The ideas circulating in zombie cinema these days are about as fresh as one of the shambling undead – not very. I sit and view film after film, of all nationalities and budgets, and still I see the same regurgitated plots, characters and even more recently, kill sequences over and over. To be honest with you, it’s possibly one of the genres in recent times I have deliberately avoided on the simple basis of this principle.
It was also why, upon reading the literature accompanying ‘Zombie Resurrection’ I began to get quite excited by this project – a zombie movie which boasted a deviation from the usual rag-tag bunch of clichéd survivors and an original type of zombie!
The premise of ‘Zombie Resurrection’ is a simple one one to grasp, assuming you have watched at least one other zombie movie prior. The apocalypse has happened, the ‘actual’ living are something of a minority race. Cue our cast, one such group who are headed towards a fabled safe haven when an attack on their leader forces them to take refuge in an abandoned school. Here, whilst searching for other survivors they encounter something never seen before (or in the genre for that matter) – a zombie which can bring the undead back to life.
Interesting right? Well personally for me it was. Rather than spending the first 30 minutes of the movie recounting the whole world demise and what a zombie is (even though we’ve seen it a thousand times) this film kicks us into the characters which are the first selling point for the film. Now I’m not really one for worrying too much about character development in Zombie movies, as most of them are going to get eaten anyhow, but one thing that does bother me is when the characters actually piss me off to the point where I want them to die. In many low budget affairs this comes from a combination of bad acting, but more often than not, just shit scripting.
Whilst I wouldn’t say all of the characters gelled with me right away, I was very impressed with the unlikely stereotypes presented in ‘Zombie Resurrection’ and by the end of the movie I was enjoying their reactions to the various scenarios they were placed in. Rather than the usual hot shot heroes, love interests and general dick-heads here we have some diverse and very British characters. A chav, a middle class snob, an idealistic student and a sergeant major being my personal favourites. Others include a rather naïve teenager, some crazy religious pregnant African lady and another eccentric army type. They don’t necessarily bring huge amounts of credibility to the scenario, but they all had their own times to shine, and much of the enjoyment came from watching their interactions and banter. There are some killer lines which embody the British peoples creative use of insults – my favourite being “I’m going to punch you in the balls so hard it will make you fuck your arse from the inside”, or something like that! The writing is strong throughout the movie – and possibly the most liberal use of the word ‘cunt’ I have ever seen. Aside from one rather out of place degradation of character, this ensured the movie remained cohesive right up to the end. For what was obviously a low budget the acting is really great with Eric Colvin’s portrayal as ‘Sykes’ really impressing me – it was great to see him shine in this, I enjoyed watching him in his previous movie ‘Broken’ also, but that movie was dire over all through no fault of his. The only reservation I have with the plot is that despite the cool idea of a zombie messiah character it never materialises into all that much, and whilst there are some nice ideas added in towards the end of the movie the plot never really goes anywhere which was a shame. Still the addition was well received.
Now it’s true I would never recommend any zombie movie on the basis that it had a good cast and script, the gore has to be there. Once again Zombie Resurrection delivers. There are shit load of zombies in this movie, and the horde shots defy the movies budget, as do the special effects which for the most part are awesome. The make-up, set design and prosthetics are all really impressive and when the action kicks off you forget anything about low budget, these scenes are truly immersive and pack a punch well above their weight. If you like old school zombie movies, with some quality dismemberment effects then you won’t be disappointed. Like with those old school movies this isn’t wall to wall stuff, but the pacing of the set pieces is such that there isn’t a huge amount of time between each gore scene.
Overall this movie is definitely a modern exception to the trend of low budget zombie films especially when you consider the calibre of the zombie-fx and gore scenes. Compared with its peers it stands well out in front of the pack, but it’s not perfect and ultimately there just needed a little more substance to the plot to push its score from good to exemplary. Still, fans of the genre would do well to seek it out, it’s a fun movie to say the least!