Hey folks, Valkor here. Number 8 on TOV's 15 films of horror, gets us closer to that magic number 15. Yea I'm cutting it close, but we're gonna get there. This next film has all the characteristics of a survival horror video game – something like a Left 4 Dead or Resident Evil, but none of their flavor, yet… with the right group of people "Zone of The Dead" (aka Apocalypse of the Dead) could be enjoyable.
Zone of the dead mainly revolves around a police transport that's accompanied by Interpol Agents, who are moving an important prisoner to a location that will get him out of Serbia and into London for trial. Before that starts, at a train station in Serbia, a group of military personnel are goofing off with a local police officer near the tracks where some serious radioactive material is being moved. During their horseplay, the guard's gun goes off hitting the tanker that held this gas and now that it's unleashed and turning everyone into flesh-eating zombies. Of course the police transport group is in the midst of it all and they must now fight their way through the sea of zombies in order to get out of Serbia alive. The team includes ex-CIA, Interpol agent who's on his last mission, Mortimer (Ken Foree), his sidekick Dragan (Miodrag Krstovic), Agent Mina (Kristina Klebe) and the one simply known as The Prisoner (Emilio Roso). And they're not alone; a lone gunman, armed to the teeth, who was held up in a church is now hunting the zombies in the name of The Holy Father eventually joins up. He is simply known only as Armageddon (Vukota Brajovic).
Zone of the Dead follows all the rules of what a zombie movie should be – gas unleashed unto a small town, people turn into zombies, small group battles zombies, someone in the group gets bitten, has to be put down, group tries for a final run, end of story… though not quite, as it appears a second film is in the works. Zombie nod goes out to Ken Foree for dipping his toes into the zombie world, having starred in the original Dawn of the Dead. Also a plus is him making that mall reference. Nice touch!
For a paint-by-numbers zombie flick, Zone of the Dead is pretty solid. The plot is pretty straight forward and the length is pretty decent too, with a run time of 1hr and 20min. The look of the zombies is definitely a plus - love the make-up. But you also get two types – the slow moving and the quick. I thought Ken Foree hammed it up nicely, but Vukota steals the show for me because he has that nice blend of bad acting (he's definitely dubbed) and bad assery rolled into one. Too bad he's barely in it. The film isn't overly gory; but there's enough blood and guts to keep you watching.
Let's start with the acting, which is damn near terrible. Well not everyone is bad and for this kind of film, well you can let some things pass. Is it so bad, it's good? Maybe. I didn't hate the acting, I'm just pointing out the fact that we won't have any Oscar winners here. Also the character's reaction when zombies are just about on top of them - just a little too slow that it's annoying. At one point Mina drops her "all too important" laptop and goes back to get it, with a hoard of zombies closing in. It feels like ages for her to decide whether to pick it up or not. But given the distance of the zombies she could have taken it, because it's not like after she ran away from the laptop the zombies were there.
Zone of the Dead is the sort of film you MST3K, because you're gonna have a blast with all the jokes you could make. But overall it's a simple run of the mill zombie film that you can enjoy with your friends this Halloween. And out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving Zone of the Dead a 2.5.