INFECTION Z (aka INFECTED) (2013)
Directed by Glenn Ciano
Family and friends gather at a woodland cabin to spend a weekend hunting when the sick grandmother goes missing from her bed. Whilst out in the woodlands searching for her, members of the group disappear whilst others are attacked by crazed humans. The family are soon fighting for their lives against a ferocious virus who’s victims will stop at nothing to satisfy their hunger!
Infection Z is a low budget affair that is practically a zombie movie offering very little other than what we’ve seen from the zombie genre over the years. Employing the acting talent of the tremendous William Forsythe as Doctor Ed, Christy Romano, who starred as Shia LaBeouf’s older sister in kids TV programme Even Stevens, and Reservoir Dogs‘ Mr Blonde himself, Michael Madsen, you’d think we’d be on to a sure fire winner. Well, I’m afraid not even a cast like this can save the film. The wafer thin plot isn’t helped by the confused and abrupt narrative whose sudden cuts on-screen only serve to confuse the viewer further. One that sticks out like a sore thumb is the scene of two characters getting passionate inside the cabin, oblivious to the outside world, and who are suddenly seen running out the door in a state of shock. Apparently they heard screams, which is funny ‘cos we, the viewer, didn’t. Camera shots not matching up are the least of our problems as the film crawls at a snails-pace with only the charismatic William Forsythe and considerate Christy Romano providing the bulk of quality and likable characters.
As far as the zombie genre goes, Infection Z does differ in that the infected seem to be able to assert some control of whether the virus fully takes hold and turns them into a flesh-chomping madman/woman. The scenes involving the sick grandmother are played out well and she becomes a great catalyst for what ensues. Unfortunately, there’s only one shocker scene to be had involving Grandma Annie (Wendy Overly) and Kelly (Christy Romano), which comes as a surprise and is probably the most gruesome in the film. Other scenes raise a chuckle, namely one involving Doctor Ed in the barn who’s approached by an infected, but quite sexy, lady.
Credit where it’s due, the filmmakers have done a fantastic job with the makeup for the ‘zombies’ and zombie inflicted bites, along with the sound effects that add a real feral feel to the deranged cannibals. However, as a whole concept, there’s not that much terror nor storyline to keep the horror fans out there interested.
The location of the woods is an ideal setting for a horror film like this and could have been utilised better, with most of the action in Infection Z occurring inside the cabin. The availability and use of guns too took the thrill of survival away, with the characters able to dispatch the enemies with ease.
At 1 hour and 30 minutes, the film drags on far too long and features an ending that disgruntled me so much that I felt that the 80 mins I’d previously sat through were a waste of time. Infection Z is a film that needs better structure and a comprehensible narrative that doesn’t slip in and out of cliches to pass the time.