In between major zombie flicks, it’s always fun to watch crap flesh eater flicks on SyFy and Chiller or just stream them on Netflix (because you can fast forward). So here’s what you get from The Terror Experiment, The Demented, and Zombie Hunter.
THE TERROR EXPERIMENT (2010)
Is it a sign of filmmaking insecurity when opening credits feature scenes of a thrilling zombie outbreak…that hasn’t even happened yet in the movie? With The Terror Experiment, after zombies run wild in an office building during the intro sequence, we watch as the man responsible for the outbreak plants the infection in a big government office building. Then we have to watch the footage from the opening credits all over again!
The general gist of the movie is that some dude wants to “Take our country back.” Eye roll. Keep trying to take your country back, asshole. I’ll take the country black.
Anyway, a whole lot of people are stuck in the building with the infected, including Jason London, whose daughter happens to be on a floor somewhere below. You know what he’s going to be doing for the whole movie. Outside, the authorities—including Judd Nelson, Robert Carradine, and C. Thomas Howell sporting a Sam Elliott mustache—try to get things under control.
The movie takes itself seriously, but has some precious lines like, “Back away from the blood!,” “Woman on a rampage!,” and a guy saying to a zombie, “NO. I did not see your package.” If there had only been more lines like that, this film would have ruled.
Instead, it’s pretty dull for a while, but with only about 35 minutes left in the film, there’s suddenly a stream of cool zombie scenes loaded with suspense and even nasty entrails. It all falls apart when Jason London asks one of the zombies where his daughter is…and she answers!
Yeah. This is where I’ll stop talking about The Terror Experiment.
THE DEMENTED (2013)
A group of pretty, bratty kids goes to a summer home in Louisiana, a CGI mushroom cloud appears in the distance, and suddenly a bunch of infected crazies are smashing through the windows of the house.
Now that’s my kind of movie. The Demented gets a lot of hate because everyone’s so complex and smart these days that they don’t want to just have stupid scary fun when watching horror movies anymore…unless, of course, it’s the equally crappy movies they grew up with and consider classics.
This simple flick is a thrill ride of fast running infected. No cloudy eyed, oatmeal faced zombies here. Just bloody mouths, hair straggling in front of faces, and enough shaky cam to make them appear incredibly aggressive and frightening.
After the kids treat us to their hot bods during a Slip n’ Slide montage (first and only time I ever tried that shit I nearly cracked my head open), there’s a warning of a terrorist attack, and suddenly the kids are chased by what looks like a rabid dog in the yard. And then come the infected! YES!
The kids soon realize that the infected surrounding the house freeze in place when there’s no sound. If you loved the nurses in Silent Hill, that concept is totally exploited here.
The thrills build as the kids escape the house and head into town looking for help. Intense chase scenes abound. The main characters don’t fall into traps resulting from stupid decisions. And the main girl has the best blood-curdling terror scream ever.
Of course, it wouldn’t be as much fun without imperfections. There’s backstabbing relationship drama (we really don’t care who got cheated on…there’s a fricking infected apocalypse going on!). A character runs down several infected with the escape vehicle…then swerves for an infected child! They’d be my first target! Less damage to the vehicle!
And in a movie that’s void of any cheesy one-liners, the main girl, totally out of character and in a totally random moment near the end of the movie, says, “Take that, asshole!” Why? WHY?
Even so, there’s very little of that kind of foolishness. The Demented is a straight-up horror flick—scary, but not gory. Keep an eye out for a movie theater in the town that’s showing Finale Destination (???). And also, brace yourself for the ending. It’s like they filmed two different outcomes (good and bad) and then showed them one after the other. Not sure what it’s supposed to mean—maybe the main character daydreaming the first time of how she wants things to end? Or is she a victim of Finale Destination?
ZOMBIE HUNTER (2013)
Zombie Hunter is all about checking off a list of what a film needs at this point in time to be considered grindhouse:
– character intros with name captions
– varying color palettes from scene to scene
– a mysterious and angry hero
– blood splattering on the camera lens regularly
– worn out film during flashbacks
– a slut on a stripper pole
– a religious nut
– over-the-top slaughtering
– a road trip in a beat up vehicle
– Bizarre enemies, like a total video game CGI boss monster and a chainsaw psycho right out of the Dead Rising video game
– Lots of guns
– Gross outs, like multiple characters puking after finding something in a freezer that the audience never gets to see
– Snarky bantering between a weird cast of characters
– Danny Trejo
Zombie Hunter is just missing that over-the-top edge. There’s not even any nudity or exploitation. It’s a flat zombie flick wearing a grindhouse mask. Nothing really happens other than this band of people leaving the one place in which they were holed up and heading to find a new place to hole up. You’re basically watching it to see the fun zombie fights because everything in between is just filler. And the main guy’s fate is absurdly concluded just so he doesn’t go out as a defeated hero.
Danny Trejo in no way steals the show and is pretty much just here for cult name recognition. Yep. Despite being the focus of the cover of my Blu-ray, Danny is not the star of this film and is not the zombie hunter….
The zombies are definitely cool and the blond hero is cute and good in his role—and, according to imdb, he played the “uncredited McDonalds customer” in fricking 1982’s The Pirate Movie (one of my faves). And for the straight guys, the slut has a bangin’ bod.
Yet what stands out most to me is that at one point there are two posters on a wall for the movie Osombie,which I blogged about here.