Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
I guess on one hand I should be happy The Asylum has upgraded their acting corps.  Now this could be that The Asylum is tossing more money towards their movies to get these better actors or it could be that there is a certain crop of actors out there who need money.  Any kind of money.  I'm going with the latter.  But while having Darryl Hannah and Mrs. Partridge and Alan Ruck and Anthony Michael Hall in this movie 'Zombie Night' is cool and all, I think I miss the earnestness of hard working people of suspect talent as opposed to genuinely talented bored people. 

Patrick (Hall), his daughter Tracie (Rachel G. Fox) and Tracie's homegirl Rachel (Meg Rutenberg) are heading home when the Zombie Apocalypse breaks out.   Circumstance leads to these three having to exit the automobile, with them observing that the dead have risen, and with the knowledge that the dead have risen, Rachel logically runs from the dead towards a graveyard.  That singular act of unrepentant stupidity almost guarantees that this movie is heading towards the path of a classic.  Then Rachel hides from the zombies in a tree which seems like a solid move since I'm unaware of zombies having the ability to climb, even though they are nipping at her heels.  Then she tosses her flip flop to distract the zombies, which amazingly works because everyone knows zombies lack focus and have amazingly short attention spans.  Then she runs from the zombies, but falls in an open grave.  And stays there.  And dies.  Because Rachel is stupid.  And thusly, Rachel is awesome.  

The awesomeness of this movie kinds of end with Rachel dying, partly because now we meet Patrick's wife Birdie (Hannah) and mostly it ends because we meet Birdies mom (Mrs. Partridge).  Shirley Jones will whine and whine in this movie so incessantly that a zombie can't get to her soon enough.  Also we have the introduction of today's We All Gonna Die character in Janice (Tia Robinson) who also has the misfortune of being Black.  She was cute too.  Oh well.
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Next door to Birdie and her whining mother are the Ladden's led by their patriarch Joe (Ruck) and they should be okay from the zombie outbreak because they have a panic room.  They also have a maid who spouts off biblical prophecies which makes everybody very uncomfortable.  The maid wants to go home, Joe says no and locks her in a bedroom while everybody else retreats to the panic room.  Joe is kind of a jerk. Also, the bedroom has a window that the maid could easily climb out of, but of course it's guarded by zombies.  Look, it makes very little sense to board up your front door but fail to board up your windows.  Joe is also kind of stupid.  The Ladden's would've been safe in the panic room, but circumstances, mainly their two stupid children, keep this from happening. 

The word is, once the family is united and on the run from the zombie posse, is that all you have to do is make it to morning, then the zombies collapse or something.  Safety could be just a panic room away, but we've already established that Joe is kind of a dick, so that's probably not gonna happen.  Thus safety is lies in the ability to run.  Minus one whiny grandma and straddled with one completely hysterical We All Gonna Die chick.  One who told my man that if the zombies are eating her, make sure he puts a bullet in her head.  That sista ain't said nothing but the word.

'Zombie Night' was directed by John Gulagar who made a name for himself directing those 'Feast' movies, and then directed that Piranha sequel.  Now John is my main man and all, but I gotta say that with each subsequent film homeboy has directed, at least in my worthless opinion, they all have gotten incrementally less entertaining hopefully bottoming out with this one.

It's not that 'Zombie Night' was awful, though it was close, but it did come off as pointless and repetitive.  While I appreciate a movie that jumps right into the action, just a tad bit of exposition never hurt anybody.  I mean we get nothing in regards to this movie.  No back story, front story, middle story, character development, humor, plot progressionů nothing.  We get zombies walking around, chasing people we don't care about even a little tiny bit.  All I'm saying is that is if one is going to hire some well known, perhaps down on their luck actors to be in ones movie, one might as well give them something to do as far as actual acting goes. 

Of course I'm never going to be one to actively petition for some low budget zombie movie to amp up the dialog and melodrama, and given a choice between poorly written dialog or poorly executed action, I'm going to choose action almost every time, but the action in 'Zombie Night' just wasn't good enough to offset the rest of the movies failings.

Still I didn't hate this movie.  I do like to talk to my TV when characters do stupid stuff, which does bring me joy, and I was a literal chatter box with my TV on this one.  That in of itself is not enough to recommend that anyone go out of their way to see 'Zombie Night' but we do like to close out these things on a positive note.
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