Smells like the end of days – Zone of the Dead

Classic zombie film this is not. Steaming pile of horse manure is more like it. Cliché after cliché, you can see the next plot turn coming a mile off, lacking in wit and good production values, this film is a waste of your time unless you are very very drunk and do not care what you are watching, but even then you could always stick on your much loved copy of the Evil Dead for real entertainment.

If you love poor and pointless overdubs that distract you from poor and pointless stories then this could be your new favourite film.

Set in Serbia this zombie film somehow manages to combine not only clichés from horror films but also include clichés from other genres. Yes even in Serbia you can find an old black American cop about to embark on one final job before he retires. In Agent Mortimer Reyes (Ken Foree) we find not only Murtaugh but also Riggs; for he has lost his wife tragically and routinely thinks about sucking on his pistol whilst battling not booze but pills, 2 action characters for the price of one!

Reyes, his partner Dragan Belic (Miodrag Krstovic) and our de rigueur breasts-with-gun Mina Milius (Kristina Klebe) are charged with transporting a mysterious and dangerous prisoner. When a toxic gas gets unleashed nearby (a frankly hilarious and fanciful scene with so much terrible over dubbing I had no real idea what was going on), one that turns people into zombies, they take refuge – Precinct 13 style – in an abandoned copshop.

Throw in a few more stock characters, Jesus loving madman with a penchant for guns, drugged up youngsters whose car breaks down and of course a range of snarling blood puking zombies and this is set to tick every clichés box:

  • One of your own goes stir crazy and ends up running into dangerous zombies – tick
  • One of the goodies gets infected and has to be shot by his mates – tick
  • Slow mo dive onto your side whilst firing a gun – tick

With 1 funny line and 1 genuine jumpy moment the rest of this film is not even so bad it is good. Terrible over dubs on the characters whose accents were presumably too strong too be understood is horribly distracting and subtitles throughout would have been preferable. Our Jesus loving nutter Armageddon – YES REALLY! (Vukota Brajovic) has some lines that could have been very funny and apt but he is dubbed over by a terrible monotonous American accent that you will want to mute the sound whenever he appears and just watch him mow down zombie-goths in silence.

Emilio Roso as the Prisoner is the only good thing in this film. He plays the man-with-no-name perfectly; cliché he may be but he broods, he flies through the air in slow-motion, he chucks away one liners and non sequiturs left right and centre and he always has a knowing smirk on is face. Unfortunately there is not enough of him in the film.

You will not even find yourself shouting at the screen as you so often do when dealing with feeble witted horror casts who stumble blindly into dark basements and the like – this film is so futile and shit you just don’t care.

Mercifully short your best bet is to fast forward to the last 5 minutes of carnage for maximum enjoyment.

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