It is wrong to get angry at a film? Ultimately it’s not the film’s fault. But there are times when a film can generate anger, and that anger must be directed somewhere, so if not at the film itself, then where? A quick glance down the credits for Anger Of The Dead (irony?) identifies a suitable target, a name now synonymous with filmmaking of the lowest possible denominator: Uwe Boll.
The amazing thing is that despite an impressive record of producing, directing, starring in and probably making the tea on a list of fundamentally disappointing films such as Apocalypse Z and the In The Name Of The King franchise (did you know there was a franchise?) Boll is still making films that sully the straight-to-DVD market. And so now, as a result of this mystifying support, we have Anger Of The Dead; yet another zombie apocalypse films that’s “different”.
As a mysterious virus ravages the world turning its victims into cannibalistic killers, pregnant Alice (Sparta) struggles to survive with the help of Peter (Segal). Together they are seeking a mythical utopia; an island unaffected by the virus but there are others hunting them, and they have an entirely different agenda.
The problem is that there are now innumerable zombie films that claim to offer something new, ripping off the intelligence of productions such as 28 Days Later and the Romero classics, piggy-backing on the continuing success of The Walking Dead. For every success, as an example 2015’s stunningly bleak What’s Left Of Us, there are dozens of something-or-other Of The Dead that sap the genre lifeblood of this most popular of horror staples. Convoluted plotting mixed with nonsensical character actions and motivations give Anger Of The Dead a distinctly amateurish quality, and the potentially intriguing sub-plot of a woman carrying a cure is so bluntly handled as to be fanciful in its quasi-religious imagery.
Yet hiding behind the squalor of this abject filmmaking there is a shard of light; a diamond in the monotonous rough of rotting flesh. Roberta Sparta as Alice emits so much humanity and beleaguered charm that her performance almost, almost rescues a glimmer of hope for the film. Sadly, amidst palpable viewing frustration her character is forced by a desperate script to convince the audience the four months pregnant Alice would fall for the partially likeable Peter so soon after her husband’s demise. Times are tough; end of the world and all that, but really?
In hindsight it is wrong to get angry with Anger Of The Dead. It seems Uwe Boll simply cannot help himself and is perhaps playing some twisted game as he continues to gain funding for what can only loosely be described as films. Perhaps we should applaud him? Maybe if we did he’d stop. Worth a try.
ANGER OF THE DEAD / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: FRANCESCO PICONE / SCREENPLAY: FRANCESCO PICONE / STARRING: ROBERTA SPARTA, AARON STIELSTRA, MICHAEL SEGAL / RELEASE DATE: TBC