Wednesday, 2 December 2015



Because there's nothing left. The zombie movie can't surprise us any more. The undead have been shambling and shuffling (and occasionally running) for a long time and no-one can say they haven't had a good innings, but sooner or later you move on and they don't, and you get fed up with them, the way you get fed up with Cash In The Attic or mariachi music. And sometimes they've been fantastic - Dawn Of The Dead will always remain one of the greatest films ever made, whatever Sight And Sound might have to say about it. But enough now. (Indeed, I was blathering on about this just a few weeks ago during the inexplicable cinema release of Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse: maybe it's time to let the dead stay that way.)

Meanwhile, Dead Rising: Watchtower slipped into my mailbox and if anything it proves my point: there's nothing in there that we haven't seen before, and while it does the job reasonably well it's no longer a job that requires regular doing. This takes place in a world (or at least an America) where zombie outbreaks are so common there's an anti-zombification vaccine that keeps you alive after a zombie bite; during the latest outbreak a reporter is trapped in the containment zone after the drug suddenly appears to stop working. Surely Army man Dennis Haysbert isn't planning to use this deliberate failure to usher in a new surveillance technique involving electronic implants? Meanwhile a bunch of yahooing bikers (not a million miles removed from Tom Savini's gang in Dawn Of The Dead) are having fun looting and pillaging their way through the evacuated city...

Having never played it, I wouldn't know how close the film is to the video game from which it's nominally derived, but it doesn't really matter; it's all watchable enough and there's plenty of gore and mayhem on offer - at least they haven't wimped out for a 15 certificate. However, it is at least twenty minutes too long and could easily have lost the comedic sequences back in the TV studio with an idiot survivor of a previous zombidemic. Those scenes are tiresome and irrelevant and the movie would probably play better without them. Other than that, and a final sense that they may be planning a series of these things, it's okay. Nothing special, but scarcely essential.


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