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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day 61: Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie Apocalypse
They put more effort into the poster than the script

Sometimes a little bit of research before watching a movie will really help you from making a bad decision. I read the description for Zombie Apocalypse (or 2012: Zombie Apocalypse because for some reason, we need the year thrown in the title) and thought it might be a decent watch. Zombies and Ving Rhames? We've seen this before (Dawn and Day of the Dead) with pretty good results. And the title shares a name with a really good hardcore band I like. If only I had taken the time to see who had made the movie, I would have saved myself some serious mental anguish.

Zombie Apocalypse (I refuse to put the pointless 2012 in the title) has a beginning very reminiscent of the awesome 80's movie Red Dawn in the fact that the entire world goes to hell within the first minute of the movie. The VM2 virus turns people into zombies and spreads across Europe and eventually makes it's way to the United States. In order to contain the infected, the government cuts off major transportation arteries like roads and bridges. Then they detonate Electro-magnetic pulses to cut off electronic devices among the population. I guess the government must have magical non-electronic devices that the EMPs won't take out. The population has been devastated and only small bands of people roam the country looking for a safe haven. Anyway, Ramona (Taryn Manning, 8 Mile, Cold Mountain), Billie (Eddie Steeples, Darnell from My Name Is Earl) and Kevin are wandering through a town when they are attacked by zombies. A group of people, including Henry (Ving Rhames, Dawn of the Dead, Pulp Fiction) come to their rescue, but not before the zombies bite Kevin. The group is headed towards Los Angeles because there is a rumor that there is a ship that comes to pick up survivors and bring them to the safe island of Catalina. Will they be able to make it to Catalina or will they become dinner for a hungry group of zombies?

Mr. Rhames! Can I have a hug? OWWWW!

If I had done my research, I would have found out that this movie was made by The Asylum, creators of such masterpieces as “2010: Moby Dick,” “Titanic II,” “Freakshow,” (read my review for that garbage) and countless titles that try to confuse their movies with popular titles (Snakes on a Train, The Amityville Haunting). I knew I was screwed when the first screen of the movie said “SyFy Films”.

Zombie Apocalypse is just about every zombie movie you've ever seen with more aimless wandering. If I say “zombie movie” you already have a pretty good idea of what is going to happen. While most zombie movies try to include social commentary, Zombie Apocalypse smacks you in the face within the first seconds of the movie with some far-out “the government is abandoning you” propaganda that may or may not have been intentional. Beyond that, the movie has nothing to say. Nothing about inequality or the environment. There aren't even evil humans in the movie, practically a staple on zombie lore. There are plenty of zombie-fighting scenes, but upon closer look, I found out that the movie uses the same zombie actors over and over. They couldn't even bring a change of clothes to make them look different? I guess it doesn't matter because the computerized effects are SyFy-level awful.

Most of the characters are pretty unremarkable and I'm actually struggling to remember any of their names. Besides Ving Rhames, most of the acting is mediocre. Taryn Manning is the Red Oak of wooden acting with a voice made of gravel to boot. The movie really suffers from not having a main character. We start with Ramona and her friends, but she gets pushed aside very quickly. The audience doesn't connect with any of the characters and never cares if they live or die. What's the point of having a large group of people in a zombie movie if you're not going to kill most of them off? While all of this would have made Zombie Apocalypse a mediocre movie, but in the last 10 minutes, it falls of a cliff and crashes into the side of a mountain all because of two words: Zombie tigers. No, wait, three words: Fucking zombie tigers. Tigers are never eluded to or mentioned throughout the entire movie. They just show up at the end of the movie because why not.

Pictured: Fucking zombie tiger

Zombie Apocalypse is a thoroughly unoriginal zombie movie with little story and mostly poor acting. The special effects are the same computerized drek you'd see in typical SyFy movies. Save yourself the trouble and avoid the movie Zombie Apocalypse. Instead, listen to the band Zombie Apocalypse and play some Left 4 Dead. You'll be much happier.


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