The apocalypse . . . on a budget.
STARRING: Ving Rhames, Taryn Manning, Johnny Pacar, Gary Weeks, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Eddie Steeples
2011, 88 Minutes, Directed by: Nick Lyon
Zombie Apocalypse is the latest effort by the infamous “mockbuster” Asylum outfit to hit Amazon Instant Video.
In the days of video shops, The Asylum’s business plan consisted of cheating punters into renting their cheapo rip-off flicks instead of the genuine item. Now that video shops are as dead as the Greek economy, they churn out “product” for the Syfy channel instead.
It is not entirely clear on which major Hollywood release they hoped to cash in with Zombie Apocalypse. It is too early for the upcoming Brad Pitt vehicle World War Z and too late for Resident Evil: Redemption (although Asylumdid make a sequel titled Zombie Apocalypse 2: Redemption – they are rather brazen that way).
As far as The Asylum productions go, Zombie Apocalypse actually resembles an actual movie and not just somebody’s extended home video they decided to show on TV (see: The Almighty Thor and Battle of Los Angeles).
Photography is decent and Zombie Apocalypse features an actual movie star and not just the director’s neighbors and family. Well, sort of. We get Ving Rhames who at least have appeared in actual movies before even though he has been slumming it lately in the likes of Death Race 2 and Shark Night. Maybe the Mission: Impossible star didn’t read his contract closely and thought he was signing on for a Dawn of a Dead sequel – who knows?
Surprisingly Rhames actually sticks around for the entire movie although some other members of an ethnic minority and an, um, English Lit student aren’t as lucky.
As promised the movie takes place in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse as we follow a group of survivors round as they try to make it to a safe zombie-free island. Along the way they get attacked quite regularly by some spastic zombies in bad makeup as well as, um, a zombie tiger. Special effects aren’t as bad as we’ve come to expect of any Asylum production.
Zombie Apocalypse is better than your average Asylum flick sure, but that doesn’t mean that it is any good though. Just somewhat on the stale side of things. Plot logic doesn’t always apply; the fight scenes and gore look like something out of a videogame; and some of the zombies are more likely to induce giggles rather anything else (we rather chuckled at the long-haired zombie who chased a female cast member into a toilet).
Something for fans of this subgenre to check out on TV . . . if they are really desperate and there is absolutely nothing else showing.