Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Okay filmmakers, we’re going to get together me and you and stop using one movie device.  Just this one, okay.  That device would be when a character in our film, more than likely an older character, informs us that this is his last – fill in the blank – before retirement.  A cop telling his young partner that this is his ‘last stakeout’ before retirement, or a race car driver espousing this his ‘last race’ before shutting it down or a super model proclaiming that this is her ‘last walk’ down the runway before getting her gold high heel slipper.  Or, as it we have it in this here movie, ‘Flight of the living Dead: Outbreak on a plane’, our hexagenarian pilot informing us that this is his ‘last flight’ before he and wife settle in on a long cruise around the world.  What you’re telling us is that he’s going to die.  Now it’s possible that everybody could die in this movie, but we KNOW that this guy is going to buy it.  Guaranteed.  So from this point on we are closing the book on the retiring characters, or just surprise us and let them live.  Now that would be something.

Formerly titled ‘Plane Dead’ which I actually kind of dig, but I guess doesn’t immediately let us know that Zombies are on the plane, this is a fairly simple film about a flight crew and a few passengers who have to deal with zombies that somehow make their way on the plane.  As our flight attendants tell us, it’s a good thing the plane is only a third filled to capacity because I'm thinking that’s about all the extras the filmmakers could afford.  Raymond J. Barry plays Capt. Bashmore who is flying our plane and informs his 1st officer that he’s heading to retirement after this flight.  Bye-bye Capt. Bashmore.  The reason we have to say bye-bye is because we have three scientist on board who are transporting a top-secret experiment in the cargo hold which is under armed guard.  One of our doctors, Dr. Lucas Thorpe (Dale Midkiff) is totally

tripping because apparently his wife is what is on ice in the container protected by an armed guard.  As far as I could tell she is dead and Dr. Leo Bennett (Eric Avari) along with another colleague has used her dead body as a test subject for some organ regenerative thing they have going on.  But not only does this experiment regenerate organs, it also regenerates life, and since the damn gubment frowns on reanimation, these cats are on this plane fleeing to Paris where they can reanimate without apprehension.  Well the flight is bumpy, the container gets knocked over, the wife dethaws and gets shot by the guard then comes back as a flesh eating zombie and kills the guard who also turns into a flesh eating zombie.  That’s what we would call a ‘side effect’ and must be labeled on the package when they try to sell this drug.

Anyway, it’s just a matter of time until the zombies are all up in the plane eating people, leaving just a few survivors left to try to kill them and land the plane safely.  How are they gonna land the plane when the pilots have been eaten?  Well, when we are told early in the proceedings that a prisoner being transported stole some mob loot and ran off in a jet.  I was thinking that that’s a skill which could very well come in handy later on down the line.   One last thing, there’s an F-15 or something that is about to blow the plane out of the sky since the ‘Pentagon’ doesn’t want this thing to land in a populated are and infect the world.  Unless our survivors can alert them that they are still alive.  Whatever.  Blow them out sky anyway I say.

What can I say.  ‘Flight of the Dead’ was GREAT!  I’m not joking either.  I’m not a great fan of horror films, and zombie films generally don’t float my boat too much, but I sure did like this one and I can’t even tell you why.  And there wasn’t one single loose tit in this movie either.  Perhaps it was the simplicity of it all.  The only thing our filmmakers really had to worry about was how to get these zombies on the damn plane.  I mean it’s not like zombies can get on Orbitz or stand in a ticket line or anything like that so once we designed a cockamamie scheme get a zombie on board, it was pretty much on after that.

So we get to meet a few characters such as the ATF agent or whatever played by low budget legend Richard Tyson, or the black golfer ‘Masters Champion’ (Derek Webster) who walks around with his putter all the time, or the super hot flight attendants who didn’t get naked for some reason, and after that it was nothing but dying and running and screaming and blood and bullets and more dying and more running and more screaming for like the entire movie.  Director Scott Thomas kept the proceeding very simple and straight forward.  Keep the action moving, keep the humor light, keep the body count high and make sure we don’t scrimp on red colored karo syrup and squib packs.  Now that’s what I’m talking about. 

I’m not trying to convince you that ‘Flight of the Living Dead’ is ‘Casablanca’ or anything, I’m just saying I was entertained by it no matter how derivative or silly it may have been.  Some people just know how to get the job done no matter what material they’re given and I take my hat off to this merry band of zombie creators because these cats got the job done.

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