Friday, 28 December 2012



How can it fail? We all like a bit of The Raid, don't we? And we all like a bit of the old rape and sadistic misogynistic abuse, right? And of course we absolutely love a good dose of zombie contagion and undead apocalypse and "shoot 'em in the head" action, yeah? Put them together and it's gonna be a classic! Er, no. Thing is, I like cottage pie, I like jelly and I like Maltesers - but crucially not at the same time. Zombie movies, sleazy exploitation and violent cop thrillers are fine individually, but lumped together on the same plate the result is an unpalatable and frankly nauseating mess.

Zombie 108 (actually called just Z108: Abandoned City on the screen, but that's not what it says on the box - oh, for a little consistency in these matters) starts off in usual zomb fashion with a montage of shrieking headlines detailing some kind of biological experiment which goes wrong and gets loose under the opening credits, followed by a woman searching for her toddler daughter in the deserted streets of Taiwan and supermarkets and being pursued by the ravenous hordes. They're saved at the last moment by a passing motorist - but he turns out to be a drooling rapist abusing women in his basement. Meanwhile SWAT teams have been drafted in to evacuate the civilians from District 108, but come under fire from the oblivious drug gangs who prove just as dangerous as the zombies....

Either the cops vs gangsters thriller or the gory zombie movie would have been fine, and you could probably get away with mixing the two together (La Horde, anyone?), but the gratuitous rape and humiliation footage feels seriously out of place and far too much time is devoted to it, even in a film that in total only runs for 83 minutes. It's an absurd contrivance that out of the whole of the city, everyone just happens to converge on the same apartment where Pervert (that's how he's listed in the closing credits) has his squalid sex dungeon, and it's also absurd that Pervert has somehow managed to corral some zombies together to work the dynamo to keep his electricity going when it's clear the city's power hasn't been cut off.

So all the fair to good work in realising a zombie Armageddon (a CGI-enhanced one to boot) is undone by cheap torture porn sleaze and plot idiocies, including the sudden inclusion of a Japanese serial killer for absolutely no good reason. Taiwan's first zombie film ends up is a botch that's trying to be three entirely different movies bolted together, and it just doesn't work.



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