Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

It’s taken well over 20 years but finally Steven Seagal has gotten around to fighting zombies. More or less. You see, even though Steven Seagal is on the box cover of this movie ‘Against the Dark’ and even though his name is above the title, I think Stevie might have had less screen time in this movie than he had in that movie ‘Executive Decision’ and he got sucked out a hole in an airplane just after the credits finished rolling in that movie. ‘Against the Dark’ is really more of a Tanoai Reed flick than a Seagal flick since Former American Gladiator Mr. Reed had to do all the running and punching and fighting and slashing. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since Seagal hasn’t shown any real desire to any of this stuff for almost a decade now, but people looking for Steve to do what Steve does, even if it’s just his skinny stuntman, will be disappointed.

When the virus hit we were not close to ready for it. It turned the majority of the populace into a cross between bloodthirsty Zombies and Vampires, leaving very few survivors in its wake. All isn’t totally lost as there are a group of sword wielding, scythe slashing, machine gun toting men and women dressed in black leather, roaming the streets of this particular European city doubling as middle America calling themselves ‘The Hunters’. If the black leather and swinging swords didn’t hip you to these cats coolness, then perhaps the fact that they walk in constant slow motion may let you in on the coolnitude that these dudes possess. You will notice almost instantly that Seagal doesn’t have a lot of time for the nonsense in this movie because as they enter a seemingly dangerous opening in this hospital that most of the movie will take place, does Seagal go in and make sure the place is safe? Oh hell no, he sends in the young dude who singlehandedly has to slice and dice over a half dozen zombie vampires with nary a helping hand from his ‘boss’.

In this hospital is a group of six survivors who need to make a rather lethal trip to the basement of this hospital to get some much needed meds while steadily avoiding

an evolving group of zombie vampires. If they can just hold on a little while, most of their problems will be solved because Tao (Seagal) and his crew of Hunters are hacking and slashing their way towards them. In addition to the problems they are have with zombie vampires, the Gub-Ment led by Lt. Waters (Keith David) has orders to ‘sterilize’ or ‘liquidate’ or ‘delaminate’ the area. I can’t remember the exact word they used. A lone civilian (Hal Linden) who has been guiding The Hunters tries to reason with the soldier and let him know that there are still live humans in that area, but he’s not hearing any of it and now our surviving humans and our surviving hunters must make it out of the hospital by morning, hacking zombies all the way, or be incinerated by their own damn government.

I guess the question should be ‘Is Against the Dark’ any good? Well… not really… but then it’s not all that bad either. So we could remove Seagal from the equation because he has like five or six scenes in the movie and does very little in these scenes and he might utter a total of fifty words. ‘We don’t decide who lives, we decide who dies.’ Tough stuff like that. With that in mind the movie belongs to our American Gladiator and actress Jenna Harrison who we did enjoy quite a bit in the movie ‘Natasha’, and these two do a credible job carrying what little movie there was. The plot in this thing was razor thin and basically consisted of ninety minutes of running from zombie vampires and killing zombie vampires. That’s it. There was no real particular goal for our heroes in this thing because they didn’t know that the army was about the level the structure they were in, and I’m still not sure why they insisted on trying to make it down to the basement to get these ‘meds’ when it looked like they really didn’t need them. This is also probably the first Seagal flick that I can think of that doesn’t have a central heavy. No evil Russian zombie trying blow up Kazakhstan, no crazy mad bombers, no nutty evil CIA agents, no evil white slavers… just endless hordes of funny looking zombies.

But there was plenty of blood and gory action in this thing as zombies got their throats slit, blown to bits, beheaded and meet all kinds of ugly grizzly deaths. And again, that’s pretty much it. So if you want to see a movie that moves reasonably fast, has lots of zombie killing goodness with just barely enough plot, dialog and story to link all this murdering mayhem together, then ‘Against the Dark’ is the one.


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