Anthology Week Day 3: Zombieworld

Previous Days: Day 1: Cat's Eye
                         Day 2: From a Whisper to a Scream

Released by RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: Feb. 24th, 2015

Starring: Bill Oberst Jr.,  Noé Blancafort,  Salvador Llós,  José María,  Angorilla, Marc Velasco

Written by: Stefania Moscato, Peter Horn, Jared Marshall, David Muñoz, Adrián Cardona,                            Vedran Marjanovic Wekster, Jonathan Brown, Tommy Woodard, 
                     Cameron McCulloch, Zachary Ramelan, Raven Cousen, Paul Shrimpton, 
                     Graham Taylor, Alex Chandon, Luke Guidici, Adam O'Brien, David Muñoz, 
                     José María Angorrilla, Eva Ayats, Adrián Cardona, Rafa Dengrá, David Muñoz

Directed by: Adam Myette O'Brien,  Adrián Cardona, Cameron McCulloch, David Muñoz,                             Jared Marshall, Jesse Baget, Jonathan Brown, Luke Guidici, Paul Shrimpton,                               Peter Horn, Tommy Woodard, Vedran Marjanovic, Zach Ramelan

Rated NR (Not Rated) (Language, Graphic Violence, and Nudity)

Anthologies are mostly a mixed bag. There are going to be some stories that are fantastic and some that are terrible. Creepshow, Twilight Zone: The Movie, The ABCs of Death all have some really great stories (although for the Twilight Zone the stories that are the best are adaptations of episodes from the tv show.) and they have some stories that you have to ponder over their existence. I have only seen one film where all of the stories are great and that is Trick ‘r Treat (2008), but that is for another 

The film that I am talking about today is Zombieworld, an anthology film that was put together by Dread Central, a horror website that has been around for years. They know their stuff when it comes to horror and for the most part they know their stuff here too, but then the film offers a short that is so bad that you wonder if you should keep watching the film.

The film starts out with a really cool POV story that appears to be happening at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. A group of people are running from explosions and mayhem. There is this guy who keeps turning back to the camera (us) and saying “Come on! Let’s Go!) I knew that he would get eaten eventually. I hate POV scenes as well as found footage films, but this short had a lot going for it. The filmmakers really took their time in making this short. Sure the CGI is really bad, but the short keeps its head up. It is a nice way to start a film.

We then are taken to a newsroom where a newscaster is fighting off some zombies. He has been bitten, but decides that he is going to be broadcasting until he turns. From here on out, after each of the shorts end, the filmmakers go back to the newscast and we see the newscaster getting worse and worse every time we go back.

The first short of the main film is a spoof of Jesus’ first resurrection. The people of a small town come to Jesus and tell him that a person is dead in their town. Jesus says that he can bring the person back if they truly believe. Jesus then brings the man back and he is a zombie. And from this one mistake comes the zombie apocalypse.

I really liked this short as it is really funny. I don’t want to give too much away, but there is a play on the famous phrase “Give a man a fish” that is the highlight of the whole short. There is a lot of blood on display and, even though the filmmakers do use that crappy CGI blood splatter from time to time, there are enough practical effects to get behind. This short deserves to be seen by a bigger audience.

The rest of the shorts (and their star rating out of four stars)

I am Lonely:  Comes to us from Ireland. Has a good punchline, but the setup is terrible.(*)

Dead Stop: I can not figure out why this is here. It could be that the filmmakers wanted to show the zombie apocalypse from all different sides, but this short gives us nothing but added run time. (**)

Home: From Australia. A woman wonders around for a long time until the payoff, which is touching but really dumb  (*1/2)

Dead Rush: This is another POV short and the film that I was referring to earlier in the review. This short has the exact same premise as the other POV, right down to the end. I can not think of why the filmmakers would include this short when we saw a better version of the same idea at the beginning of the film. This short is bad too. I’ll give the filmmakers credit and say that the POV stuff is well done, but I had to stop and think if I should watch the rest of the film. Were the films going to be worse? Were the filmmakers going to get even lazier and just replay shorts from the beginning of the film? This short is so bad that it wouldn’t even work as a stand alone short (zero stars)

Teleportal: Coming off the heals of the horrible Dead Rush, Teleportal has everything going against it, but has a really good idea: What if you could go into the game? I liked the idea and wanted to see where they were going to go with it, but I was letdown as the filmmakers went nowhere with the idea. It was like they had to get the film out and they had to go with what they had. The short just kind of ends and that is it. (*)

Certified: A mailman is told a story by a little girl about how her father became a zombie. The story that the girl tells is pretty good and the payoff to the story is great. (***)

Brutal Relax: This is the story, besides the Jesus short, that everyone will remember. A silent man is released from an insane asylum and told that he can go wherever he wants to, but he has to keep his headphones on with his music playing or else he will relapse. We have no idea what he will relapse too, but we guess that it is going to be bad. He gets to the beach, where there are a lot of people, and goes and plays in, what I can only assume is shit. Everyone makes fun of him, but his music is playing so he doesn’t care.

It is not until a group of zombies arise from the water and start killing people that he takes notice. In fact, he doesn’t notice until the batteries on his Walkman die out. After that comes the greatest series of zombie kills I have ever seen. He goes to town and all of the zombies, ripping them apart and just plain destroying the zombies’ existence.

The gore on effect here is on par with the Jesus short and there is a lot of it too. It is not horrifying gore. It isn’t going to make you sick either. It is just good ole fun. This short reminded me a lot of old Troma and some of the other splatter films from the 80’s like Street Trash. I had a lot of fun with this short. (****)

Zombieworld isn’t the best anthology film out there. Hell, it isn’t even that good. There are more bad ones than good ones, but the good shorts are so good that I really want to recommend this to people. You what? I will. I am going to give this three stars, but with an apteryx next to it that will read: 
Watch Fist of Jesus and Brutal Relax and call it a day.

After I wrote this review and went to post it I realize that I didn’t talk about the PSAs that appear throughout the film. So here it is:

PSAs: Besides the newscaster storyline, the PSAs are the only running storyline of the film. They start out normal by telling us how to survive a zombie apocalypse. They give us some steps that anyone should know. As I was watching the first part of the PSA, I realized that I was watching a cheap version of Zombieland. I thought to myself “Really, they can’t come up with something creative so they are just going to rip off Zombieland?” Then the second PSA came on and it was a whole different story. The PSAs tell a story of betrayal and revenge and I was not expecting that. There are some other things that the PSAs do that I will not spoil, but will say that these are worth the watch. (****)  


Post a Comment