Thursday, 5 July 2012



One of the downsides of online rentals is that unless you research the movies on the IMDb in advance, you're quite likely to be sent something that you wouldn't have asked for if you'd been able to read the small print in the credit block. Years ago I rented Maniac Nurses Find Ecstasy and my heart sank when the first thing I saw on screen was the dreaded Troma logo; it may only be a Troma presentation and not an actual Troma production but it's no better than their usual unwatchable junk. And had I seen the DVD box for this one in advance, I'd probably not have bothered with it as it's produced by The Asylum for the Syfy channel: two names I really don't want to see in an opening credit sequence.

Yet somehow, probably not by design but more likely as a result of making so many movies that statistically one has to click sooner or later, Zombie Apocalypse isn't that bad. The movie really isn't much good, and it has absolutely nothing going on beyond extended scenes of badasses beating up on the undead, but it just about gets by. It chronicles the cross-country wanderings of various survivors of a zombie plague (which originally took out France before the opening credits) as they try and stay alive long enough to reach the promise of safety of Catalina off the California coast....

Characters are stock (though it's always good to see Ving Rhames) and the plot is basically Zombieland without the gags and star power. Worse: much of the gore is digital rather than physical, badly daubed in afterwards on the computer. Pasted-in CGI blood spurts don't look right even in big-budget studio blockbuster fare (see the last Rambo movie) and if they can't pull it off then a disposable Syfy gore quickie certainly isn't going to manage. As a result the pseudogore looks so naff the film can't even earn itself an 18 certificate! Yet it emerges as an reasonably efficient cheapie: well enough put together not to be actively boring and as a Friday night schlock rental it just about scrapes a C minus pass, which is some kind of achievement considering the source. There's a lot worse out there, but there's a hell of a lot that's so much better.



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