Friday, October 25

Zombie Hunter (2013), Codeword for Everything Bad about Modern DTV Horror

Well, nearly everything. If you've been following BoGD long enough, you're aware I'm not too hard of zombie flicks. As long as the actors suit their characters well enough and the action is fairly consistent, a given effort can still be highly entertaining even if story remains hunkered down in one location for the entire runtime. It's what one of the aspects of Romero's Night of the Living Dead that makes it so enduring to this day.

So there's no ill will toward Zombie Hunter for obviously being about zombies, even with popularity of the current mainstream zombie craze running on just three wheels and a snapped axle (outside of The Saga of Rick Grimes). Director, writer, and producer K. King's debut concerns a small band of survivors who've escaped to the desert expanse after a new drug turns much of the population into either undead shamblers or beastly "hybrids" that look directly ripped from the Resident Evil series (only rendered in terrible CG that looks much worse than what's the norm for TV commercials nowadays).

Okay, that doesn't sound too bad, the ol' dependable "fight for survival" set-up. Yet what makes this crowdfunded project so agonizing is its ridiculous overreliance on computers in post-production. Literally every gimmicky CG trick is used ad nauseum here. At first it seems like they're trying to create the now tired "faux-grindhouse" aesthetic, but it begins to feel like it's an attempt to make up for the many shortcomings on-screen. A couple of these instances in this tier of filmmaking are fine, but not so much that it becomes the core of the film. Since, you know, it's a movie and not a spastic music video. This flash gets so abused that it's amazing a real car was used to perform a real flip instead of some clunky 3D model for the high speed accident.

A great example happens early on when our hero, Hunter (Martin Copping), reflects on his lost wife and young child as he's cruising the badlands in his black 1987 Camaro SS. Instead of a quiet moment focusing on an actor doing his job, we mostly get an over-the-shoulder view of moving images of his two loved ones across his windshield. It's simply goofy, and like every other digital crutch leaned upon, pulls you right out of the movie. Maybe it's for the better since Copping, who happens to be Australian, has all the charisma of a completely monotone Mad Max once his mouth opens. At least a mostly shirtless Danny Trejo is used to good effect wildly swinging an axe through corpses in slo-mo. However; Machete's scant few scenes don't match the prominence he's given on the DVD cover...

This isn't enough to save Zombie Hunter. It's a soulless chore that's seemingly preoccupied with creating cool posters (and an end credit sequence) that display far more creativity than the actual product. This crap also proves horror fans should bitch about CG period and not just when it doubles as blood. And on that note, what all gore fans have lusted after, the zombie blood is a shade of screaming hot neon pink...?!?

1 comment:

Kev D. said...

Happy I'm not alone in hating the "faux-grindhouse" crap that keeps popping up.

I can't help but feel like the people making these haven't seen any actual old grind flicks like the ones that inspired the Tarantino-Rodriguez double feature, but rather, just repeatedly watch Planet Terror and other neo-grindhouse flicks and try to TAKE IT UP A NOTCH TO THE EXTREME.

They probably find Deathproof boring.

It makes me sad.

Good call on the commercial grade CG too. I'm always saying that. That the effects look like they belong in a local futon store commercial or one of those education connection ads. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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