Rise Of The Undead (2005)

DVD Cover (York Entertainment)
Genres: Horror, Zombie Film
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J. Horton J. Horton
Shannon Hubbell Shannon Hubbell
Chrystal Skye Jordan Chrystal Skye Jordan
Mark Karem Mark Karem
Chantal Koerner Chantal Koerner
Blaine Cade Blaine Cade
Sunshine Bond Sunshine Bond

3.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: June 06, 2005
As our movie begins, we see that a city is being torn apart by a huge amount of explosions. What exactly is going on isn't made clear, as all we witness is a city being completely engulfed in flames. Seven people manage to make it inside a building, where they struggle to come up with an idea as to what's going on, what they should do and where they should go. Included in this group is five people who really have nothing in common - Lylah (Whitney Getz), Buffy (Skye Jordan), Lam (Kyle Jemison), Jim (J. Brandon Maughon), Judge (Leonard Zanders), and two other people who didn't survive for very long. "Didn't survive" may be underselling it a bit... the lights flicker before going out for just a matter of seconds, and when they come back on, one of the guys is missing a leg. Nobody saw anything due to the lights being out, and the only indication that anything was even there was the fact that the temperature dropped about ten degrees while the lights were off. A plan of escape is eventually decided upon after the mysterious J. (Christian Recile) shows up, but as the plan is put into motion, another revelation is made... not only is there some sort of unseen monster running around, but there's also packs up zombies.

When I saw this movie listed on Netflix, I checked it out simply because of the title; after all, I'm a huge fan of zombie films, which may have been made apparent on this very site. Listed on this Netflix page was exactly one review proclaiming that this movie was average enough, and following that was about half a million reviews saying that this movie was a steaming pile of shit. Nonetheless, I'm not one to pass up a decent-sounding movie based on internet reviews, so I put it in the ol' Netflix queue, shuffled it around for a few weeks, and here it is. So, what was my opinion after watching this? There's a lot of people smoking crack over on Netflix, because this movie was excellent.

The chief complaint about this movie seemed to be the budget. Yes, this movie is low-budget, and yes, it definitely shows in spots. The other complaint was the storyline. No, this is not your typical zombie flick; if you're expecting something along the lines of Return Of The Living Dead or Dawn Of The Dead, you'll be sorely disappointed (though both movies are referenced in this film). The final common complaint was "the twist" that occurs with the zombies. I'm not going to spoil it here, but nearly every review out there reveals it... it's not hard to find if you're curious.

The first two criticisms are undeserved, in my humble opinion. The movie is indeed low-budget, but it doesn't try to be a big-budget film. Instead, everything is very storyline-oriented with a touch of humor thrown in, and as such, the budget issues never really come into play. Sure, it would have been nice to have the picture and audio quality cleaned up a bit, but these are very minor issues in the face of this quality film.

The storyline is also very different from most zombie films. Here, the zombies aren't the main antagonists; they're a definite pain in the ass and rack up more than a couple of kills, but the monster is the thing that the people are most concerned with. Had I known this prior to renting the movie, I may have had second thoughts; however, it works out leagues better on-screen than it sounds.

The final complaint would be that twist. I can't defend that criticism, as I believe it to be well-deserved. It was a very stupid move and completely ruined the flow of the movie for a good chunk of time. Things eventually pick back up, but the quality of the movie does drop a bit as a result. Since this was the directorial debut for both Jason Horton and Shannon Hubbell, and considering that the rest of the movie is quite good, I can let this slide... but if you either of you two ever happen to stumble upon this review, please never pull that sort of twist again. It never works, and it never will.

This one comes recommended by me, and fans of storyline-driven horror or good old-fashioned zombie films who don't require a billion-dollar budget to have an entertaining movie should give it a shot. 7/10.
Shannon Hubbell #1: Shannon Hubbell - added 06/07/2005, 08:48 PM
Thanks for the kind words!
Chad #2: Chad - added 06/09/2005, 02:26 PM
Wow, didn't actually expect anyone involved with the movie to see this review. Good job with the movie, I definitely enjoyed it... though I'm sure you've kinda figured that out already, heh.
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