Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

We are informed via text in the beginning of this semi-impressive zombie feature ‘Exit Humanity’ that at the current time the dead have overrun the earth and we are in trouble.  However the Civil War era diaries of one Edward Young (Mark Gibson) have been found and these texts might be able to shed some light on what we are dealing with and offer suggestions on how to survive what looks to be a world ending apocalypse.  This is Edward’s tale.

Narrated by the dulcet tones of the legendary Brian Cox as an older Edward, he informs us that he first encountered one of the walking dead during a particularly gruesome battle in the midst of the war.  He shot this guy, shot him again, shot him one time again but yet he kept coming.  That’s not normal.  Eventually Edward finally puts this guy down for good and eventually the war ends with Edward retreating back to his simple life with his wife and child. 

Unfortunately zombies don’t care for the simple life.  After returning from a hunting trip Edward is forced to put his infected wife down and he also discovers his son is missing.  Distraught and grief stricken, Edward begins his diaries to sort out this thing out while avenging his wife by killing every one of the walking dead that he can find, while searching for his son.  Zombies aren’t known to take hostages, at least to my knowledge, so I’m not feeling too confidant about the little man’s chances. 

Not surprisingly, not a lot of good comes out of Edward’s search, and he’d like to just end it all to stop his escalating grief, but he has one more task to finish.  This is where Edward’s adventure really begins as he encounters Isaac (Adam Seybold), a hard as nails war vet and zombie executioner who requests Edwards help to retrieve his sister Emma (Jordan Hayes).  Emma at present is being held captive by the completely insane General Williams (Bill Mosley) who is using his kidnapping victims to find a cure for zombieness.   Crazy I know, but that’s what he’s trying to do with the help of Mr. Johnson the Mad Doctor (Stephen McHattie).  Also tossed into this mix is the weird woman in the woods, Eve the Conjurer (Dee Wallace), who befriends Edward, Isaac and Emma while keeping a deep dark secret that has a direct relation to the situation that we are dealing with at the moment.

As you might imagine, The General’s goals for his captives and Edward’s desire to see that no harm comes to his newfound friends are in direct opposition to one another, and The General doesn’t like opposition.  Not even a little bit.  What The General probably didn’t realize was that Edward lost his full right mind a long time ago so while The General is plenty crazy, Edward just might be a little crazier.  If a man plays pied piper to the walking dead, then that man isn’t wrapped too tight.  Regardless of all of that, this will still be settled the way that gentlemen of the day settled these things.

Writer / Director John Geddes ‘Exit Humanity’ is a different kind of zombie movie, that’s for sure.  Falling more along the lines of AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ as opposed to one of the more action based Romero styled zombie films, ‘Exit Humanity’ is deliberately paced, meticulous in its setup and with the aid of the voice of Brian Cox, almost lyrical in its presentation.  The film is very well acted, Mark Gibson doing a fine job of carrying the movie with stellar support from Jordan Hayes and Adam Seybold, not to mention rock solid performances turned in from veterans Bill Mosley and Dee Wallace, though we would’ve liked to have seen Stephen McHattie exploited a little bit more.  There is a much stronger emphasis on the story that’s being told as opposed to pure zombie bloodletting, though the zombie effects are nice, in addition to judicious use of some cel animation which also worked well. 

Where some might find issue with ‘Exit Humanity’ is in the pacing we spoke of earlier.  We called it ‘deliberate’, other might call it ‘slow’ and ‘boring’.  Not me mind you, because I thought the pacing was fine considering how the film was being presented, but others might not think the same.  The film does have some length to it, at close to two hours which is long for any movie much less a zombie movie, and if you aren’t immediately wrapped up in Edward Young’s internal struggles and what he’s about to deal with, then you might be lost for good because this is the focal point of this movie.  The zombies are there, but they are more of a plot furthering device than anything else.  You could theoretically remove the zombies and just say that Edward’s family was killed by some marauding Union soldiers, or scalawags, or bandits or aliens and Edwards motivations for what he is about to go through will still be the same. 

Nonetheless we did enjoy ‘Exit Humanity’ and the cinematic sensibility it brought to the well worn genre of the Zombie Movie.  Well acted, a solid story to tell, and a little different, this was good tale of one man’s woe to sit through.

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