In the genre of zombies there’s quite a bit to explore for either the average horror fans, or those dedicated to seeing everything involving the undead, and while the films often have the struggle for survival, there’s rising attention given to the more combative action-horror driven flicks. Director and screenwriter Chee Keong Cheung took fistfuls of ideas and created a brutal independent film, that struggled at first with a title with ‘Zombie City,’ ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ and even ‘Army of the Dead’, this continues for a while as the film commenced in 2014 and pushed forward through budget issues, and a host of other problems that all indie filmmakers can shake their heads in bewilderment and accept. In addition, to aiding Chee in the writing was Steve Horevah (Rise of the Gargoyles (2009))) and Mark Strange, who also starred and served as stunt/fight coordinator for the production; Redcon-1 finally achieved distribution from first Epic Picture Group for VOD and Digital and then Dread Central Presents aiding in releasing the movie on Blu-ray and DVD; hence between 2018 and present the flick has nibbled at getting into new markets.
Well, folks, part of the southeast of England has been taken over by zombies at ground zero in a London prison, yeah, a tad cliché, the sector is in quarantine; but the movie opens a with a solid montage of images/scenes of combatting the plague and the failure of social safety net. however, a group of soldiers, led by captivating Captain Marcus Stanton (Oris Erhuero) chosen to enter this zone and attempt to retrieve scientist Dr. Julian Raynes (Robert Goodale) who is believed to be the source of the outbreak and might have the cure. A plot that sounds familiar, but also, these warriors accept the mission to save the remains of the human race, His team is a diverse seven-member special forces squad, Sergeant Kira Paige (Katarina Leigh Waters (Killing Joan )), Corporal Jacob Gallagher (Martyn Ford), Lieutenant Simon Lau (Akira Koieyama) who expertly uses a katana, Private Perry Bernstein (Joshua Dickinson (The Mirror )), Sergeant Frederick Reeves (Carlos Gallardo) who has spiritual mentality; Lieutenant Rodrigo Gonzalez (Michael Sheehan) and Lieutenant Frank Perez (Mark Strange). Many of the situations that the team encounters give a true military feel to it and attempts to show the thought-provoking options which sound worst with each passing moment. The actual film isn’t a straight rapid bullet firing flick, there’s plenty of bloody hand-to-hand combat, and other tactics all done to work over countless hordes of zombies, with one very special schoolgirl Alicia (Jasmine Mitchell), who may hold some salvation for this suicide squad of elite fighters. Some of the fighting could go on forever, with each team member having a moment to shine or suffer with some excessive screen time, that tends to bog down the film. It contains a repeat cycle of violence, carnage, action, while taking a cue from The Return of the Living Dead  and Day of the Dead  working to bring the living to the in their version of a meals on wheels program. This aspect actually harkens back to Dawn of the Dead, where the zombies return to the mall, as it part of the memories from the former life.
Let’s start with the positives, first the defunct Peterhead Prison was used, now a museum, located in Scotland, once used by the SAS covert raid in 1987 to quench a prisoner uprising/ riot, the vast grounds served as ample space to many scenes. Cheung also took a page from both George A. Romero and Zack Snyder from the versions of Dawn of the Dead  and  by using actual amputees, herein it was the debut of actress Olivia Story, a triple amputee, who lost her limbs due meningitis, her inclusion gives the film more a sense of realism. As for the zombies, they do look ghastly, and the actors portraying them, actually sell their frightening appearance, and from their demise via a bullet to the head or beheading, the blood splatter gives a core of the horror fans something special to cheer on throughout the brutality on screen. Keong shows he’s quite capable of handling the action scenes superbly, assisted by Mark Strange, for the stunt/fight coordination, however as often in many films, and this one too, fighting the bad guys doesn’t swarm at once, rather waiting them to finish with one fighter at a time. Then using good props which included real tanks and creating realistic settings and again using situations to simulate tensions, combat suffering, painful times of seeing buddies dying. However, there’s some disconnect such as at the aquarium store, the tanks should slimy green and filled with dead fish, but that’s not the case mmm…
While there are many tidbits I overlooked, it is because one should seek out this zombie flick, and while some of the horror fans will nit pick the inconsistences, such as with all of the blood splatter and the soldiers having their mouths agape, they somehow avoid blood spurting into them, and hence avoid becoming zombified. All in all, it these aspects occur in many movies 28 Days Later  it occurred in the third act, it’s merely something one accepts for the entertainment occurring on screen. Therefore, does it live up to status of Dawn of the Dead , likely no, but it is chomps, gut-munching above many of the other poorly created movies, hence sit back and enjoy the entertainment.
- War Has Just Evolved.
IMDb Rating: 5.0/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10