The zombie marathon continues with this independent flick that I found on Amazon Prime. The name seemed a bit silly, but I figured that I’d give it a chance. Plus, it was a zombie movie and I wanted to watch a bunch of new stuff for the marathon.
Things start off right in the action as we see a guy, who we later find out is named Chris, running from the zombies. The catch him and bite him but before he dies some science dude and his armed guards show up. Later Chris wakes up all fixed from being “killed” by the zombies. He makes his escape from the house he woke up in and ends up finding a ghost… Not kidding there is a ghost who asks him to bury his body. Some more nonsense happens, survivors are found and killed, the ghost reanimates his body to come to the rescue, and the cure is found. Then they go to Chicago to get more of the cure made only to end up in another big fight. The end?
I was worried when I read the name that this movie was going to try and reference Romero’s great zombie movies. While it doesn’t totally try and rip them off, we do get a couple interesting and well-done references early on. There is a zombie at a window that is very familiar and a musical stinger that is close to Night of the Living Dead. The movie is also in Black and White which I found weird and distracting. But again, this was a different way to pay respects to the granddaddy of all modern zombie flicks and was interesting. Sadly, from there on it is downhill.
|This is the movie poster...|
This is a zombie movie, so I need the gore and makeup effects work on the individual zombies to be at least decent. All of the zombies look generic and basically consist of some greasepaint and black circles under their eyes. Even Night did a better job with the occasional bit of latex and dressing them differently. Here these are clearly coming off of an assembly line without the tiniest amount of creativity. Maybe they tried to give them some personality with the zombie wielding a chainsaw or the one that is suddenly smart enough to run away, but I wasn’t buying or enjoying it at all. The zombies are a total failure.
The kills aren’t any better. The gore is all off screen which means we don’t get any pay off for the gags that the movie tries to setup. How can you have a zombie movie without any gore? I mean thank god for no CGI, but still would a single bite or rubber gut munching be too much to ask? The fights with the zombies are staged terribly and appear awkward on screen. You can see more than once where they are milling around waiting their turns to attack. This might have been fun on the old Adam West Batman show, here it is just dumb.
Some other observations. The movie is way too long and could have used an editor. The tonal shifts between comedy and scares are handled badly. As a viewer I didn’t know what Late Afternoon of the Living Dead was trying to accomplish and neither, I think, did the filmmakers. Seriously what the hell is up with the ghost? Why movie… why? I could go on, but I think that I’ve made my point. This one is a pass from me. Don’t waste your time.
© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer
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