|THE DAMN ZOMBIES
|Copyright 2001 Valhere and Stone Dead Films.
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 21 May 2003.
- Red - I think that he was named after his hat. Et.
- Jessica & Tiffany - The tough girls. Jessica has the whole "short red hair and attitude" thing down to a science.
- Dan & Billy - These would be Red's amazingly redneck brothers. Eaten (offscreen).
- Peter - Reporter and jerk extraordinaire. At least, everyone treats him like a dick, so it is unsurprising when he starts acting the part. Almost gets beaten a number of times before being munched.
- Larry - The cameraman who is just trying to make it out of the movie alive.
- Heather - Bit and turned into a zombie early on.
- Cleatus - Another member of Red's clan. He discovers three zombies making an appetizer out of his dog and quickly becomes the main course.
- The Zombies - Stagger, stagger, stagger. Eat somebody. Stagger, stagger, stagger...
- The Soldiers - Actually part of a short film (included with "Them Damn Zombies) and they all die. Forget them.
|The tape opens with the two people most involved in the making of this film, Andy Koontz and Kevin Phillips, talking to the camera. It is largely a session of them patting each other on the back. The congratulations last about a minute before we enter into a short film (about nine minutes) titled "Zombie Dawn." Do not worry, the two hosts reappear at the end of the feature. It is a brief thing and they mostly yell at the camera for thirty seconds (big thanks to the WWF for inspiring independent film makers).
"Zombie Dawn" is based on the idea that global war, along with destroying much of civilization, unleashed some sort of biological agent that turns people into zombies. Special teams are sent into the ruins of man's cities (and suburbs) to find and rescue survivors. Unfortunately, the areas are infested with zombies. Sounds impressive, like a cross between Newt's saga in "Aliens" and "Day of the Dead." Well, the truth is that three men in black clothing run through a dark building, yelling, "Go, go, go!" and shooting zombies. Two of them expend what must be over two hundred rounds from their carbines to bring down just one walking dead. Three soldiers - with no night vision, effective weapons, or radios. Not even a reaction force to help bail them out of a jam. Anybody want to name three things that the military knows about small unit tactics? Firepower. Communications. Teamwork. I could go on, but writing an essay is probably unnecessary.
By the way, if the world is ever overrun with zombies and you need advice, come see me.
"Them Damn Zombies" opens with Cleatus looking for his dog. He wanders through the dark woods, calling to the hound. One of the things he says is something to the effect of, "You had better not be in those chickens again." Since he is in the middle of nowhere, I suspect the word "chickens" was added to make him seem even more redneck. Anyway, Cleatus finally spots his dog, though it is being eaten by three zombies. To make a short story even shorter, Dan and Billy meet Cleatus in time to hear him gurgle out his last breath. They bundle him up in some old linen and go back to hunting.
Elsewhere, the three girls (Jessica, Tiffany, and Heather) are driving, uh, somewhere. Briefly they hear Peter's newscast on the radio, but the obvious mayhem going on is less interesting than gossip. The girls serenely continue their trip while we are suddenly subjected to Peter and Red. Exactly what Peter is reporting on is never explained; unless, "People are running around and screaming. Scientists have some theories." counts. Thankfully, Red pulls up in his van and drags the news crew along with him on a zombie hunt.
I am intrigued by the idea of hunting zombies. To be specific, the idea of using lures or decoys. No need to paint wooden people when you could take an individual that you do not like and tie them to a post. The half-wit starts screaming, the zombies stagger toward him, and I get some target practice. If I run out of ammo or take too long reloading and the zombies eat my bait... ...well, there are a number of people I dislike. Time to be more careful when I get down to the last schmuck.
Eventually, the girls are driving along a seriously rural road (as in two tire ruts with weeds growing up between). A man staggers along in the middle of the track, angering Jessica. Things happen quickly; literally within seconds the following occurs: zombies attack the car, Heather is bitten, night falls, and it starts raining. A little later Heather attacks Tiffany, which prompts a whole new round of screaming before Red arrives and starts shooting zombies. The assemblage makes a run for Red's hunting shack, though a stray zombie encounter deprives the redneck of his firearm.
The remaining cast, including Dan and Billy, gathers in the plywood shelter. This is partially to allow for some Peter bashing (nobody likes him), but it also provides for a sudden awakening in the morning. Dan, Billy, Red, and Peter all become a balanced part of the zombies' breakfast. Larry completely disappears (he pops up again at the end), leaving Jessica and Tiffany to run scared through the woods. Ultimately, the girls get fed up and have a "girls kick butt" scene. Then the movie ends and yes, the conclusion feels as abrupt as I make it sound.
My number one complaint is that the script is held together by the thinnest of threads in several places. Peter has no idea about what he is reporting on, besides people screaming while running back and forth across an empty field. Two of the rednecks find their brother dying of severe trauma to the neck and go back to hunting. And the group of girls... ...they have absolutely no purpose. They do not know why they are here. I do not know why they are here. I will not even get into the characters discussion about not knowing what is going on. Mind you, this was after they arrived at the shack. Red had already used the word "zombies" about twenty times and Larry had taped Red shooting zombies when they rescued the girls. It was as if this scene was the first shot during filming and nobody had read the script beforehand. Another explanation is mass, simultaneous amnesia.
Time to stop thinking about this. The best analogy would be if you told me that two plus two was five and here I am, trying to prove the theorem.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Soldiers constantly yell, "Go, go, go!" and "Move it, move it!"
- It is hard to tell the difference between a news report on zombies and the commercial for a furniture sale.
- Zombies are full of cherry pie filling (sans the cherries).
- Rednecks are full of sausage.
- Hell hath no fury like a redhead with a machete.
- 4 mins - Strobe lights mean muzzle flashes; I get it.
- 12 mins - A blood puddle?
- 20 mins - Suddenly it is night and raining...
- 28 mins - These people (the characters) should be paying as much attention to the movie as me.
- 32 mins - How did Dan and Billy get outside?
- 37 mins - Okay, what is up with this inappropriate music?
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||The soldiers yelling, "Go, go, go!" and "Move it, move it!"
||Peter: "Well, I don't know, farmer John - why don't you just tell me?" |
Red: "It's them damn zombies."
Peter: "Did you just say 'zombies?'"
Red: "Damn right I did."
||Dan: "Billy, you suppose Cleatus is in Heaven now?" |
Billy: "I don't know Dan. I hope so."
Dan: "I suppose he won't be too happy there if they don't got sheep."
Billy: "No, he sure won't."
||Jessica: "I've had just about all of you I can stand! If you don't shut your mouth, I swear to God I'm going to kill you!"
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Red rushed outside to help his brothers, but stumbled right into zombie Cleatus. Nice know'n ya Red...
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