Sunday, September 17, 2006

Lumberjack zombies

It's been so hard for me to string two words together into a cohesive sentence recently -- so sorry for the lack of blogging. I chalk it up to the first plague of the fall/winter which seems to have somehow only affected me. I'm not sure where it came from, but it was bad enough to make me miss work on Friday, and I hardly ever miss work.

But I did work all day yesterday and the 10 hour shift was a near killer but I did have enough energy to stay up and watch Severed which I found rather randomly one day when I was surfing around Netflix. It looked like a pretty low-budget zombie flick, complete with bad acting and a clumsy script. In other words, right up my alley.

And surprisingly, it wasn't all that bad. As usual, I had pretty low expectations, but they were higher than they were for, say, Freddy vs. Jason - and that actually ended up being a pretty good movie too. Basic plot of the movie: a money-grubbing logging company genetically engineers a substance called GX1134 that causes trees to grow at lightning speed - giving you old growth trees in 1/3rd of the time. It also, unbeknownst to the logging company, causes an infection in people that turns them into flesh eating zombies.

So what happens is there's a group of environmentalists that have spiked some trees and when one of the loggers goes to cut the tree, his chainsaw backfires, cutting him and mixing in some of the sap from the tree in his bloodstream. Voila, instant zombie!

There's some great scenes in the movie - among them a son of the CEO of the logging company's arrival at the camp only to be attacked by zombies, environmentalists chained to trees only to become zombie food and a pretty good antagonist in one of the main characters. That's not to say that there aren't plot holes you could drive a truck through, but I managed to look past those. For a B-movie obviously shot on a shoestring budget, this movie surpassed my expectations.

The only real complain I'd level against the movie is that it tried way too hard to be 28 Days Later, which is a really good "zombie-ish" movie. I say "zombie-ish" because there's significant debate as to wheter 28DL really qualifies as a zombie movie as the monsters aren't dead, rather, they are infected. The shots of the zombie attacks were very like 28 Days Later, although I'd say the zombies tended more toward the lumbering (heh! lumbering!) zombies of Romero rather than the "fast zombies" we've seen lately.

It gets a recommendation from me, despite it being a bit uneven.

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