Monday, October 8, 2018

Fatigue of the Dead

Another zombie movie following a handful of scrappy survivors in the countryside? Surely you've never seen anything like THIS before!

Quick Plot: Alice is living her life, fixing breakfast for her young daughter and taking a time out to pee on a pregnancy test stick. Delighted at the results, she phones her husband only to hear his frantic warnings to stay inside and not open the door for anyone...

Which naturally, her toddler has just done, granting access to a crazed 28 Days Later-style zombie. Alice makes it out alive and into the arms of friendly stranger Steven, bidding goodbye to her now eaten firstborn and old life.

Four months go by. Alice and Steven have settled into your typical drive-til-you-have-to-siphon-gas-and-keep-driving routine with a pair of siblings. Somewhere across the countryside, a mysterious woman is being held prisoner for some kind of unexplained medical experiments. Eventually, these stories will sort of kind of meet.

Anger (or Age, its alternate title) of the Dead is an Italian(ish) zombie film written and directed by Francesco Picone, with a terrifying executive producer credit for Uwe Boll. The production values are higher than your average streaming zombie flick, with performances that range from slightly painful to decent. So that's a good thing.

The problem with Age/Anger of the Dead (which, side note: did they choose that title to get a few extra eyes due to its alphabetical placement?) is that it sporadically commits to a deeply cruel streak. Granted, this is a film that opens with an adorable toddler being eaten alive in front of her mother's eyes, so perhaps we have no right to be annoyed at its insanely nasty final shot. 

Still, it would have been nicer had Picone found a little more consistency in tone. Having a mushy moment of love interrupted by a zombie bite tells a darkly funny story. Implying the systematic rape of a female prisoner tells another.

High Points
You can't argue with a zombie movie that doesn't waste time, opening on immediate chaos and moving fairly swiftly from there

Low Points
Seriously: Age/Anger of the Dead deserves better than a 2.9/10 rating on IMDB, but the fact that it ends on such a sour, mean note makes it a little understandable that someone's gut reaction might go that low after finishing the film 

Lessons Learned
Always keep the sharpest object of your home in your toddler’s sock drawer

Enjoying the fresh air on a lovely day is great, but when the undead are roaming the roads, maybe it's worth the splurge of air conditioning instead of keeping your window wide open

When fleeing running zombies, most drivers take their keys before abandoning their cars

New Rule
We all know of the classic Chekhov's Law involving guns and to a lesser extent (but larger in the horror world) bear traps, but it brings me great joy to add a new one to the roster: Chekhov's Law of Naming a Character Alice and how one cannot do such a thing without including at least one "You're not in Wonderland anymore" reference

Anger of the Dead is slightly more watchable than a lot of other low budget zombie films of recent years, but it ends on such a horribly mean beat that I almost wish I hadn't watched it. Some of its action works just fine, but the ultimate mood is so negative that it genuinely destroys any goodwill. 

No comments:

Post a Comment