Rise Of The Zombies (2012)

Apparently everything needs a "Rise" these days. It's the "Extreme" of the 2010's. So here is the made for SyFy Channel "Rise OF The Zombies." In some places there is a 2013 tacked on the front, probably because VOD services list things numbers first. A bullshit tactic, almost as bullshit as asking someone to actually pay for this film.

"Rise" picks up not as logic with dictate, with the actual "Rise," but with the city of San Francisco under a full on zombie invasion already. A small group of survivors have holed up on the prison island of Alcatraz hoping to out live the epidemic. Sadly for them, these are the "Land Of The Dead" walking under water swimming type of zombies. It becomes pretty clear that the prison is not the answer. Rick Grimes would beg to differ, but sadly he is nowhere to be found. Instead we get, Mariel Hemingway as a scientist, LaVarr Burton as a scientist, Ethan Suplee as a pilot, French Stewart as yet another scientist, Danny Trejo as well, Danny Trejo, and some guy I remember from the X-Files episode with Katherine Isabelle.

They make a run for a raft they have that will somehow get them to the mainland. Unfortunately there are too many of them for the raft. LeVarr Burton stays behind to work on a cure for his recently bitten daughter. This one subtraction apparently makes the raft floatable. Once back on dry land, conflict erupts as Trejo wants to lead the crew to some sort of safety where as Hemingway pushes the group towards Stewart who claims to be close to a cure. Normal zombie chases occur. Someone gets killed off rather early because they have to go work on the new Robert Rodriguez film. More action film than horror film by this point, the zombies are nothing but inconvenient cannon fodder for our protagonists. What's left of the group reunites at Stewarts office with their pursuers hot on their heals.Their eventual escape is probably the most overused and cliched in zombie film history. Some will say it's a nod to the original "Dawn Of The Dead"...others (like myself) will just say it's derivative and lazy.

Rise Of The Zombies is really nothing but an excuse to fill and hour and a half during the wee hours of the morning on the Sy Fy channel. It brings nothing new to the genre. Even the one interesting thing that it attempts to do - Burton trying to "cure" his daughter, is ineptly executed. Ineptness is the least of this films crimes. The biggest issue with the film is it's attempt to pass off Ethan Suplee as a viable action hero. Now don't get me wrong. I respect Suplee. I've been a fan since Boy Meets World. He was one of the best parts of Mallrats (Brenda?). He's lost a shit load of weight and should be respected for that. But action hero Ethan Suplee though? I'm willing to suspend disbelief in a lot of situations. This is asking a little too much.

For the gore hounds out there, there is plenty here to satiate your appetite. Although be warned, this was shot for broadcast on SyFy so the red stuff is more black than crimson. Someday I will understand why flowing black "blood" is more socially acceptable than it's red counter part. Today is not that day.Thousands of zombies get killed, including a pregnant woman and her child. It's meant to be emotional, but it's really just kind of flat. Just like the entire film. The script makes very little sense, especially when it tries to hit certain emotional beats. When it does try to add some weight and gravity it does so with all the grace of a pimply faced teenager trying to undo a bra. Just painful to watch.

There are roughly 500,000 films, TV shows, and documentaries available to stream on Netflix (not really, but I'm too lazy to count). 91% of them are better worth your time than Rise Of The Zombies.

* and 1/2 stars out of  *****

1 comment:

  1. That sounds awful. I'm sick of "rise" in movie titles, and there is already a film called "Rise of the Dead." It's also absolutely terrible.