I wish this was a real documentary, and everyone involved was really killed for real by a bunch of zombies. Or, failing that, the wrap party was blown up by people who love cinema. This is probably one of the five worst films I’ve ever reviewed for this site, and it’ll take a really really bad one to bump it down the list.
My review notes are full of questions, like “why are they doing this?” and “why did they make this film?” But it’s my job to try and formulate coherent thoughts, otherwise I could just replace this review with one long fart sound and it would be the same.
A film crew is making a documentary about a fashion blogger. If your first question is “why would anyone make a documentary about a fashion blogger?” then you’re keeping pace with me. The blogger and her friends take the crew to a patch of wasteland just outside town, and while the girls go off for a stroll, the cameraman spends a few minutes interviewing the sound guy. Why would anyone leave this clip in a film, presuming in this film’s world this footage was edited after the fact? Who knows? They then go to a party, which turns out to be a wake for a local guy who joined the army, and they carry on making the documentary at the wake. Huh?
A couple of points become immediately apparent – one is that not all of the people in this film are good at pretending they’re in a documentary; and two is that the filmmakers are bad at pretending this is a documentary too, as there’s multiple camera angles on lots of shots, and it gets way worse later. They appear to abandon the documentary concept when a band starts playing at the wake, but no – they sort of try to maintain it right to the end. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
This garbage “Cloverfield” really kicks off when zombies start attacking people at the wake, and everyone loses their minds. The survivors run off to what they claim to be a school, and meet a group of people filming a ghost-hunting documentary with a couple of priests along for the ride; this group say they got permission from “the homeowner”, a weird choice of words when you’re in a school. They stay there way too long, no-one says “hold on, when did the church start believing in ghosts?” and after wandering round a few derelict rooms, they head off somewhere else and meet the Zombinator.
He’s an army guy who fills us in on the plot, which I’m going to spoil to hell because none of you should be watching this garbage. Zombie-ism is a military-created virus which they were going to sell to the highest bidder – one of several examples of a sort of extremely naive left-wing ideology that runs through this movie (as a leftie, I found myself embarrassed for the 16-year old who apparently wrote the script). Anyway, even though he looks nothing like the Terminator at all, one of the kids makes the comparison so this film can have a better title than “Not Another Awful Fashion Blog Documentary Zombie Movie”.
There’s bad army guys in town checking on their investment, so while there’s a fairly lengthy religious scene in the middle of the movie, we see them trying to capture the Zombinator and make sure there’s no evidence of their crimes. Blah blah blah.
This film made me angry with its badness. Firstly is the pointlessness of the documentary concept, when you’re just going to abandon it ten minutes in but keep every bit of footage in the movie cheap-looking and handheld. There are times when the camera is clearly not supposed to “exist” in the world of the movie, like when it’s right next to the bad guy who has a gun, but this is mixed in with scenes where the cameraman is part of the action. A scene where someone films a guy get snuck up on and eaten, five feet away, AND DOES NOTHING makes this impossible to accept. It makes no sense whatsoever, but this pales in comparison to my chief bugbear with all found footage movies – there comes a time when continuing to film everything that goes on is severely detrimental to your health. Someone asks this in the movie, and gets the answer that they need to film this in case it’s a government conspiracy. Okay, I get that, just, but when you’ve filmed an hour of people getting eaten, do you never think “well, I’ve got enough footage now, time to put the camera down and concentrate on not dying”?
We’ve got poor acting, a plot that doesn’t stand up to the first second of scrutiny, a concept the movie itself doesn’t seem to be bothered to maintain, and a stupid non-ending. Have I covered everything? Oh, there’s the couple that breaks up, on camera, hinting at some deeper backstory, then three seconds later are fine again and in each other’s arms. There’s the way hundreds and hundreds of zombies stealth-attack people, again and again. There’s the OH MY GOD THIS IS BAD PLEASE STOP THINKING ABOUT IT
The sole interesting thing about this movie is its creation. The director, Sergio Myers, is a fairly successful reality TV producer, and shot this movie in four days while in Youngstown, Ohio to make an actual documentary, working with volunteers from the fashion website he was covering and no script (I guess that answers the question “who’d make a documentary about a fashion blogger?) I said interesting, I didn’t say worth watching, and I kind of have an inkling that there’s some stretching of the truth going on there – there’s too many locations and too many zombies for them to have managed to pull it off from a standing start in four days.
I hope Myers sticks to producing TV I have no interest in, or that he bothers to write a script for his next one. For fun, though, go read his IMDB profile, and if anyone thinks it was written by someone other than Myers, I’ve got some good real estate on the moon to sell you. What a thoroughly boring, depressing film this is.
Rating: thumbs down