Zombie Resurrection (2013)
Directed by: Andy Phelps, Jake Hawkins
Written by: Andy Phelps, Jake Hawkins
Starring: Danny Brown, Eric Colvin, Georgia Winters, Jade Gatrell, Jim Sweeney, Joe Rainbow, Rachel Nottingham, Shamiso Mushambi, Simon Burbage
ZOMBIE RESURRECTION (2013)
Written and directed by Jake Hawkins and Andy Phelps
Set 15 months after a virus outbreak leaving most of the population as the shuffling undead, a group of survivors attempt to make their way to a safe location where they believe a colony of survivors have gathered to start a new world. An unfortunate incident on their way there forces the group to take refuge in an abandoned school… or at least they think it’s abandoned. What they find inside the school could change their lives for good.
British horror comedy ZOMBIE RESURRECTION goes for tongue-in-cheek laughs amidst the battle for post-apocalyptic survival. Chock full of grisly humour, predominantly introduced by the character of Scottish army officer Mac, the film puts a contemporary spin on the zombie story whilst bringing in religious ideas and a copious amount of bad language.
The film follows the survivors journey from A to B and what happens when the plan goes off course. The first third of the film is set up to introduce the different characters and their position and relationships within the group of survivors. Whilst there’s a group of characters with their own larger than life personalities, a couple of the characters, namely Gandhi (Simon Burbage) and Becca (Rachel Nottingham), seem too bland which puts them at contrast with the chavtastic Harden (Jade Gatrell), bible-bashing pregnant Esther (Shamiso Mushambi), nerdish teacher and keen golfer Beaumont (Danny Brown), goofy soldier and self proclaimed leader Gibson (Joe Rainbow), mysterious prisoner Sykes (Eric Colvin) and mad macho Scottish soldier, Mac (Jim Sweeney) who very much reminds me of Jesse Ventura’s Blain in Predator. Becca’s only characteristic trait is to procure the dog tags of undead soldiers, whilst Gandhi just wants to get “some”, if you know what I mean. Jim Sweeney is the actor who steals the show though for me, with his no-nonsense, testosterone fuelled Mac who loved nothing more than getting his hands bloody, providing one of the coolest scenes of the movie.
The make up and prosthetic FX are amazing for this indie feature and really capture the decay of a human body. Even when its time to slay zombies or for zombies to munch upon living flesh, filmmakers Jake Hawkins and Andy Phelps don’t skimp on the red stuff, throwing in some gushing intestines and even a spinal column. Nice! In fact, their visual effects are some of the best I’ve seen in recent times with great effort gone into the detail of the characters, even the mass of zombie extras.
Whilst the story of ZOMBIE RESURRECTION is very much about how a group of people from all walks of life are surviving life together in their shattered world, there is another plot thread which is hinted at in the title. Unfortunately, this most unique aspect of the movie isn’t explored as much as it could have been, leaving the idea under-developed and almost throwaway, which is a real shame as a deeper focus on this plot could have opened up the movie in such a different way in which we’ve not seen before. It was this plot thread that really sold me on the film from the trailer and I must admit I was a little disappointed to find it didn’t have as much screen time than I had envisioned.
Despite some pacing issues, ZOMBIE RESURRECTION succeeds as a black comedy, fuelled by blood-splattered visual gags and expletive ridden humour, so whatever you do, don’t watch it with your granny.