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Zombie Undead (2010)
Director: Rhys Davies

review by A.E. Grace

So now that vampires have had their lengthy time in the limelight, I guess zombies are back in trend. With shows like HBO's fantastic The Walking Dead and films such as The Crazies remake out recently, new zombie films have rather a lot to live up to. When I received this movie, I anticipated an unoriginal take on an overworked genre, because frankly, that's what a majority of zombie films are.

You'd think it'd be easy to make a decent low-budget zombie film, considering you can do it with a hand-held camera, a load of college students and some clever make-ups. If you've got a decent story - or even a comedic one, like Shaun Of The Dead - then you're laughing. The difficulty in zombie films is realistic dialogue and narrative; it's important to be original and convincing so the zombie tale seems fresh. Much as I'd anticipated, this film is none of those things.

The acting seems unscripted and unrehearsed, especially on the part of Ruth King, who plays the lead role. Her cries of terror are without passion, her lines are delivered clumsily and half-heartedly, and the dialogue itself is dire. There is no urgency, no drive. The dialogue was self-serving, with lines like "No! Oh Christ, no!" and "Come on! We've got to get out!" filling in all too often.

As for the plot, well, there isn't one. I vaguely remember something about a bomb, a missing father, and then a tour around a mostly empty hospital followed by a short stint on a country road. The lead roles are played by a Kathy Freeman look-alike (Remember from the adverts? "The floor was wet with no warning signs; I fell and seriously injured my fringe"); a James Corden impersonator; and a token hard-man black guy who shouts a lot... I feel most sorry for these guys; they've become a typical, over-used convention of their own. Everyone involved is a rough sketch of a two-dimensional person, so their welfare and progress is of little interest to me.

Now for the zombies; these are the worst of the bunch. They are slower than the elderly and don't seem that miffed about the living. In fact, the trio of survivors (who are later joined by a few nondescript extras) spend most of their time simply walking past the zombies, or gently closing doors on them for some peace and quiet. They aren't remotely threatening; it's as if the writer is afraid the drama would be too limiting for the characters. Well, duh. Conflict is drama; without it, the film is meaningless. The idea is you throw obstacles in their way, not give them an easy ride. Having said that, the musical score was either non-existent or so lacklustre I scarcely noticed it, and the scene transitions were so sloppily cut that the little conflict there was couldn't be emphasised. The whole film is without momentum and pace because of it.

All in all, this piece is boring, unimaginative and pointless. It wouldn't have even made a good student film, because it lacks story, structure and visual stimulation amongst all its countless other faults. If the production team had scraped together a �10 budget between them it was wasted. They should've spent it on a Romero movie and learnt a thing or two, or more importantly, decided not to make the film at all. These guys make even the poorest indie zombie flicks look like Hollywood.

Zombie Undead

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