Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ZOMBIE MASSACRE: Zombie Action Throwback CG What?

I always start off positive zombie movie reviews with sort of a disclaimer letting ya'll know that I know that there are a FUCK TON of zombie movies out there, in production ready to hit your living eyeballs. I know that you've already seen them all anyway, right? You've seen zombies drink cocktails. You've seen zombies smoke pot. You've seen zombies fuck. I'm sorry that zombies have to keep doing new things to entertain you or at least filmmakers think that we need to see zombies doing something new rather than just write  a good story with great characters. So that's the way I usually begin a zombie movie review when I like the movie. What does that mean about Zombie Massacre from directors, Luca Boni and Marco Risto? Well ... It means that that I felt something OTHER about this particular zombie movie. I liked it just fine, but for strange reasons.

Synopsis from Amazon:

A top-secret bacteriological weapon developed by the U.S.Government to create an army of super soldiers triggers an epidemic that turns the citizens of a quiet town into mutated zombies. In an effort to conceal the outbreak, a team of mercenaries is assembled to infiltrate the infected city and detonate an atomic bomb destroying the monsters and all the evidence along with them. No one has to know the truth...unless the mission fails.

The reason I enjoyed Zombie Massacre is because it was created in much the same way that zombie flicks of the late 70s and early 80s were made. Manufactured from a pile of popular subgenre not limited to but including post-apocalypse, action, war and horror. Zombie Massacre is just a hodge podge of everything you remember from the early days of zombie greatness post-Night of the Living Dead. Perhaps the best movie to equivocate it to would be Nightmare City. It's a bit over the top with over the top make-up and a focus on the military intervening in a zombie/infected outbreak that, of course, they manufactured.

Things you want to know about a zombie movie:

1. Does a zombie smoke pot: No. No alcohol either. No zombie sex and un-zombie-like things. These are bad guy zombies.

2. Are they truly zombies? No, they're infected but this is so controversial that you'll have to watch the movie to disagree (so this whole review has just gone to shit)

3. Is there bad dialogue: Yes. All of it. Every word. The accents are from all over the world even though it seems like there should be some kind of a central accent with which to base the origin of the government (the US government). The president of the United States in the movie... has a European accent. That should be a benchmark of some kind.

4. CGI or practical: Both... obvious CGI blood and effects that sorta blow, but in a funny way so that you can actually enjoy and look past them. The practical side of the effects is great. Good, solid gore. Not as much as I would have liked and an emphasis on the CG but it felt budgetary rather than by desire (we'll let it slide).

I said that Zombie Massacre reminds me of Nightmare City and that's because Nightmare City and Zombie Massacre are both chaotic, some what all over the place. Surprisingly it has elements of Escape from New York (or reasonable early 80's rip off there of) but without the expertise of a Carpenter. The whole thing actually is quite fun. So you can laugh and it's appropriate. If you're scared than this is probably your first zombie movie. It is probably also important to note that this isn't shot like it's an old movie. It doesn't fall into the "retro-chic" shooting style or digital de-grading. It's in feeling only that it reminds me of these older picturs.

I recommend to fans of zombie anything. People who enjoy older, cheesier zombie or action fare especially from Italy or Europe. If you're favorite movie is Romero's Dawn of the Dead you compare everything zombie movie to it regardless of budget or intent of the filmmaker, this might not be right for you.

Zombie Massacre is available now on Blu-ray or DVD.



  1. Comparing anything to Nightmare City will certainly pique my interest. Sadly, your review will now have hyped this up in my mind far too much... haha.

    Great review, thanks for the heads up about the existence of this film.