Monday, 8 October 2007

Zombie Film Review: Part two of a soon to be abandoned series

Name? Zombie Flesh Eaters 2
'Plot'? Also known in Italy as Zombi 3, it is, somewhat confusingly, not actually a sequel to anything. Which is good for things, I suppose. Basically it runs thus: man nicks zombie serum from government agency (seemingly without motivation), turns into zombie, gets taken down by idiot army men who burn his body, spreading his ash everywhere and turning loads of people into zombies. The government responds by massacring anybody in the infected area, which happens to include our 'heroes' (I use the term very loosely), a bunch of soldiers and civilians who gradually get whittled away as a result of their own immense stupidity until two of them purloin a helicopter and peg it.

How irritating? The sheer unlovability of the needlessly large cast of squealing women and emotionally retarded men is quite staggering. Worse though is a DJ whose entire patter is based on wittering incomprehsibly about global warming, something he bewilderingly continues to do when turned into a zombie.

Most ridiculous moment? Cheerily establishing the fact this film has no internal logic whatsoever, a character opens a fridge only for a floating zombie head to come out and, y'know, fly around a bit and attack her. It is funny, mind, though of course entirely unintentionally.

Most glaring plot flaw? None of the zombies actually eat any flesh. Also they seem to cheerily vacillate between brainless automata and go getting corpses who don't let death stop them being able to run a radio station.

How cheap? The helicopter says 'we have some money'. A flock of zombie birds that actually appear to be hand puppets say 'and we spunked it all on the bloody heliopter'...

Zombie Film Review: Part one of a soon to be abandoned series

Yes, I have decided to review some zombie films, okay? That's what people 'do' on blogs. This is because on Saturday I watched Zombie Creeping Flesh, the worst film I have ever seen and I feel I should write about it in a format that optimistically supposes there will ever be more than two, which there probably wont be.

Name? Zombie Creeping Flesh

'Plot'? Er. For reasons not especially clear, there's a really violent zombie rat hanging out at an enigmatic chemical plant in the middle of New Guinea. It infects everyone and turns them into zombies, thus presumably dicking things up for the people of New Guinea. Some sort of SWAT team type affair is sent in by what one supposes is Italy (it being an Italian film), for, er, some reason... after picking up some itinerant journalists they go through a mind bogglingly repetitive number of encounters with the undead, until they arrive at the chemical plant, where unsurprisingly it turns out that everyone is now a zombie. Not really having anything to do, our team sort of potter around until they get surrounded and eaten by zombies.

How irritating? The characters are terribly drawn, but by far the worst thing about them is the fact they keep forgetting a) that the zombies are evil dangerous monsters that want to eat their faces and b) the only way you can kill them is to shoot them in the head. It's basically a really cack-handed way of trying to put tension into the zombie encounters, which all take the form of one character casually putting his or herself in harm's way by wandering up to the zombies and talking to them, followed by the SWAT team shooting them in the body to no effect, at the last minute remembering to zap them in the head, which kills them really easily. Effectively it's just a looped film of a bunch of idiots being crap at zombie fighting. One of the soldiers dies because he decides that rather than search a basement, as he's been ordered, he instead ought to in fact put all his guns down, put on a dress, and dance around heedlessly into darkened rooms. The result is that you find yourself joyless screaming orders at a bunch of characters you hate, informing them to stop being so painfully twattish it actually hurts your eyes to watch.

Most ridiculous moment? Shortly before getting her tongue ripped out, the last journalist has a moment of dazzling clarity and sees through exactly what's been going on. Yes, the West, being overpopulated, has collectively decided to kill everyone in the Third World so there's, um, more room. The chemical plant was working on accomplishing this, but - butterfingers! - it accidentally turned everyone into zombies. What. The. Fuck?

Most glaring plot flaw? See the above, but other than that, the fact the global response to the zombie menace is to send in four borderline mentally ill soldiers with absolutely no back up and not much in the way of an actual mission. It also leads us to believe they arrived at an airport in New Guinea without seeing or interacting with another human soul and didn't suppose it was slightly odd.

How cheap? About 20 per cent of the film is made up up of stock footage of jungle animals and tribal rituals. On the plus side these are the best-shot bits of the film; on the minus side ZCF manages to undermine its confused attempt at taking a pro-Third World moral stand by splicing the stock and new footage together in such a way that it implies people from New Guinea are not only cannibalistic, but too stupid to realise you should get the shit out of the way when an army of corpses attacks you.