Monday, June 28, 2010

Apocalypse of the Dead (2009)

It's not everyday you'll see a Serbian zombie-movie and Apocalypse of the Dead was the first one for me. It's not totally Serbian, it's a co-production involving Spain and Italy too, which makes it a nice new addition to the cinematic euro-soup. I read some harsh words about Milan Konjevic and Milan Todorovic's inofficial zombie-remake of Assault on Precint 13, but after a couple of weeks (maybe over a month) of thinking it over I decided to purchase it from and see how it really was.

Ken Foree (forever famous for his legendary role in George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead) and Kristina Klebe (which will star in the upcoming Escape of the Living Dead - directed by the one and only suckmeister John A. Russo, Romero's talentless collegue from Night of the Living Dead) plays Agent Mortimer Reyes and Agent Mina Milius, both stuck in Serbian trying to get a famous criminal (Emilio Roso) to Belgrade. But because life stinks, they get caught in a zombie-infection and have to seek shelter in an old police station. Soon they have to work together with their prisoner, save some other people and fight he never-ending hordes of zombies!

Sure, you can write down a lot of bad things about Apocalypse of the Dead (aka Zone of the Dead), like some very uneven acting, a couple of bad editing choices, a script that's not working all the way, locations that sometimes look like... something it's not suppose to be, and so on. But everyone else write that, so I will try to focus on the good things. First of it, it has a good pacing and is never boring. One zombie-attack after another, and some good but sometimes underwritten characters to root for. Ken Foree might sleep thru some scenes, but eventually comes out alright. Emilio Roso and Kristina Klebe is not bad at all. The only actors really doing a bad job is some of the young folks getting into action after a while, and the soldiers showing up at the train station is both terrible actors and has terrible dubbing! But because we're in Serbia it's easy to accept some strong accents anyway.

Shot on HD, it looks good and and though it has it's generous amount of shaky-cam, it still never get chaotic or confusing. I kinda like these rundown Eastern Europe-locations, and they add to the atmosphere of the movie. The only thing taking away the illusion is what's suppose to be an abandoned police station. Maybe it was a police station for real, but it feels more like a school and not much work has been done to make it look like a place where the police work, breed, sleep and harrass innocent citizens. But fuck that, I've seen worse.

The gore and zombies then? Not bad. But way to little gore. There's a couple of decaptiations, bloody bites, squibs and blood spruting over walls, but it's not enough. I want bellies ripped open! I want brains crushed and arms torn off! But you can't have it all. At least the zombies themselves looks cool with a lot of heavy make-up, blood from mouths and white lenses - but a couple of times they feel a bit to theatrical too.

And yes, of course, Ken Foree makes several winks to Dawn of fhe Dead, but that's the only humor we'll get. The rest is serious and with out irony.

Apocalypse of the Dead was an alright little movie that I can recommend to those that finds this review interesting.

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