Christopher J. Herbert
79 loooong minutes
Trivia Shot in Leicester.
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Zombie Undead (2011)
16th Nov 11
Sarah and her dad escape from a dirty bomb attack in the centre of Leicester right in to a bad zombie movie.
The film opens with Sarah and her dad being driven to an out of town emergency unit by fat paramedic Peter in his little car after they got caught in a dirty bomb blast in Leicester's city centre. It's clearly panic time - Sarah's dad is covered in wounds, blood is pouring, etc. Peter is shouting useful things like "Put pressure on the wound!" whilst he drives like a maniac. He too is probably thinking they should have used an ambulance in this scene.
They arrive at the unit, which looks a lot like a university hall, and quickly drag Sarah's dad out of the car. In the main hall it's carnage - there are loads of people holding wounds, people on makeshift hospital beds, doctors running round left right and centre. Or at least it looks like loads of people; the shaky cam is so shaky it's really hard to tell. And then Sarah's dad starts to convulse, the adrenalin shots come out, and Sarah passes out.
If you thought the opening sounded like a piss-poor zombie movie, hold on to your pants.
Sarah then wakes up, feeling dizzy and groggy. She can't see straight. Who's that figure in front of her? She calls out hello a few times then, when her eyes focus, she realises she's only a few feet away from what looks like a very beat up homeless person. He moves towards her (it's somewhere around here that a scar inexplicably appears on her forehead) then some tubby guy in a shirt and tie with red on him (yes, he looks like he's just gone to a fancy dress party as Shaun from Shaun of the Dead) takes the zombie out and explains the situation in typical generic zombie movie fashion: those things are everywhere, we have to get out of here, I have to find my little brother first, yakkaty yak. Then they go hide in a toilet.
In the toilet, through one of the worst which cubicle is the next character hiding in reveals in film history, Sarah and tubby guy - whose name is Kay - bump in to Peter from the beginning of the film. They berate him for not revealing his position early (setting up the weak 'Peter is a coward' subplot') and leave the toilet, scene finished.
What happens now is standard zombie movie lore. The small team bump into a couple more characters (an old lady and a doctor) and they argue amongst themselves, Romero style (almost), about what to do next. The to-do list becomes thus: 1) Find Kay's bro. 2) Find Sarah's probably dead dad. 3) Get out through a door in the basement that the doctor knows is unlocked.
The first task they achieve quickly, finding Kay's brother on the next floor (he's a zombie, what do you know?) and I'm sure they stumbled upon Sarah's dad at one point, but it's the walk to the back door that's most entertaining. This basically gives them an excuse to shoot zombie sequences around the hospital in random order and then edit them together to make a semi-cohesive movie (you can it's shot in random order, because the blood splats move around the lead characters shirts and faces randomly, indicating terribly amateurish continuity). Then they finally get outside, a few more things happen and the film ends abruptly, unresolved.
To say that Zombie Undead is cheap is a major understatement. The direction is shaky-cam heavy, the editing is choppy and inconsistent, and the raw style that they're going for just ends up looking cheap. The special effects mostly involve lost of fake blood, but there are a couple of latex heavy rippy-biting moments that make you want to go and watch Zombie Flesh Eaters all over again. The acting is awful though - and it's clear why when you notice, for example, the lead guy is also the writer. It all stinks of a student film project that actually got officially released (with a DVD cover that bears no relation to the film, Zombie Diaries style). Yes, it's the kind of film that reminds you a lot of watching a school play. "I'm not going out there!" says one 8 year old, then there's an uncomfortable pause. Then you hear the teacher whisper *those things are every where...* from off stage left. "Those things are EVERYWHERE!" Shouts the kid, and all the parents laugh. You get the picture, and will laugh out loud a couple of times for sure.
Are there any redeeming features? Well, it's so bad that it is funny in parts, but it's not funny enough to be considered a good-bad classic. This will, for example, never make it to Zombie Club and Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 (aka Zombi 3) still retains it's best bad zombie movie crown easily. Having said that it's not completely unwatchable, the cheesy predictability is quite endearing and there is a genuine shock moment right near the end involving a farmer, but all that's not nearly enough to warrant a recommendation.
Oh and the cover quotes? Well, Terror4Fun are based in Leicester and provided the zombie extras (the scenes in Leicester at the end aren't too bad actually, at least the zombie extras made the effort) hence their quote, but God knows how they got a Romero quote, that's a marketers dream and might have even sold the publishing deal, you never know. One thing's for sure, George certainly has a sense of humour, but then we all knew that anyway.