Simply put, Army of the Damned is a shambles.

Aside from the array of the usual ‘actual’ actors in Army of the Damned, I believe the rest of the cast were made up of an ensemble of wrestling people, singers and adult film performers, and it showed. However, their lack of acting skill had little to do with the reason for this film being a bit of a mess. That honor is split between director Tom DeNucci, continuity, editing and whoever decided to cram in as many “cameos” as was humanly possible, near the end of this affair. I genuinely enjoy watching low-budget gore flicks, and can usually get into them when they’re decent enough, but I didn’t like very much about Army of the Damned, at all.

Army of the Damned
Written & Directed by
Tom DeNucci
Cast
Sully Erna, Tony Todd, Michael Berryman, Jackie Moore, Thea Trinidad
Release Date
15 January 2014
Ed’s Grade: C-

It’s about a cop who’s being followed about by a camera crew for a reality show about cops. The show, presented by Kayla (played by the sexy Jackie Moore), is in a small sleepy town where nothing exciting ever happens. Kayla has been following around Detective Bridge (Sully Erna), when he gets a call to attend a domestic disturbance. Two cops are already at the location and discover a room with a freshly butchered family, dead around a table (that stink already?!) but when Bridge arrives at the scene (and finally stops yakking and wasting time with the other cops outside the house), he discovers Officer Lawson (played by a very hot Thea Trinidad) dead in the house with no sign of Officer Carpoza.

When Carpoza does finally show himself, he’s just crawled out from the basement and dies, having been just that moment stabbed in the neck, so, they all decide to go upstairs and start looking for the killer?! (Eh, why not look in the basement where Carpoza had just come from, or anywhere else a bit more obvious?) There’s also a kid running around loose in the house, that no one can seem to keep a hold of the entire film, no matter how many times they catch her. Meanwhile, two more cops arrive (bringing with them some excellent overacting. “They’re prescription!”) and they discover Carpoza and Lawson’s bodies have gone missing, but soon learn the dead cops have come back as the undead, and they start to attack the living.

Their radios or phones don’t seem to work properly (how unusual) so they can’t get through to their controler, but somehow, after much shenanigans, more cops turn up (Tony Todd and co.) to sort out the situation, however, everyone keeps running in to trouble, but luckily for the cops, Michael Berryman lives next door with a huge arsenal of various sized weapons to help them out in their time of need.


I expect a certain amount of mistakes and problems with any low-budget horror, but the ones in Army of the Damned were too many for my tastes. Thea Trinidad’s uniform shirt was on one minute, then off the next, through the entire film (the shirt off parts I was admittedly cool with), then there was the part where the undead hack off parts of their lower arms so they can painfully insert weapons in the wounds, which then suddenly grow back so they can just hold the weapons. Call it nitpicking all you want, but the entire film was like that.

As for performances, some of the non-actors did a better job than the “real” actors, with the likes of Tony Todd appearing to be there for the pay, as he dialed his in. Thea Trinidad was good, as was Sully Erna, who would have been even better had he been led properly. Michael Berryman was Michael Berryman but you know where you stand with horror royalty like the veteran actor. Strangely, the guy who played the criminal (I never caught his name), who was originally locked in the back of the cruiser, actually put up an entertaining performance.

I reviewed Tom DeNucci’s last movie, the semi-decent Self Storage, which was his debut as a director, but somehow he’s gotten worse instead of better. I could be wrong, but I sensed too many people getting a say in this film, instead of letting DeNucci do his thing, but, we’ll never know. This film will please anyone who knows someone in Army of the Damned, or serious about the genre, but beyond that, I doubt it.

Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer