Also posted at http://www.revenantmagazine.com/)
AKA Death House
Zombie films set in prison are not as uncommon as I first thought. I earlier reviewed the reasonably decent Dead Men Walking, and also have “Shadow : Dead Riot” on my shelf awaiting a viewing. There is great potential in the whole ‘locked in a large building filled with the undead’ idea, as was recently shown to great effect in the superb [REC].
Zombie Death House seems to be a mixture of the zombie prison idea combined with a truly awful mobster tale.
Derek, driver for mob boss Moretti, has been boffing the bosses lady on the sly, which doesn’t go down too well with the boss and his cronies. They decide the best course of action is too knock off the young lady and frame Derek for the crime. Using handy quick edits Derek is framed, tried, convicted and sent to Death Row all within the first 15 minutes.
Unfortunatly for Derek the prision he ends up in is one where the government are secretly trialing out some injections in order to breed a super soldier. (Hmm. An original idea that one). Naturally one of the test subjects breaks free during his own execution and starts a mass killing and riot spree infecting most of the prison population.
Derek, despite being a blonde prettyboy and only having been resident in the slammer for about a week takes on the role of the prisoner in charge and instead of trying to find a way to escape uses the riot as an excuse to get Moretti to come to the prison so he can get his revenge, all the while trying to help a blonde female scientist work on a cure for the zombie-ism.
It’s all pretty daft cheesy stuff, particularly all the scenes with Derek (Dennis Cole – who appears to be on some vanity ego project – bedding cliche 80’s blonde women, being both the bad guy and the hero, and then saving the day almost singlehandedly).
The zombies themselves take a while to appear, but when they do they put on a reasonable performance, although light on the actual flesh munching.
The film scores bonus points for a totally shoe-horned in dream sequence where Derek imagines one of the females naked in a field, all in slow-motion, just for an excuse to get some nudity on display.
Gore Score C-
Norks Score C
Originality Score D
Overall Score C-