One day, like it is happening on this day in
this Asylum / SyFy channel joint 'Rise of the Zombies',
humanity as we know it will end. Eventually a future
race, be it aliens or newer humans, or whoever will discover
what we have left behind and one of the things they will
discover will be our forms of entertainment. They're not
going to watch 'Casablanca' or 'Schindler's List' or some mess
like that, no sir, they're going to unearth this movie and
those like it and after seeing it they are going to say 'damn…
they were pretty f@#ked up, weren't they? Seriously…
they called this entertainment? No wonder they
imploded. Hurry up and put in the next one.' And
they too will be hooked on bad movies that make them happy and
their society will be on the path to ruin as well.
You want zombie build up? You're not going to get it
here. 'Rise of the Zombies' starts out from the word
jump with zombies in beautiful San Francisco completely off
the chain eating humans. Some cat in a Grand Cherokee
finds some survivors and speeds off with his pregnant wife in
tow, plan being to catch a boat to Alcatraz because zombies
can't swim and take it from there. Alas he crashes his
car, zombies get them, but at least the pregnant lady made it
out and she's on the run in SanFran.
But what about Alcatraz? That's where we meet Dr. Lynn
Schneider (Mariel Hemmingway) who is working with Dr. Dan
Halpern (LeVar Burton) to develop some kind of zombie
cure. There are a few issues as Dr. Schneider is having
to deal with hardcore soldier Luis (Danny Trejo) who keeps
destroying the zombie samples, something about putting the
dead to rest, and these two don't like each other much.
Their feeling towards each other won't matter much in the next
couple of minutes because Zombies has landed on
Alcatraz! Say what? Didn't we just establish that
Zombies can't swim? WRONG! These here are Michael
Phelps zombies is what they are, and they swim real good.
Again, zombies are off the chain eating
people, it's a bloody mess, time to get on that one raft and
make it back to the mainland, except for Dr. Halpern who will
stay behind to work on a cure, especially considering his baby
girl Julie (Kareese Hutchinson) is now all zombiefied and you
always love your baby, zombie or not. I guess. I'd
put a bullet in my baby's head but that's just me.
Now the mayhem really fires up as Dr. Snyder and her crew hit
land to find some other Doc who might have a cure while Luis
and his crew search for supplies. It's not going to
pretty for any of them because these are '28 Days Later'
styled zombies who can sprint and swim and climb of the Golden
Gate Bridge and all kinds of stuff. But they can't climb
over a seven foot chain link fence.
Peculiar. Will the human race survive? It is
a zombie a movie and my guess is no. Absolutely
not. Not a chance in hell. And they find the
pregnant lady which took us to a place that few zombie movies
dare to go.
Last year the Asylum, the SyFy channel and director Nick Lyon
gave us 'Zombie Apocalypse' which probably wasn't all that
good, but it grew on us. One of the main issues we had
with that movie was the awful, awful CGI prevalent in that
movie. A zombie movie probably doesn't really need
CGI. This time around nothing but old school head
smashing, head crushing, zombie munching and bullets exploding
through zombie skulls. Probably the most violent TV
movie ever made. And it was a better movie than 'Zombie
Apocalpse' all things considered, even though both movies were
essentially the same. In fact this could be a
sequel for Zombie Apocalypse when I think about it since the
goal in that movie was to make it some island safe haven,
where the goal in this movie was to get the hell away from
that hell hole.
Since our economy is so crappy we're seeing better known
actors in these movies which is a good thing. Trejo does
his trademark Danny Trejo thing, Levar Burton and French
Stewart makes the movie semi-legitimate, Ethan Suplee from My
Name is Earl shows up playing a hardcore Air Force pilot,
though he still seems a little on the slow side, and Asylum
favorite Heather Hemmens might not be a big star, yet, but she
sure is purdy. What I'm saying is that the cast is not
an issue with this movie.
What is an issue is that 'Rise of the Zombies' is wildly
erratic. The zombies are erratic, lumbering forward at
times, bounding up flights of stairs like a five year old on a
sugar high at other times. Scaling walls but can't scale
fences, swimming like Olympians and hunting like they have a
Saturday morning show on ESPN to the point I half way expected
them to spout wings and fly. That would've been awesome
by the way. The pacing was also erratic as the movie was
prone to sudden quick bursts of zombie mayhem, these zombies
being quite stealthy at times appearing out of nowhere in
droves, then we would get very, very slow moments of what was
supposed to be exposition but quite honestly was just slow
moments of slowness. I know the movie can't be all
zombie madness, I guess, but the expositional moments needed
to be integrated between the madness just a little better.
Still with a decent cast, gore galore… for those of you like
that kind of thing… old school zombie effects and plenty of
zombie mayhem, The Asylum and SyFy didn't do too bad by
themselves this time around.