Zombie Apocalypse (2011)

DVD Cover (The Asylum Home Entertainment)
Nick Lyon Nick Lyon
Ving Rhames Ving Rhames
Taryn Manning Taryn Manning
Johnny Pacar Johnny Pacar
Gary Weeks Gary Weeks
Lesley-Ann Brandt Lesley-Ann Brandt

4.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres / Traits: Horror, Zombie Film, Post Apocalyptic
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Review by Chad
Added: April 23, 2012
I've been in the mood for a good zombie movie for a while now, but there's always been something in the way: other commitments, video games during my leisure time, or expiring movies on Netflix that I wanted to catch before they got yanked. Tonight, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge into the world of the undead, and what I found was Zombie Apocalypse, a movie that featured the standard zombie plot with an eye-catching cover and Ving Rhames. If it has Ving, it has to be good, right? Well, I pushed play, and then I saw "The Asylum" pop up on my screen. Not quite what I was expecting, but I was all settled in, so I pushed onwards.

We begin with an introduction to this world, where blocks of text tell us about a virus outbreak that took over Europe, spread to Japan, and finally spread to the United States. The government tried to use EMP bombs to get rid of all electronics and transportation in an effort to control the spread of this virus, but obviously, this didn't do much except make it harder on the survivors. That all happened six months ago, and now we have a band of survivors - Henry (Ving Rhames), Ramona (Taryn Manning), Cassie (Lesley-Ann Brandt), and a handful of other characters - trying to make their way across the country to Catalina, an island that they heard had been converted into a safe zone for the living. Throw in a bunch of zombies and take away any transportation aside from walking, and you have a movie.

Given that this was an Asylum production, I wasn't expecting a masterpiece. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't half bad. It was by no means a classic film and it does have its fair share of problems, but for someone who was in the mood for a good zombie movie, I can't honestly say that I walked away entirely disappointed.

For starters, I enjoyed the storyline itself. It's mostly a rehash of what we've seen in countless other movies, but there is enough originality thrown in to keep it entertaining. Personally, I loved the concept of animals carrying the zombie virus, and this allows us to witness a freaking zombie tiger attacking the survivors. Your mileage may vary on how neat or how stupid that sounds, but personally, I loved it. I do have to dock some points for what I believe to be padding, as there are a handful of scenes that could have been chopped - horde of zombies attack survivors, survivors escape, another horde attacks, repeat - but if you have to pad a movie, padding it with zombie attacks is not the worst way to do it.

Speaking of the zombies, I enjoyed how the filmmakers handled the "sprinters versus shamblers" argument that has been brewing amongst fans ever since the introduction of those running zombies. It's simple: fresh zombies run, older zombies move slower. I am by no means a fan of zombies that can outrun a human, but at least this makes sense. As for the look of these zombies, well, it was hit or miss: some of them looked great and had very nice makeup effects, while others wore cheap plastic masks or were simply extras with a bit of blood around their lips. The same can be said about the gore, as there were three distinct categories of bloodshed: nice practical effects, decent CGI effects, and horrific CGI effects. There was enough "bad" to drag the overall quality down a few steps, but there were certainly more than a handful of bright spots to be found.

Still, I have to give the movie a lukewarm recommendation. Is it a new classic for zombie fans to salivate over? No, it most certainly is not... however, those zombie fans may enjoy the movie, regardless of the fact that it won't wind up on their list of favorites. Ving Rhames is great as a zombie ass-kicker (again), there are some neat plot devices thrown in, and there is enough "good" zombie effects and gore to make up for the amount of "bad" in those same categories. If you're in the mood for some undead action and go in knowing that the film will not blow you away, you may get some degree of enjoyment out of it. 6/10.
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Bill Wolford #1: Bill Wolford - added 04/23/2012, 11:45 AM
if you notice, there's a little 2012 above the title. That's how the Asylum studio re-titled THEIR release to be different than another film called Zombie Apocalypse. They sure are sneaky, but I got it anyway. Ving makes anything watchable.
Chad #2: Chad - added 04/24/2012, 09:58 AM
I have the "2012" title listed on here as an AKA, but that's only used on the DVD cover. The opening and end credits do not refer to it as such, so I went with that.
Bill Wolford #3: Bill Wolford - added 04/24/2012, 02:27 PM
cool. I wonder how the other one is, since this is asylums "rip-off" of it. Be kinda funny to finally see an asylum rip-off be better than the original!
Crispy #4: Crispy - added 04/24/2012, 10:55 PM
Death Racers were about on par with each other.
Chad #5: Chad - added 04/25/2012, 01:33 AM
When a Killer Calls was infinitely better than the remake. It didn't touch the original, but since it was ripping the remake off and not the original, it counts.
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