Rated | Alphabetical
David J. Francis, Canada, 2003
Posted: November 19, 2004
Okay, devoted readers. After the Maplewoods
fiasco, I just had to see if there were any low-budget zombie flicks in the
offing. As fate would have it, I found one called Zombie Night, and it is
not without its merits. Maplewoods was an affront to the zombie genre.
Can a (seemingly) lower-budget effort surpass it?
Zombie Night earns points for setting the tone early: A family returning
from a vacation in the woods (not the Maplewoods, let us all give thanks)
picks up some radio news reports regarding biological warfare between India and
Pakistan, and the detrimental global effects that result from it. For whatever
reason, a zombie plague breaks out, and things get real bad, real fast.
Zombie Night scores here because all this happens within the first two
minutes of the film!!! As I always say, we know it's a zombie film.
Get to it already! Anyway, this family hides out in what appears to be some kind
of warehouse complex, and soon they meet others facing the same threat. They
band together, figuring there'll be safety in numbers. It turns out that's not
really true, however.
The zombies are excellent. They stumble (no hyperactive running zombies here, as
has been the recent trend), they moan,
ooze various fluids, and generally behave like good zombies should. There are
decent shots of the zombies in the distance, gathering outside doors, and
climbing stairs as they move past a barricade that the survivors have erected.
In short, all's well on the zombie front.
Then, as with most zombie films, there is the human struggle. There's a bad seed
in the group (I think his name is Derrick), who constantly tries to steal food
and weapons, and for some inexplicable reason, is always allowed back into the
group. He gets a few goofs to follow him and heads out into the surrounding
woods. Derrick's a troubled soul. Fortunately, the rest of the group has a
fiendish plan for how to deal with him. Now, I don't know about you, but if I am
faced with a zombie attack and I got some pencil-dick stealing my food and ammo,
it's all over for him. My boy is gonna get a one-way trip off the roof, end of
story. But that's just me. Why they allow this winner to keep causing trouble is
beyond me. This humans-can't-manage-to-work-together angle is a trifle annoying,
but it doesn't de-rail the film.
No, it's in the acting department that Zombie Night takes a serious hit.
Bangkok hookers do a better job of playacting than the cast of Zombie Night.
I mean really, people, these meatbags might as well have been holding the
script in their hands and reading from it. That may have actually worked better.
Look for one character to lash out and speak to God aloud, questioning why
humans have been forsaken. It is truly the
William Hung moment of thespian artistry. At some point during his
soul-depleting soliloquy, I felt actual physical pain from the performance. But
hey, these guys are not actors, just dudes with a dream. I respect that.
There is one brief scene, however, that acts as the yang to the terrible yin of
the acting. As people join the survivors (you can't really keep track; one
moment there's five and then there's, like, 22), fresh new faces start to pop
up. Well, one of these newbies decides to get it on with her boyfriend. And in a
scene that completely justifies the film's existence, as she sits atop him, her
1-megaton naked cleavage swings freely. This scene saves the film, and refreshes
you for its conclusion. I know there's a zombie plague going on and all, but
man, it just goes to show you that there's nothing so urgent that we don't have
time for a gratuitous shot of naked breasts. It's what separates us from the
Now, I ain't gonna lie to ya. Zombie Night is not zombie-flick
perfection. In fact, it's far from it. But it stays true to its rules, and it
does a lot with very little. Beneath the rough exterior, there's a fairly decent
zombie flick yearning to breathe free. Fans of the genre will be patient enough
to try to find it. Others can just ogle the naked chick having sex in the
shelter. So you see, there's a little something for everyone. How can you lose?
design copyright © 2001-2011 Shaking Through.net. All original artwork,
photography and text used on this site is the sole copyright of the respective creator(s)/author(s). Reprinting, reposting, or citing any of the original
content appearing on this site without the written consent of Shaking
Through.net is strictly forbidden.