(Also posted at http://www.revenantmagazine.com/)
“I do not enjoy shooting staff members!”
Having spent recent weeks enjoying the delights of both box-office failures and the SOV straight-to-dvd zombie fare I though it about time I dived back into the mainstream and watch a quality zombie film that everyone can enjoy. However, for reasons I’m not entirely sure of I abandoned that plan in favour of yet more no-budget gore-o-rama.
Dead Men Walking is a particularly gruesome little number taking place solely within a prison. A prisoner obviously infected with some sort of horrible disease (in this case, a biological zombie toxin) is checked into the joint, and promptly sent off to the medic to be checked over. After numerous highly bloody vomiting sessions he is locked away in solitary to slowly and disgustingly turn from infected human to rabid zombie. As this involves rather a lot of noise the guards pop over to check on him, although this doesn’t go too well for them. Thus begins the mass infection of the whole prison, leaving the remaining guards, warden and a female CDC officer to fight for survival while trying to stop any infected from leaving the building for fear of infecting the whole world.
Yes, it’s a slightly different take on the standard Zombie Siege as the zombies are already within the building to start with, but that is about as original as it gets here. It’s the gore that this movie goes for, it just does what it does rather effectively. (albeit without being particularly bothered about adding anything new). Infected people spew forth gallons of disgusting blood, Guts are ripped out and devoured aplenty, gunshots leave bloody trails up the walls, arms are ripped off and eaten… you know, just the standard zombie gore. By no means is this boring though, at least not for the first 45 minutes, however once everyone who could get infected has, and the survivors have run around the prison for a while it gets pretty tired. There isn’t really anywhere else for this film to go. Step 1 – begin the infection, step 2 – chase and slaughter everyone, step 3…. um, well almost everyone is dead, so lets end the film in standard zombie-film manner.
It certainly is gory, reasonably well acted and directed and the script is pretty good considering the cliche nature of the film, but everything just kind of dries up towards the end. (Except for the blood, naturally. That just keeps on flowing).
Gore Score B
Norks Score C
Originality Score D
Overall Score C