Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection
April 30, 2013 (U.S. DVD)
James Plumb and Andrew Jones
Sarah Louise Madison as Eve
Sabrina Dickens as Bonnie
S.J. Evans as Rhodes
Rorie Stockton as Slugger
Richard Goss as Red
Sule Rimi as Ben
Johnny Farrell as Hess
One day, without warning, zombies appear across the world and proceed to terrorize and feast on the living. Those people who die, from a zombie attack or in some other way, reanimate and become flesh-feasting creatures themselves. You know the drill.
Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection claims to be “A Brand New Take on the Horror Classic!” clearly telegraphing that this is based on the 1968 masterpiece Night of the Living Dead, directed by the legendary George A. Romero. That may be true; this may be based on the film that also lends it’s name, but if that’s true then Zombieland, Zombie Lake, Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! and Resident Evil are also based on Night of the Living Dead because they all have zombies in them too. The presence of zombies is the only thing this film has in common with Romero’s classic. Well, I take that back…Resurrection DOES have a black guy in the beginning who comes upon a house in his quest to find refuge from a zombie-dotted landscape, but he gets shot in the face through a mail slot in the first 5 minutes of the film, and then the similarities cease… no, wait a minute, there is one other thing… the distributors of Resurrection also use some back-cover art that resembles a classic Romero image of a young female zombie in a nightgown.
The real drama in Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection involves a family fighting for survival in their home, after the father shoots the black guy in the face. What a family this is, consisting of a gun-toting father, wild-haired and bitter mother, pregnant daughter and the daughter’s husband, who also had sex with the youngest daughter. She’s there too, and tries to get more blue steel from her sister’s beau every chance she gets. Oh yeah, there’s a young boy too – very skinny, what I like to call “heroin chic”. The situation is very dire outside, and the melodramatic dysfunction is very dire inside… no place to hide. When papa decides that he must go out for a drive to get help, things get worse because a band of teenage roughnecks inexplicably decide to take him from his car and run over his legs with the vehicle repeatedly. Meanwhile Mama grows wise to the fluttering in her youngest daughter’s loins for he son-in-law and turns into Annie Oakley with the gun inside. All hell breaks loose when the roughnecks somehow find the house and decide that they are going to take over, letting zombies in along the way.
There is something very weird about the flow of Resurrection that is sometimes hard to put a finger on, but other times not. Like one scene when the cheating husband approaches a bloody pile of sheets after his wife had some kind of abortion or miscarriage… the sheet is moving and drenched in blood and hubby slowly walks toward it… really slowly… like 45 seconds slowly, and then s-l-o-w-l-y reaches out his hand toward the sheet… 5 inches away, 4 99/100 inches away, 4 ¾ inches away… (burst of speed) 3 ½ inches away… (I went to the restroom, took a shower, made a foot-long sandwich in the kitchen and cut it into 24 finger sandwiches, grew some coco beans and ground them up into a fine powder, raised a calf into a cow and got some milk, heated the milk and coco over a 25W bulb, and then came back to my TV) 1 ¼ inches away… then he touches it and slowly starts to pull back the sheet, 1/16 an inch off of the moving mass, etc. etc. Damn, I’ve heard about the power of suspense, but this was agonizing… and then, when it’s all said and done, we don’t even get to see the zombie baby. Insult to injury.
So… I don’t want to come out and say Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection stinks exactly… so I’ll just make these points:
- The film has nothing to do with its namesake, other than making an attempt to capitalize on said namesake’s popularity.
- The dysfunctional family is ridiculous and grating.
- The pacing is weird.
- The acting is horrendous (not really fair because I didn’t mention that one before, but it’s really bad).
- The conclusion is maddening, yet I didn’t really care at the same time. Uncanny.
With that, horror freaks, you are welcome to draw your own conclusions about the stinkiness or non-stinkiness of Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection. Maybe I’d be a bit more positive if I got to see a zombie baby, but alas.