Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review of Zombie Apocalypse

Title:  Zombie Apocalypse

Date: 2011


Months after a zombie plague has wiped out 90 percent of the American population, a small group of survivors fight their way cross-country to a rumored refuge on the island of Catalina. 

I sat down to watch this movie with high hopes but low expectations.  After all, it was a zombie movie with Ving Rhames, so how bad could it be?  As far as I’m concerned, Ving earned his living dead street creds in the 2004 reimaging of Dawn of the Dead, one of my favorite zombie films.  However, Zombie Apocalypse was a SyFy Channel production, and while I enjoy their movies for what they are (today’s equivalent of a Roger Corman B-film), I was skeptical. 

Zombie Apocalypse turned out to be a pleasant surprise. 

The plot is basic but entertaining.  Months after the outbreak has devastated mankind, a small band of survivors is making its way to the California coast where rumor has it that the island of Catalina is a safe haven free from the outbreak.  Along the way they join up with other groups, run across hordes of zombies, and lose some of the numbers, all the while bonding in the process.  Eventually the remnants of the cast arrive at the port facility where a weekly ferry will transport the uninfected to Catalina, only to discover that the greatest threat does not necessarily come from humans brought back to life. 

The acting, sets, and special effects are what one would expect from a made-for-TV movie made on a limited budget and shooting schedule.  However, despite the constraints, director Nick Lyon succeeded in living up to the film’s title and gives us ninety-plus minutes chocked with action, zombies, and blood and guts.  What else could a zombiephile want?

Zombie Apocalypse is definitely worth a viewing, especially on a Saturday night with a bunch of friends and some pizza and beer.  I give the movie two-and-a-half out of five rotting zombie heads.

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