As the zombie craze keeps coming back from the dead, my latest streaming binge of four zombie films from four consecutive years seems to be digging a deeper grave with each new year…but Jesse Metcalfe saves the day at the last minute!
THE ZOMBIE KING (2013)
Okay. Brace yourself. Someone thought it was a good idea to make a British zomcom…then throw in a serious subplot starring Edward Furlong as a man who practices voodoo to bring his dead wife back, which leads to him summoning a god, played by Corey Feldman, who looks like a punk rock demon. And this is the serious part.
But forget that serious subplot for a second, considering it’s virtually irrelevant for a majority of the funny part of the film, which makes the occasional cuts to Furlong moping by his wife’s bed so jarring. We meet a band of everyday folks just trying to survive the outbreak. Really, that’s all they do. There’s not much going on here, and while there are some damn funny lines and the cast is likable, this zombedy is very run of the mill.
The ending, when the two plots come together, is the death knell for this film. A drunk priest tells the group they need to kill the zombie king to stop the zombies.
Furlong is now the zombie king because of his little voodoo game. So they go find him. Worst of all, the movie threatens a sequel.
When a movie starts with what looks like a CGI takedown of a military man by a zombie, you know what you’re in for.
The lone survivor of that military biochemical experiment is a hot Clint Eastwood clone. I don’t know what his plan is, but he hijacks a small plane of young people. I also have no idea who they are, why they are getting in a plane together, or where they’re going. All this may have been explained, but I was already on my iPad seeing what movie I could stream next.
The group tries repeatedly to overtake Clint Clone, which leads to the plane (CGI) crashing on the very island on which Clint Clone survived that biochemical outbreak. The group continues trying to overtake him, and he continues to regain control, finally telling them they won’t survive on the island without him. The good news is, Clint Clone does some sort of exotic dance move with a knife to cut off his shirt so he can use it to patch up one of the wounded in the group. After all, when trapped on an island with zombies, there’s no better camouflage than your exposed, rippling muscles and smooth, delicious flesh.
As the group explores the island, we get sepia tone zombie POV and CGI blood splatter to signify that one of them was attacked. Then some chick in the group suddenly has a hissy fit and screams at her husband that she’s fucking his best friend. The most shocking thing about this is that the husband looks upset—I figured he’d be happy because his character totally acts like a big queen. The movie could have been a winner for me if he’d just screamed back, “Yeah? Well I’m fucking him, too!”
No, that’s not her gay BFF.
Surprisingly, there’s a brief segment near the end of the film that actually offers some exciting conflict in the woods with fast running, grisly looking infected (they’re more “The Crazies” than zombies).
Toxin should have ended on the island, because we’re brought back to the reality of this film’s quality by the final helicopter crash sequence, which looks like it could be footage from some action flick of the 1960s—actually, make that some cartoon of the 1960s.
ZOMBIE BOY (2015)
There’s nothing more grueling than a low budget, slapstick, redneck zombie farce that isn’t funny.
The setup? A mad doctor injects some guy with a green serum. The guy turns into a zombie. A farmer stops the doctor, hides the green serum, takes the zombie in to live with him, and calls him Zombie Boy. As long as he gives Zombie Boy beer, zombie boy doesn’t attack.
Meanwhile, the farmer’s dad is kicked out of his old folks home, so he comes to live at the farm. Then these ninjas invade the house but Zombie Boy chases them away. They’re part of an organization that wants the serum and has the ultimate weapon—a big bald daddy in a fur coat. He’s even hotter when he flogs a man.
The rest of the movie becomes series of chases and shootouts. I pretty much checked out when the film tried to make blowing up a dog funny.
The movie runs an hour and five minutes with ten minutes of closing credits and bloopers. It just definitely isn’t my thing, because I didn’t even find the bloopers entertaining.
DEAD RISING: ENDGAME (2016)
At first, this sequel to Dead Rising: Watchtower feels like it’s going to suck real hard. Jesse Metcalfe reprises his role as a reporter, and looks quite sexy with a scruffy face. He’s now investigating disappearances during the outbreak that may have to do with underground government experiments. Shunned by the media, he gathers a rogue team of allies to help him infiltrate the quarantine zone to learn the truth.
I was so bored as they encounter various human baddies for the first half of the film. This is a made-for-free-streaming movie based on a zombie hack n’ slash video game. Whose bright idea was it to try to shoehorn a plot into it?
Thankfully, that person’s bright idea was apparently forced into a compromise by a dummy that knew this was a no brainer. The group ends up in an underground facility with—super zombies! They’re stronger. They’re faster. But apparently, so is Jesse Metcalfe.
He goes into zombie slaying overdrive in this film! His fight sequences kick zombie ass! There’s carnage galore! That’s all I ask.
As a bonus, Billy Zane has a five-minute cameo as a major player in all the chaos.
Overall, as the group tries to stop the virus and fetch an antidote, this feels like a cheapo version of World War Z. Which of course means it’s way better than World War Z.