STREAM QUEEN: zombies!

As burned out as I am on zombies, I still keep going back for more. Was it worth going back for four? Let’s find out.

DAY ZERO (2022)

This Filipino language film combines the heart of Train to Busan with the action of a martial arts film to deliver a nonstop thrill ride of manic zombie horror.

A hunky baldy in prison has yet to meet the daughter he’s never known face to face. A former U.S. Special Forces military man, he is trying to get out on good behavior, but he keeps getting into trouble trying to defend his little boy toy.

Look, I’m not saying it’s blatantly stated in the film, but it is pretty obvious they have an “arrangement” and that he is the protector of his gentle buddy.

The film wastes no time in introducing the screeching, running, fast and furious zombies. They get into the prison, so the lead and his boy toy escape and head for the tenement apartment where his daughter and the mother of his child live.

We quickly learn the zombies are like the Silent Hill nurses—they remain eerily still unless you make noise. This offers loads of intense, suspenseful situations as the survivors in the apartment building try to stay alive…and eventually get the help of our fighting machine main guy.

A mission to save his daughter delivers plenty of character development, relationship building, tension, gore, atmosphere, fantastic camera work, and in the end, a total action sequence with our hero turning into a zombie killing machine. Awesome. And keep an eye out for the crazy head-turning zombie moment.


With all the heart-tugging zombie flicks about a father trying to protect his child after the zombie apocalypse (such as Day Zero, above), this film is generally derivative, but one aspect kept me watching to see how things turned out.

Our main guy lives in a survivor community with his family. He is one of the few people with a set of wheels, and he’s more concerned with the threat from other humans than he is with the zombies, which are triggered by noise (as in Day Zero).

After an action-packed sequence of humans and zombies busting into their camp, our main guy ends up on the road with his daughter. He’s heard of a safe zone up north, and he’s determined to get his daughter there before it’s too late, because he’s keeping a tragic secret from her.

It’s not as emotionally impactful as films such as Train to Busan, and there aren’t hordes of zombies, although there are spurts of them to balance the drama with the zombie attacks (sort of like an episode of The Walking Dead). The big issue here is that too much time is spent on scenes of the dad training the daughter to be a survivalist. These could have been trimmed down to a simple montage, which would have shaved about ten minutes off the film and helped the pacing.

The cool thing about the ending is that the father and daughter team up with two bad ass young women, and those characters are the focus of an unrelated sequel…

DEAD EARTH (aka: Paradise Z) (2020)

I’ll say it right up front—this zombie flick does nothing new for the genre, has a limited number of zombies, no scares, no gore, only two characters, and the zombies don’t truly attack until the 53-minute mark of the 80-minute runtime.

The non-story is that two young women are surviving at a resort after the apocalypse (no idea how they ended up here after the conclusion of the previous film). They lounge by the pool, carry baseball bats around, read, make art, have sex, and give us a dance montage.

There’s a nightmare sequence with one zombie 35 minutes in.

Things do get fleetingly interesting when the girls go scavenging and encounter two dudes. We finally get a glimpse at some personality and character traits of each girl, but it almost feels like an afterthought, as if the creators felt obligated to give them some sort of backstory and just tossed it in quickly.

Soon after that the zombies infiltrate the resort. They’re nice and gnarly looking and fast running, but the action is limited as the girls try to escape.

For me, the highlight is that the girls wear wrist protection during their escape so they can fight off zombies without getting bit on the arms.


Considering horror franchises are getting multiple branching timelines these days, it should come as no surprise that public domain classic Night of the Living Dead would get resurrected in just that way.

This is as low budget indie and amateurish as a film can get. Is the premise of a direct sequel that ignores all the official sequels intriguing? I guess it depends on how much you can suspend disbelief.

The notion is that the events at the farmhouse in 1968 have become folklore. Some believe it really happened, others think it’s a hoax, and still others believe there was a government cover-up.

Oh boy.

Anyway, four podcasters decide to travel to the farm where it all happened for their show. Don’t expect a house that looks anything like the house from the original…this house looks more like a trailer home. Sigh.

Conveniently, despite it being about 45 years since the original incident, there’s like one zombie roaming around the area.

We see it a few times, but most of this film has the podcasters just chatting in the house. None of the concepts presented in this endeavor are explained.

Eventually the zombie breaks into the house, inevitably the podcasters begin getting bit, and as a result, shooting and killing them becomes a necessity. Really, there’s just nothing to cling to here.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at
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