Whether traveling to a virtual reality or traveling from a different planet, everyone’s battling zombies in Dead Gamers and Alien vs. Zombies.
DEAD GAMERS (2014)
This Italian zombie film is more of an action horror film that will appeal to survival horror game lovers like myself. It’s sort of like the film Stay Alive goes virtual reality…and zombie.
A geek invites his friends over for dinner and to play a virtual reality game he created. Only thing is, he doesn’t give them a choice in the matter. You don’t enter the game by putting on VR goggles; you do it by swallowing a pill that knocks you out…which he put in their food.
They all “wake up” in various desolate locations in an apocalyptic wasteland (even though they’re actually asleep at the dinner table) and can communicate through (virtual) headsets. The geek can send them (virtual) weapons and maps with his computer. Awesome. They are ambushed by various (virtual) zombies, ninja monks, a freaky monster girl, a pervy flasher monster, and more. The (virtual) zombies with the giant mouths rule.
At first, the gang is kicking ass. But then levels get harder. And the geek discovers there’s a glitch. He can’t get them out of the game. AWESOME.
Okay, forget that they’re in a virtual reality game, so they shouldn’t actually be dying. This is straight up dumb horror action fun. It’s visually sleek and polished, too, so it’s kind of surprising that some cheesy CGI is thrown in for the final battle sequence, but it’s kind of in keeping with modern filmmaking.
ALIEN VS. ZOMBIES (2017)
If it weren’t for some bloody gut-munching sequences, this would be an oddly charming little zombie film for the whole family!
For spring break, this cute alien comes to earth, a planet he has always wanted to visit and is obsessed with—as we learn from all his quips about meeting pop culture figures (particularly those from Jersey).
He’s soon in for the surprise of a lifetime when he discovers the planet is desolate and people start attacking him savagely.
Why an alien so obsessed with earthly pop culture can’t recognize a zombie when he is being bitten by one is a huge plot hole, but you kind of have to go with it.
Anyway, the alien befriends a young girl survivor, who explains the deal to him. So he uses his ability to time travel in the form of other human beings (convenient ability that also leads to some cross-dressing) to go back and try to stop whatever it was that caused the zombie outbreak to begin with.
There are some cute, funny moments in the beginning, but it gets a little too goofy for my tastes after he leaves the girl to time travel. However, things take a surprisingly dark turn for a while once he discovers the truth and returns to the girl.
There are some surprisingly hardcore zombie attack scenes as it moves towards its bittersweet conclusion, which saves it from the goofiness of the middle section–the only part of this little indie that really didn’t do it for me.