DVD REVIEW: ZOMBIE RESURRECTION / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: JAKE HAWKINS, ANDY PHELPS / SCREENPLAY: ANDY PHELPS / STARRING: ERIC COLVIN, JIM SWEENEY, DANNY BROWN, SIMON BURBAGE / RELEASE DATE: MARCH 23RD
It feels like there is a new zombie film sneaking up every time you suspiciously glance over your shoulder and this week is no different. From writing/producing/directing team Andy Phelps and Jake Hawkins comes a debut feature that promises to put a new spin on the distinctly familiar tale of a ragged group of survivors battling an undead holocaust. The reality is, it kind of does and doesn’t.
Zombie Resurrection’s serving of survivor buffet is made up of generally unlikeable, disappointingly familiar characters who are all turned up to irritating on the personality dial. There is the chavvy one, the nerdy one, the officious one, the macho one… you get the idea, and not one of them warrants any sympathy or support from the audience. As it turns out, some months after a viral outbreak that does the obvious, this group of misfits are trying to reach Imperium, the most protected colony in the land, but are forced to take shelter in what they wrongly assume is a deserted school. Instead the halls are crawling with zombies, drawn by the mysterious existence of some sort of Jesus-esque putrid prophet who has the ability to make the undead live again. Or something like that. The strange thing is that this is the singular plot point that could have made Zombie Resurrection interesting and yet it is discarded with little emphasis or explanation. It’s not often you will find yourself longing for a little more exposition in a film but this is certainly one of those times.
This glaring script oversight aside, Zombie Resurrection is well put together. The practical effects are impressive and there is more than enough messily bloody moments to keep gore fans happy. The acting is perfectly passable and there is some decent humour, most of which comes from macho man Mac (Sweeney). The problem is, as with any horror comedy that features zombies, the unavoidable comparison with Shaun of the Dead. While no film may ever live up to the lofty standard established by Edgar Wright’s modern classic, low budget releases such as 2013’s Stalled demonstrate that there are still interesting and original things to be done within the genre.
In the end, frame of mind could be crucial in determining whether you enjoy Zombie Resurrection or not. Approached with an optimistic sense of fun, and perhaps assisted by the ingress of several large drinks, this is an entertaining and visceral, if not entirely successful, late night film fix. Approached with critical sobriety, it sadly becomes almost as annoying as some of its characters.
Special Features: None
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