Directed by: Harrison Smith
Starring: Billy Zane, Dee Wallace, Brian Anthony Wilson, Mischa Barton
Zombie films are one of my all time favorites within the horror genre. The idea of what would happen should this actually come true has always made my mind wonder, what would happen to me. Could I survive? How long? Ect. While I don’t like the TV show The Walking Dead (outside of its first season) I do have respect for it having some great makeup and gore effects that really do push what you can show on TV. Having said that Zombie Killers is so awful that it makes The Walking Dead look like Citizen Kane.
The basis of what this film calls a plot is as follows: during the zombie apocalypse, a small town has a bunch of mercenaries that “protect” them from the zombie hoard. That’s the plot ladies and gentlemen, and if you think that’s thin the real plot of the film doesn’t start until around sixty-five minutes into the film. If anything the film is incredibly dull and a real chore to watch, even though its barely over ninety minutes long.
Having only watched the film a mere days ago I can’t recall a single characters name or even distinguish them from one another, they are merely stereotypes that fall under the most basic class of video game stock characters. The generic white guy, the hard ass jock, the girl who is tougher than she looks and the token black guy who is merely there for zombie fodder. Most of the time I can overlook this if the plot and characters are strong, but here it’s incredibly bland.
If the characters weren’t bland enough, their dialogue feels incredibly forced like someone is holding cue cards just behind the camera and they are reading them with incredible wood precision. At one point they just started spouting movie quotes to be all meta and hip, but all it did was remind me of better films id rather be watching.
On top of all that the real killing point is that the zombies in question are hardly ever seen, and if they are, are at a far distance where all the work in makeup goes to waste. As much as I bash The Walking Dead for its spiral graph of a plot, at least they know when to be smart with their kills like using blunt weapons, but in this film these characters haven’t fully internalized the idea, having several moments when they fire their guns only to then realize it was a bad idea. But the guns don’t even feel much of a threat cause the characters wave them around like they are toy guns, which in all probability they most likely are.
Zombie Killers is the worst kind of zombie film, the one where it has nothing to say and too much time on its hands to do nothing. And if I haven’t fully made you not want to see this film, there’s incredibly bad CG zombie deer and fish to make an appearance and not do anything. F**k you movie.
Shot using the RED Epic and in an aspect ratio of 2.38:1 Zombie Killers does look quite good, even when considering its low budget background. Colors look good, even with the muted tone, and details look good. The image does have a natural 3D pop to it and I did not notice any blanding or flicker. I did find some instances where the black levels were crushing, quite badly at one point, but overall it’s a nice presentation.
Presented in a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix Zombie Killers is incredibly disappointing on several occasions. For starters all gun effects are incredibly lacking in every department. If anything they sound like popguns, or stereotypical gun sounds used for the sake of saving money. Could no one have just gone out to a shooting range and gotten some recordings of different types of gunshots? Unfortunately it doesn’t end there, with the surround sound stage being used only a number of times I could count on my right hand. Music and dialogue is always presented cleanly and clearly, but almost everything else is a let down.
Packaging and Bonus Features
On the packaging front, Zombie Killers comes in a standard blu ray case, but again unfortunately it’s an “eco friendly” case. Whoever came up with these, you are my sworn enemy. Ironically the cover art is actually more gory and graphic than anything in the film, and its something I like to call, FALSE ADVERTISING.
- Bloodbath & Beyond
- The Look of Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard
- Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard: Behind the Scenes
Bonus features are all short and light and really do not offer anything other than how much the actors and behind the scenes people really enjoyed working on the film. Other than that there’s really nothing here to find. I do find it quite funny how all three features all include the same quotes and even the same footage, making them feel extremely lazy.
As of this moment I’m going to wipe my mind of this film and everything it had, I really do hate it, but I will say its not as bad as something like Blackhat. Aside from the film the blu ray does offer a decent video and meh audio, with disappointing bonus features. I would expect to see this type film on the Sci-fi channel Saturday night film. Under no circumstances can I recommend this film. AVOID.