It took me a while, but I finally saw it. Shot in 10 days (it shows). Filmed on a 30,000-dollar budget (the cash undoubtedly went to visual FX). I want my 80 minutes back.
Now, I’m not talking about zombie films per se with the following statement; I’m talking all film: this is one of the stupidest movies I’ve seen in a long time. The directing is crap. The acting is damn near the worst I’ve ever seen from anyone. Even for a zombie flick, the plot is completely ridiculous. The writing — mainly referring to dialogue here — is awful and things just happen that make so little sense I couldn’t think straight afterward. Even the editing is terrible. The one bright light — surprisingly good special fx. Also, one must applaud anyone who can release a finished movie to the world via DVD. So many people talk about doing it, not many accomplish it.
I don’t know how the writer/director Steve C. Miller calls himself a director. It’s a lie. The actors had no direction. It seems to me Miller said something to the effect of, “Do whatever. I’ll be over here”. This film is a disjointed orgy of people not knowing what to do when the camera is on them. There is an exterior shot of a car moving down the freeway, and there’s a line someone says, “We’ve been driving 45 minutes, and haven’t seen a single car in either direction”. At the same time we can see the reflection of passing traffic in the body of character’s car. A slightly different angle could have cured that.
There’s not a single semi-decent actor in the whole cast. In fact, they may all just be Miller’s buddies who he didn’t have to pay. Certainly, such a move is good for the wallet, but bad for the film if the friends suck.
As I said, even for a zombie film, the plot is terrible. It’s full of holes and doesn’t make a great deal of sense. It didn’t work for me. The characters move around a lot, some of the moves are necessary to the plot, and some definitely are not. At one point the survivors are about to move to their school from the house they worked so hard to get to. They’re in a garage and someone says, “I have an idea,” in the next scene they’re charging toward zombies with close-range “weapons”: chainsaw, an axe, golf club and a shotgun that never seems to need reloading. Great idea, guy! The house the survivors are holed up in briefly is less than a mile from the school yet no one seems to know the area. What? In high school I knew my town for several miles in each direction, and I didn’t even have a car.
Once the survivors get to the school they come across the gymnasium full of dead bodies. They walk to the center of the gym and bam! All the dead wake up. Before this point zombies were springing up almost the second they hit the ground dead. If the zombies playing possum is not enough to make the audience say, “huh?” there’s also a completely pointless act of self-sacrifice. There’s a big speech from one the characters who then charges the horde with his chainsaw and kills one zombie before he’s torn to pieces. Great job saving the others, bud. And of course, not five minutes later the remaining survivors find a safe haven. While in the safe haven, the survivors find out the US government is behind the attack on their town because they’re testing out using reanimated dead soldiers to fight terrorists.
I tried to track down the screenplay for this, but have come up empty-handed thus far. Overall the writing, but mainly the dialogue, is so…so bad. Remember Resident Evil (the original video game in the series?) The dialogue in that game is better than in this movie. Not by much, but better nonetheless. The acting is better too. In this movie, new characters are introduced frequently, and killed off just as fast — seems more of a technique to fill time than to move the story forward.
I’ve never seen such horrid editing/continuity mistakes. Mainly I’m speaking of the house party. Downstairs at the party the sun is down and it’s dark out. However, upstairs in the same house at the same time where two youngsters are in loving embrace it’s nice and sunny out. Later in the film when the survivors arrive at the house where the party took place they battle with a zombie pushing on the door. Literally every cut-to changes between night and day. When the camera is on the zombie outside, it’s night. When the camera is on the survivors in the house it’s day. Awesome.
As I said, there is a bright light. The special fx are quite impressive for a ultra-low-budget indie horror flick. Everything looks quite realistic. The death scenes are bloody, so gore lovers out there probably won’t be disappointed. Once again, anyone who can secure a crew, cast, equipment, and 30 grand to make a movie…I’ll shake your hand for that. That cannot be an easy task. I can see this movie catching on in an almost cult-status kind of way in due time. It could be one of those things where it’s so bad that everyone has to check it out. It’s not one of those “so bad it’s funny” movies though. Also, I can see people passing it around thinking it’s an indie gem or something.
Don’t see this movie.