So a tanker full of zombie juice its on the way to someplace, we are in the nation once known as Yugoslavia, and it stops at some local train depot to refuel or something. At this moment some foreign soldiers show up looking for a good time, and a good time for these assholes is f@#kin’ with the local security guard at the train depot. Most soldiers I know usually find a bar to get drunk at and inappropriately position random women, but these dudes want to mess with a security guard. The guard pulls out his gun, there’s a tussle, some bullets are squeezed off and the zombie juice is set free. Now Serbia has become the ‘Zone of the Dead’ or ‘2012: Apocalypse of the Dead’. Even though this movie was shot in 2009. We’re going to go ahead and call it ‘Zone of the Dead’ since there aren’t a lot of titles that start with the letter ‘Z’ in the FCU index.
Slowly but surely the zombie juice is creeping along infecting people, but let’s not worry about them as of yet. First we’ve got some important people to meet such as rookie Secret Agent Mina Milius (Kristina Klebe) whose first field mission is transporting some mysterious criminal (Emilio Roso) to his final destination, and she will be assisted on this allegedly routine mission by hardcore super agent Mortimer Reyes (Ken Foree) who’s all sad and stuff since his wife has recently passed away, and he will be joined by his BFF Inspector Dragan Belcic (Miodrag Krystovic). This is supposed to be Agent Reyes last gig before he goes back home. Whatever man. The president of Serbia also makes an appearance, though I’m not sure why.
So our people are transporting this criminal, everything is going smoothly, until they run over some guy with one of their vehicles. It’s a zombie, though they thought it was just some random careless dude. Until he eats somebody’s face. Next thing you know, zombies are coming out from everywhere and these zombies are nothing if not inconsistent. Some are slow moving, some sprint like Carl Lewis, and some are nude with big boobs. One thing that is consistent is they are all hungry for human flesh.
Now our heroes are on the run, holed up in an abandoned police station along with a couple of hotties, a depressed old dude and a schlep, with the zombies menace outside, inside, on top and below them. It’s gotten so bad that our secret agents had to free our
dangerous criminal, who just so happens to be doubling as Zombie Exposition guy in this movie since he has some Chernobyl type zombie experience. Good thing too, because this cat can murder up zombies like few others. But he’s not quite the zombie killer like the God-Fearing loon running around town (Vukota Brajovic) who is wasting zombies with arrows and bullets and bazookas like they stole something from him.
What our survivors need to do is make it to the river, that’s what they need to do, because a river has boats and boats will sail them to freedom. All they have to do is make past the gauntlet of sleeping zombies. That’s all they have to do. What do you think the chances of them doing that are? Zero? We sure hope so because tip-toeing past sleeping zombies and making it to freedom safe and sound would’ve been a little anti-climactic. Mass zombie slaughtering shall ensue.
For the sake of full disclosure I should mention that Vukota Brajovic, who played the religious zombie slaughtering whackjob and also co-wrote the screenplay for this movie is close personal friend of mine. Okay, so I’ve never actually met the guy but we’ve rapped a couple of times and he’s good people, and it would hurt me to trash a movie that a close personal friend of mine was involved in. I mean I’d do it… I’d trash a movie my mom made if it wasn’t no good… but fortunately for our friendship ‘Zone of the Dead’ isn’t terrible. I mean it’s not great or anything, but it does cover the basics of zombified mayhem and it does this efficiently and effectively, and it didn’t offend my good senses as the last film I saw out of Seriba did, that being ‘A Serbian Film’.
The zombies are oppressive, they are everywhere, they appear out of nowhere, and they come at you non-stop. The little zombie mid-day siesta was little odd, but I guess zombies need to nap too. The violence committed against the zombies menace was suitably appropriate with the zombies finding all kinds of clever ways towards their eventual ends.
The performances were hit and miss, Ken Foree being the most experienced actor and it showing up in his performance, with some of suspect performances coming from actors attempting to speak English who don’t speak English all that well, and I think I heard some suspect voice dubbing as well, and there was the occasional lull which interrupted the pacing of the movie and often made it feel more sluggish in points than it needed to be.
‘Zone of Dead’ is what it is, and that is a paint by numbers, but effectively delivered zombie picture. It doesn’t do anything to really set itself apart from the genre, outside of the return of Ken Foree to Zombieland and the zombie’s penchant for group naps, but it also doesn’t offend our zombie sensibilities.