Also posted at http://www.revenantmagazine.com/)
Of the criteria by which I rate zombie films, originality is possibly the hardest to satisfy. Considering zombie films have been in existence since the 1930’s it’s getting rather tricky to rattle out some truly original ideas these days. Having said that, Zombie Wars does present some new ideas that I’m sure haven’t been thought of before. Zombies farming humans.
The idea of zombies setting up concentration style camps for captured humans to spend their life in is a great concept, which is sadly not nearly fleshed out enough here to be truly memorable. These Zombies keep humans in a farming complex, some of them working to farm vegetables and suchlike which is used to feed the human prisoners to keep them alive, and some of the luckier prisoners are put out to stud, in order to keep the human population growing.
Outside of the camps there are groups of human soldiers trying to survive and pick off any walking undead they come across. Often these zombies are found trooping a trail of humans behind them to take them off to somewhere or other, and the soldiers will kill the zombies and rescue the humans, and will then provide some rehab for these people who have often spent their whole lives living in the camps and are not used to real life.
Things take a turn for the worse for these soldiers when one of their number is captured by the Zombies and put to work in their farm, and the remaining soldiers have to track this farm down and rescue their companion.
All this sounds rather exciting on paper, but unfortunately it’s not put together with nearly enough panache to live up to its concept. Considering the films cast numbers around about a dozen it’s quite hard to give the impression of such a huge scale camp as we’re supposed to believe, and when the soldiers stumble upon a ‘city’ it seems to consist of one single barn. Not much of a city really. Also, I have never before appreciated just how important a soundtrack is in a film, and sadly Zombie Wars is rather lacking in this department. Some decent music as the soldiers break into the zombie camp would really add to the tension, but here the music is so quiet and subtle it give off the impression of a school play and not a fully fledged movie. It’s a pity really because there are some good ideas here, some excellent gore and the acting is pretty decent throughout. Sadly the problems stem from the budget, and the bigger the ideas the more they suffer when not given the cash they deserve.
Gore Score C+
Norks Score F
Originality Score B+
Overall Score C-