking point, and there is a limit to just how crap a film can be. Zombie Apocalypse crosses that limit…
There is very little to talk about here, and even less that I would care to remember. I want to erase this film from my memory, and I pretty much achieved that the second it finished. Hopefully some bits will come flooding back as I write this, but I doubt it so apologies if this review is a bit vague. So the plot: shock, horror the world has been destroyed by a zombie outbreak and barely anyone is left alive. A small group of survivors must make it to a rumoured safe zone on the island of Catalina, and once they join together they must fight their way through hordes of the undead whilst making the most stupid decisions, and waving their silly weapons around like children playing with their new toys.
The plot is pretty much nonexistent, and the film simply consists of talking, then zombie attack, then talking, then zombie attack etc etc. The talky bits are not at all interesting, and the zombie attacks are crap because the CGI and make up is so bad you never really feel any level of threat. In fact, I swear half the cast playing the zombies were laughing (probably at how silly they looked) and they just fail to deliver anything. The makeup seemed to only cover their faces too, and some scenes you can actually see bits of their makeup coming lose. The CGI is pants, but being an Asylum production, you should already know that. However, where most Asylum films are so insanely bonkers you just can’t help but love them, Zombie Apocalypse is just dreadful.
I have no idea what a decent actor like Ving Rhames was doing in this, and to be perfectly honest he looked painfully uncomfortable for most of the film. Running around waving his plastic hammer in the air, he is a million miles from Pulp Fiction’s Marsellus Wallace, Mission Impossible’s Luther Stickell or even Dawn of the Dead’s Kenneth. You have to wonder what made him do it. You also have to wonder how it took two people to write this film. And while we’re asking questions, just why did the group decide to hide in a white van while running from zombies, why not just carry on running, it’s not like they were going to catch you. Why sneak up on three zombies in full on stealth mode and shoot from a distance, why not just blast them without the’ trying to look cool by doing hand signals in silence’ bollocks. Why did so many of the cast have really bad hair? Why did we keep seeing the same shot of a supposed to be city in ruins, which was in fact a poorly CGI’d shot of a city with a tiny bit of smoke sitting on top of the same building EVERYTIME! Just what the bloody hell were those bizarre tiger-like monsters? Now here’s the million dollar question: why on why did I watch this crap?