Well gentle readers I have returned and decided I am reminiscent of my review roots and therefore you guessed it!!! A zombie movie!!! Well you didn’t think I reviewed every single last zombie film in two years did you? So grab a chair, prop it in front of the door and be still until they walk by. This is Zone of the Dead.
Spoilers are the end of days, my friend. Make no mistake about it.
Director Milan Konjevic tackles his first film debut as the head man. From Second Unit director to a creator of comic series called Generation Tesla, Dusk Fighters and Romero, Knovjevic takes the plunge into directing his own written works. Shot in Serbia this zombie flick moves at a fast pace, drags its feet a bit and then fast pace reasserts itself again. The story line is a simple one and should be commended for that. Military training exercises are going on in the immediate area so satellite frequencies are re-routed. Cell phones would be unoperatable so lane lines are about all that can be used. Even CB or walkie talkie if you prefer is clouded. A prisoner (Emilio Roso of Baby’s Momma Drama, Freedom’s Gate, Border Lost, Mad Men and Corrado) is being transferred from Belgrade to London via Interpol and Serbia police force. Agent Mina Milius (Kristina Klebe of The Other Shoe, She Hate Me, Delirious, Halloween and The Accidental Husband) is placed in charge of security, transportation and route to make it smooth sailing. Retiring Agent Mortimer Reyes (TV and Movie character actor legend Ken Foree of Dawn of the Dead, Terror Among Us Knightriders, T.J. Hooker, Remington Steele, The A-Team and Babylon 5) is on his way back to the states leaving Interpol. Just twelve more hours `til retirement, Riggs. He and his partner Dragon Belic (Miodrag Krstovic of Savior, The Professional , The Reject and The Fourth Man) are there purely for supervisory standing so what could possibly go wrong?
Two towns over an ecological disaster occurs at the train yard, with north winds whipping a gaseous liquid of unknown origin it kills everything in the immediate area and re-animates it in minutes. With this entire story occurs within the 18 minute mark so it is made room for lofty exterior shots, zooms and long crane shots. Mostly this film is hand held and Dolly track shooting. The cinematography is impressive but the dialogue what you came to expect. Buddy cop routine, sprinkled with classified information and a dash of paranoia. There also seems to be a Romero influence as several of the death scenes are throwbacks to Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead. The gore is mildly pronounced in those scenes that require more of a terror factor has such.
Oh yes I always have a bit of nitpicking. Now keep in mind that several of the dialogue is dubbed over so the voice over work sounds a bit rushed, confused or otherwise lacking in the proper inflection the scene shows us. Several of the sound effects such as: automated doors sound like something of the PC game X-Com, the zombie cries are very similar to those heard in the Doom games and several of the gun shot sound effects run parallel to a first person shooter game in 1995 Rise of the Triad.
Certainly not the worst of the genre I have seen but it is also nothing new here. I was hoping for a regional spin on the zombies but it feels more like Return of the Living Dead with less humor and less nudity. Not all that impressed but hey not too shabby first time running.