90 min., 2008
Written by Thunder Levin/George Saunders
Directed by Thunder Levin
My rating: ★★★★
A movie that knows exactly what it is. Plain and simple fun!
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The movie begins by showing us the Earth and tells us that it’s a week from next Thursday. The sun lets out a solar flare that is heading towards the Earth. Police Office David (C. Thomas Howell) and his partner are about to bust two of the ‘hood’s main leaders, G-Dog (Tyshawn Bryant) and Dragon (Robert Wu). There was a bad drug deal and Dragon kidnapped G-Dog’s girlfriend, Latiffa (Rachel Montez Collins), and they are just about to do an exchange when David tells everyone to freeze. During the gun fight that ensues David’s partner is shot, the solar flare finally engulfs earth and everyone passes out. When David comes to, G-Dog has a gun to him and tells him that he is letting them go. While going down the stairs G-Dog hears one of his homies screaming from outside. G-Dog has another member, Larson (KeiKabou ‘KB’ Holland), follow him outside to check on what is going on. Once outside they start to realize that there is no one around and when they find their friend, his neck has been ripped open. They are then attacked by a “zombie” and after a dozen shots to the chest it is finally killed by an old man (Maxie J. Santillan Jr.). He informs them that only a head shot will kill them. They go back to their other friends and enemies and start to explain the chaos that is going on. Can two rival gangs and a police officer overcome their differences to fight the Mutant Vampire Zombies or will they destroy themselves?
The acting throughout the movie is really hammy and pretty flimsy, but that is really the charm of the whole movie. C. Thomas Howell brings in a great performance, being a tough cop, but understanding that differences need to be put to the side in order to survive. The two other leads, Tyshawn Bryant and Robert Wu both pull off the tough gang leaders without problem and when they start working together you can still see their distrust for each other, because nothing is ever just dropped that easy. My favorite by far is KeiKabou ‘KB’ Holland. He is the one that is always talking about them (the mutants) being vampires, nosferatu and the undead. He’s funny and everything he does, facial expressions and body movements, completely work to his advantage.
Now the effects are pretty bad throughout the movie, but it works on the hammy/cheesy level. There is a scene where a woman gets her arm ripped off and as she is running away her dress gets ripped off. So we end up with a one-armed naked woman running in front of the camera. Yeah the CG is pretty sketchy, but with scenes like that you understand that this is all about fun and the effects seem a lot less important. Again, take it for what it is and you can enjoy it.
From the get go you fully understand what this movie is going for. This one is just for shits and giggles, and it does deliver. Now it’s not over the top funny, but these guys do know a bit about the zombie genre. There is a scene where they are walking and Larson starts talking about how what is going on is like a George Romero movie. Another one asks who that is and Larson says that they really have to start watching some movies, like Dawn Of The Dead. It is fun to see that brought up and that they are doing it with love instead of just trying to make a comparison between their movie and George’s. One of the biggest surprises of the movie is how much thought (a least that’s how it seems) went into the concept of the mutant vampire zombies. Instead of just saying that they are the dead reanimated, they take it to a different level that it’s actually the radiation that is causing people to mutate. That is why some of the “monsters” are able to talk and even act completely normal, a big surprise from a movie that revels in its silliness. If you can remember to let go and accept it for what it is, then you are in for a world of fun.
FYI: We are told at the end of the credits that G-Dog and friends will be back in “Ninja Pirate Werewolves in Space”.Have You Read...?