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Deadlands: The Rising (2006)

DVD Cover (Tempe Entertainment)
Director:
Gary Ugarek Gary Ugarek
Starring:
Dave Cooperman Dave Cooperman
Gary Ugarek Gary Ugarek
Michelle Wright Michelle Wright
Brian Wright Brian Wright
Connor Brandt Connor Brandt

2.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Zombie Film
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Review by Chad
Added: April 28, 2007
As saturated as the direct-to-video zombie market has become in recent years, I usually end up renting at least 95% of all the new releases from the genre (and trust me, that's no small chunk of change). I'm truly in love with zombie films, and to be honest, I simply can't get enough of them. Sadly though, most of these offerings tend to suck (for lack of a better word) and are made by amateurs who simply plop some green makeup on their friends, run around in their backyards, and call it a movie. Therefore, when one comes along that is actually decent, it's almost a cause for celebration.

The storyline for this one is kept extremely simple: there has been some sort of a biological terrorist attack which causes the infected living and the recently-deceased to turn into the walking dead that we all know and love, and a group of people - Brian (Brian Wright), Gary (Gary Ugarek), and Michelle (Michelle Wright) - must survive the onslaught. Really, that's about it aside from a minor subplot about some survivors holing up at a rescue station; there's no subplots involving the major characters, no silly twist endings, and no drawn out explanations. This is just a straightforward zombie flick, and sometimes, that's all we really want.

While it's true that Deadlands: The Rising brings nothing new to the table, I can't say that I didn't enjoy it. This is largely due to the fact that it's a realistic look at how a handful of survivors would probably handle the situation. These people aren't interested in saving the world, finding a cure, educating the zombies, or anything along those lines: they simply want to find their family members and ride out the storm, even though that may not be possible considering that they very well may be one of the few surviving groups of people left in the country.

This is a low budget affair, and as such, one shouldn't go into it expecting a polished Hollywood film. However, that's not to say that it looks like crap; in fact, it looks and sounds pretty good when compared to similar releases, although there are spots that could have used some work (just listen to the machine gun firing for an example). I was also impressed with the gore that was used when a couple of people met their maker. Now, this is not a gore-heavy film by any means: I think there was exactly two scenes that were good in that regard, but those two scenes looked damned nice.

The acting abilities of the cast certainly aren't award-worthy, but these people did come off as fairly authentic in their roles and never once did I find myself rolling my eyes at their performances. When you watch them interact with one another, they don't come across as actors playing a part: it seems like you're watching a pair of average Joe's sit around and bullshit with one another for the first part of the film, and then when the shit hits the fan, it seems as though you're watching the same average people reacting exactly as one would expect in this situation. Shakespeare it's not, but it's perfectly adequate for this type of film and the realism did enhance the film a bit.

Check it out if you're a fan of zombie movies. Again, it's not going to redefine the genre and it doesn't bring anything new to the table, but it does deliver an entertaining hour in front of the tube with some great zombie action. 7/10.
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