Thursday, 28 February 2013

No.173 : War of the Dead







War of the Dead at the IMDb

When the two most recognisable faces in a production are refugees from ‘The Bill’ you could be forgiven for assuming the result may not be at the high end of the quality scale. We at the ‘W’ blog would never make such an assumption, and will scrutinise each detail closely before declaring the film ‘shit‘.

Well it is. The IMDb summary suggests it was filmed in 2008 but hung about like a rotting zombie for two years before being excreted by the studio. Should they have bothered? Let’s see…

The film is set in the Second World War. We get the unsettling camera and industrial lighting that screams either disorientation or ‘we can’t afford a tripod’. A group of Russian soldiers are being led down a corridor in an underground base. There is a confusing bit of gunplay but eventually one Russian makes it to the door where he is met by some men in lab coats. Maybe they had arrived to cart the producer off in a small white van - it isn’t clear.

Anyway, they hook the Russian up to some apparatus and after a while his eyes go black, which signifies they found the contact lenses in time. We then cut to a caption - everything on a caption must be true - which states the Germans are doing experiments on Russians to stop death or something and Finnish and American soldiers are charged with having a look. It’s not clear why the Americans are involved but I’m guessing they had the uniforms and the guy from ‘The Bill’ couldn’t do a Finnish accent.

The unit makes its way towards the not so secret bunker and encounters some heavy resistance. This cuts the bill for extras drastically and we are left with half a dozen or so soldiers against the Nazi/Commie zombie army. The guys make some headway and capture a young Russian in a World war One trench set that they forgot to clear away after another, probably better, film was shot.

The Russian tells them some exposition stuff and they get to a small cottage that has a convenient big car - right in the woods too - fancy that. Anyway lots of zombified troops appear. I say lots, but it’s about 5. Luckily they don’t stay dead so they keep popping up which saves on extras and on continuity as they don’t have to worry about where the bodies should be. After a few skirmishes the guys make good use of the props budget and drive about in the big car for a while as some zombies jump on and off it. It literally travels at 5mph and one guys says ‘my granny could walk faster than this’ - quite.

Things progress slowly but after a fallen comrade reappears as a zombie and they discover the old ‘headshot’ rule the guys finally arrive at the bunker. Can they stop the source and waste the stockpile of the Nazi zombies? Will there be enough time for some noble sacrifice and heartbreaking loss? Can those same five extras get up once more before the CGI planes begin their bombing run? Of course they can!

I can safely say that you’d be hard pushed to find a worse film than ‘War of the Dead’ even in the cluttered zombie genre. Of course every cliché is carefully mined and exploited, you expect that, but this effort goes the extra mile in terms of hammy acting and stilted dialogue.

These failures can be forgiven if you get some kick ass action, but alas no - these must be the bluntest toothed zombies ever - but at least they are persistent, those uniforms must have looked like sieves by the time they were returned to the costumers.

The dreadful acting was cringeworthy stuff with the ‘American’ the worst of a terrible pile. Every face was a grimace and every line spat out like he had piles. The villains, as they were, were poor with some proto-Nemesises ripped straight off from ‘Resident Evil’ the only splash of colour. They were rubbish too - who ever heard of a super powered zombie losing a fist fight?

Even the basics like the uniforms and gun drills were shoddy- I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure you don’t fire a sub-machine gun holding the magazine, side on, gangsta style.

Anyway to split hairs is to suggest that the film may have treaded a line between piss-poor and passable but it didn’t, it was crap.

THE Tag Line - This Film is Rubbish, This Much is True  7/23

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