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The Resurrection Game (2004)

DVD Cover (Wild Eye Releasing)
Genres:
Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction, Zombie Film
Director:
Mike Watt Mike Watt
Starring:
Ray Yeo Ray Yeo
Kristin Pfeifer Kristin Pfeifer
Francis A. Veltri Francis A. Veltri
Amy Lynn Best Amy Lynn Best
Bill Homan Bill Homan

3.8 / 10 - Overall Rating

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In a world where the dead walk and get in the way, a private detective teams up with a scientist and a pair of colorful zombie exterminators to uncover a global conspiracy so dark and far-reaching that zombies are the least of the problems. --TMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: February 03, 2007
A few years ago, I was completely obsessed with zombie movies. I wasn't too picky with what I watched: as long as it had mobs of zombies and a fair amount of gore, I was happy. Then, everyone and their mother found out that producing a low-budget zombie flick is cheap, easy, and - given a good DVD cover - will turn a decent profit thanks to people like me who simply can't get enough of them. My interest in the genre started to fade away, but I'm still a sucker for a zombie flick that sounds like it has a little something extra going for it.

The storyline in this one is... well, it's actually a bit tricky to describe the storyline without spoiling things, but it definitely has the aforementioned "something extra" going for it. Basically, it takes place in a world where the dead have come back to life, and much like the humans in Land of the Dead, people have pretty much learned to just carry on with their daily lives and ignore the zombies as best as they can. However, there's no barricaded cities in this world as the zombies are only dangerous when they herd together in packs, and since these particular zombies haven't figured that part out yet, it's not exactly the end of the world for the human race.

This leads us to our hero for this feature presentation, a former police detective by the name of Jim Campbell (Ray Yeo). Jim is a man with a colorful past to put it lightly, and when he's offered a million dollars by a former best-selling horror author to find out what caused the dead to return to life (because the real-world horror is cutting into his sales), he decides to do a little research of his own. What he discovers is quite different from the "common knowledge" of what happened, and he also finds out that there are certain people who do not want the truth to be revealed. With the help of a former doctor who may or may not be responsible for the outbreak (Kristin Pfeifer) and two bickering zombie exterminators (Amy Lynn Best and Bill Homan), Jim sets out to learn the details of this zombie epidemic without winding up on the wrong end of either a zombie bite or a gun.

Yes, there are zombies in the film, but to come right out and call it a zombie film would be a bit of a stretch. The zombie outbreak is the main focus of the plot and we do see more than a couple members of the walking dead, but the real focus of the film is the cause of this outbreak and who was responsible for it. There's actually even more to it than that, but to say much more would spoil some of the eventual revelations. Those of you looking for more of the same from the genre will probably be disappointed by this, but personally, I felt that it was a breath of fresh air from the dying genre. It was nice to see a "zombie movie" that consisted of more than the usual "run away!" scenes and closeups of gut-munching goodness - not that I have a problem with those types of films, mind you, but seeing the exact same scenes over and over again started to get old ages ago.

There's also a bit of humor to be found throughout the story, a fact that I felt added a lot to the overall presentation. From a zombified talk-show host griping about how easy the humans have it to a dominatrix woman of God who also serves as both a zombie exterminator and a marriage counselor (Amy Lynn Best was great in this bizarre little role), there's no shortage of quirky humor to be found throughout the running time. It's not the in-your-face, joke-a-minute style of humor (even though Amy's character may lead one to believe otherwise), but instead, it's limited to a (usually) subtle touch of humor every couple of scenes. It was far from being yet another horror-comedy, but this small splash of laughs was certainly welcome and handled nicely. There's also a number of nods to other horror movies, with Night of the Living Dead being the most obvious. It's always nice to see a director slide these sort of references into their movie without them coming across as being there just for the sake of being there, and they were definitely done right here.

Check it out whenever it hits DVD if, like me, you're also getting tired of the same exact storylines from the zombie genre and want something a little more original. Those fine folks over at Happy Cloud Pictures are currently shopping around for a distributor, but in the mean time, you can head over to their site and pick up a copy straight from the people who both made and starred in it. That's how I got my grubby little hands on it, and I don't regret the purchase one bit. 8/10.
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