Just when you thought there wasn't enough zombie films getting made, along stagers another one!
First time Writer/Director Christopher Roosevelt has taken a mediocre tale of deliberate viral Zombie infection, and created a rather interesting, but effective piece. His tale has given some some clear nods to the kings of the genre, like World War Z and Dawn of the Dead, but Zombie films are on the increase and not the other way around as you would expect. With several new Zombie flicks just out like Apocalypse Z, or even the new Brit TV show In The Flesh making a go of it, we can expect a drop in quality but the ones mentioned, and now The Demented, doesn't mean we are scraping the barrel just yet. There are, of course some absolute stinkers being released all the time, but thanks to World War Z and the entertainingly original Warm Bodies, people expect better quality and there are indeed some that fit the bill. Low budget does not automatically mean low expectation.
Six collage friends, three couples, decide on a weekend of debauchery and fun and find themselves trapped in a luxurious home, after a terrorist attack with missiles carrying some kind of highly infectious contagion being fired for no apparent reason at the US. It leaves victims drooling Zombies with an attitude, and a good set of running legs. They also enjoy striking poses for long periods of time, or at least until a noise snaps them out of it. An original concept as I don't think I've seen them behave like this before.
When we witness the first missile strike a huge explosion occurs, giving off a large green tinted mushroom cloud uncomfortably near the house but soon after the detonation, a large black Zombie dog appears in the garden. It attacks the group, who lock themselves in for the night, but in the morning, an annoyed Brice (Ashlee Brian) takes a baseball bat and shows the others how to kill a zombie mutt in one easy lesson.
Our group of friends have heard a news report on the radio, telling of a rescue attempt by helicopter on the roof of a building not too far away. So after much flesh munching and jealous infighting over someones infidelity, they finally make an attempt at it, however their numbers have dwindled drastically, but they don't let that stop them. The acting started off a bit shaky but as the movie progressed, everyone settled down and got on with the job of being convincing (Cast List Here). On the whole everyone performed just fine with Kayla Ewell (Taylor) and Twilight's own Michael Welch (Howard) the strongest of the bunch.
The effects weren't anything special (no pun intended), but they kept it decent by simply not showing very much of the gore, but I have to commend some of the stunt people, who done well for such a low cost film. The writing was uninspired and some of it felt a bit loose, as if a rewrite could have smoothed things out a bit, or plot eye rollers could have been avoided like, why did the house get targeted, or why did the dog want to drool in their direction or why was it ridiculously easy to kill certain Zombies and not others? Why make another Zombie film?
But this is always to be expected in low budget fare. The direction, for a debut, was something I liked as Christopher Roosevelt managed to keep the entire film tense, scary and interesting, and he got decent performances from all the actors. He was consistent throughout and I think he has a future in scaring the public with his creations, but I hope he tries another type of horror next time as he most definitely has something to offer, and this is a good start to his filmmaking career. A respectable little Zombie flick with pretty good production values. I have no problem recommending this movie, and anyone looking for a well put together indie horror should find this Zombie flick rather pleasing. I most certainly did.
Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment WriterShare: