I have a rule with zombie films. It’s not 100% accurate, but there’s a sliding scale of zombie film quality, and it depends on when the first zombie pops up (pre-credits sequences not included). “Dead Snow”, a film that lots of people seemed to like, I was bored to tears by. The first zombies didn’t really show up til 45 minutes or thereabouts, which is close to the worst I’ve ever seen from a zombie movie. “Night of the Living Dead” and “Dawn Of The Dead” are both amazing, and non-coincidentally the undead show up right at the beginning.
Before I get started with the review, I’ll give you this film’s zombie arrival time. Apart from 2 seconds of a bloke with a toilet seat round his head, the first zombie doesn’t show up til past 21 minutes, which is kind-of unacceptable for films like this. The piss-poor acting and cheap locations aren’t really enough to carry it, you know?
A group of friends are in the Cayman Islands to see a battle of the bands. The main guy in the group is an obsessive fan of one of the bands and follows them round the world, to the chagrin of his girlfriend; then a cruise ship filled up with zombies comes to shore and…all hell breaks loose.
First things first – they really try to be funny in this. There’s jokes everywhere, mainly coming from the fact that the zombies retain quite a lot of their intelligence. They kill everyone at a TV station and then start making zombie-themed programming, which is a pretty nice touch. No-one really seems that bothered, though, like the zombies are mildly inconvenient rather than flesh-eating monsters.
The zombies, or at least the people with a bit of red splashed on their faces, go about doing the things they would have been doing as the people on an expensive cruise ship. They buy merchandise from the bar where our heroes are holed up; they have first class dining areas on the beach, to serve blood and body parts to the wealthy undead; and so on.
This film certainly seems to be filmed on the Cayman Islands. Perhaps one of the filmmakers is friends with the Governor, or something. There’s too much obvious local flavour for it not to be the case. It certainly looks more interesting than your average zombie film, even if it’s still very obviously super-low-budget. It also seems like all the actors in the Caymans were on holiday the week they made this, because aside from the unhappy girlfriend, the acting in this is beyond rotten. Normally, I’ll try and give low-budget films as much of a break as possible in this regard, but it’s so bad here that it can’t be ignored.
There’s also the matter of the comedy. Some of the ideas are funny – how would a group of zombies organise if they could sort of think for themselves? – but they’ve told everyone to turn up their delivery of the comic lines to 11, and the writing is so poor and the acting so shocking that everything becomes leaden and awful. There’s nothing worse than a comedy that’s not funny. There’s a scene which rips off “CHUD 2: Bud The Chud” which annoyed me too – don’t mess with the classics, guys (I assumed the day when I thought of that film as a classic woild never come, but here we are).
Fans of the metal band October File should be pleased with this film, as the band play themselves and even get to perform a song in its entirety, after they’ve been turned into zombies. Fans of all other bands should probably not bother, however. Oh, and add this to your list of “films where Hitler appears as a zombie”.
To sum up, I’ll leave you with a quote from Blackadder – “It started badly, it tailed off a little in the middle and the less said about the end the better”.