Friday, 13 July 2012

Zombiefied (2012)

Directed by Todd Jason Falcon Cook (Scream Time Films)

Written by Todd Jason Falcon Cook

Stars: Rebecca Torrellas, Mike Gebbie,  Tayvis Dunnahoe, Kathryn Rene' Ginzel, Todd Jason Cook, Lisa Whiteman, Sabrina Cook, Bill DeWild,  Megan Herrington, Joe Condeleo, Joe Grisaffi, Alexia Roy, Brad Roberson, Carli Mosier, Shella Roberts, Juliana Hall, Elsa Marquez, Brandon Hearnsberger, Dimitri Kouzas, David Sharp, Rob Blumenthal

Release: VOD 19 June 2012, DVD 26 June 2012 (US) courtesy of Celebrity Home Entertainment

After following the huge buzz Todd Jason Cooks Zombiefied has generated over the past couple of years I was very excited to finally get a chance to view it. The film boasts the original premise of a 'slasher/zombie hybrid which of course excited me greatly. I love slasher movies, I am a general fan of the zombie genre and I LOVE originality. So what is my verdict after finally checking out the film?

Well generally I would say this film was hugely enjoyable and kept my interest to the very end - sure it got a few things wrong, many in relation to some scenes featuring unrealistic or forced dialogue but in terms of entertainment, Zombiefied ticked a lot of boxes for me; good gore, an intriguing plot structured with a mystery angle and a few extremely creepy scenes (which I will come onto). I would never name names and truly believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion but I did read a review of this film recently which credited it with featuring a good opening ten minutes in terms of its slasher angle and then describing it as boring for the remainder of the film. Again people are totally entitled to their opinion but I feel it only fair to report back to say that I have to disagree. Something gooey, gory and messy happens almost every five minutes or so, its pretty much zombie carnage throughout the entire film with creepy slasher scenes scattered throughout. No offence at all to said reviewer but I just didn't get boring or uneventful from this film at all.

So, plot wise we have a rock concert becoming centre stage to a zombie epidemic after a song which should have been a long time destroyed, is played to a club full of party animals. Local band lead singer, Alana (Rebecca Torrellas), only just escapes the entrail laden venue with her life and finds herself in an increasingly horrible predicament.  Now Alana and pals must help to solve the mystery of the cursed song and also attempt to undo the damage caused with the aid of two others, Angel and Tommy, who both lived through a similar event in the past. Running parallel to the zombie disaster which is getting ever more desperate is a crazed killer, concealed by a Nixon mask who is luring victims to their deaths (usually with the aid of some extremely unsettling mannequins) and then using his own insidious methods of bringing them back as zombies. These abominations then begin to join the hoards of the infected/undead already tearing their way through the local community. Keeping up? No? That's OK as the plot doesn't come across as confusing while watching the film, in fact its one of its key strengths. I felt more involved with the movie waiting to find out the history of the cursed song, the events that occurred in Angel and Tommy's past and how/why the Nixon killer is involved. All of this is all intertwined and as the film progresses the different narrative threads begin to cross paths more and more closely - it definitely left me feeling satisfied by the films gruesome end, promising the high potential for a sequel.

So what worked well in Zombiefied? Firstly the Nixon killer for sure. The stalking and slashing scenes are expertly handled and includes some of the films scarier scenes. For example the young man who is lured along a dark path by a series of balloons, only to be confronted with what he believes is a young girl with her back to him. This sets up an excellent jump scare, a very creepy taunted-by-mannequin scene and finally a grisly and creative murder sequence. Loved this bit! That's not to say the zombie scenes were not also good. There is a fantastic house party massacre which was really high energy and also a creepier scene involving the slain girl from the opening scenes. The part where her friend returns home to find her friend wandering the kitchen, which she assumes to be due to drug use, is very eerie and keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting for that ever coming jump scare. On a negative point I would say there is some patchy acting, mainly from supporting cast members, and there is some particularly weak/unrealistic dialogue in one of the car scenes where Alana and her fellow survivors are hatching a plan to solve the mystery around the zombie outbreak and the killers motives. However on a positive note to that I thought Rebecca Torrellas did a great job as the feisty and determined Alana, a brilliant lead girl quality was present in her delivery of lines and in the attack scenes so well done to Rebecca and also to Todd and co for some spot on casting.

All in all I highly recommend Zombiefied, its different, makes good use of both the slasher and zombie sub genres and includes some scary scenes as all well as out and out gore-laden action sequences. I really hope that the intended Zombiefied 2 (Z2) gets under way and the support of indie horror fans to Todd and his team is key in making this happen. Please check out the films official website and Facebook page for more information and get involved in the infection NOW! (AKA please buy a copy of the official Zombiefied DVD or I will be forced to have that aforementioned cursed song played at a venue near you soon....)

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