Adorable Jesse Metcalfe, zombies, and one of my favorite video game franchises? You sucked me in, Crackle!
Dead Rising: Watchtower is a Crackle original. If you don’t know what Crackle is, it’s a free streaming service with a catch. Commercials. And despite it being a cheesy zombie movie based on a video game, the worst part of Dead Rising: Watchtower was the commercials. Seriously. And they were made even worse because it was the SAME commercial every time. A commercial for the Xbox One and Dead Rising 3, followed by a commercial for a second video game.
Hey, if I’m forced to watch commercials, there needs to be variety. Especially when they come so frequently, even if the commercial only has a one-minute running time. But the excessive airings of it made the movie feel like it was four hours long, which I think really warps perception and makes it feel like the movie itself is dragging.
Otherwise, Dead Rising: Watchtower is pretty much a SyFy movie on a free streaming service. And I must admit…it’s better appreciated if you’re a fan of the video game franchise. I myself have blogged about several of the games:
The movie begins with a zombie clown boss from the first game. It’s all about the video game drug Zombrex. The characters create weapons as in the video game, otherwise they resort to using whatever happens to be laying around as a weapon, as in the video game. It even features Frank West, the reporter from the first game.
Unfortunately, Jesse Metcalfe, the main character in the movie, is not Frank West! Funny man Rob Riggle plays Frank West, who sits in a news studio talking about the outbreak and adding some comic relief in between the action.
Also, the main man isn’t on his own as in the video game, nor does the movie take place in a shopping mall. It would have been loads of fun to have a one-man Dawn of the Dead, but instead we get a pretty big cast of characters trapped in a city and an army subplot (blah!).
The cast also includes plenty of scream queens: Keegan Connor Tracy (Bates Motel, Final Destination 2, White Noise), Meghan Ory (Dark House, the Vampire High TV show), and Virginia Madsen (Candyman, Zombie High, The Prophecy, The Haunting in Connecticut).
As for the men, there’s Dennis Haysbert. I’m sorry, but when he talks, I immediately think of Allstate and him saying in that deep sexy voice, “Are you in good hands?” And then there’s sexy scary Aleks Paunovic as the big bad biker boss. Yumm-eek.
Dead Rising: Watchtower is all about the video game references and the zombie action. My personal favorite moments include the clown boss scene, the discovery of a creepy little girl zombie, and what appears to be an awesome single take tracking shot of Jesse Metcalfe fighting his way threw loads of zombies while trying to make it from one destination to another.
The whole movie should have been as tight as that single scene, which really captures the video game’s claustrophobic fights through hordes of zombies. But it does perfectly paint our hero as the inexperienced zombie slayer, which was the whole point of the video game.