What The Hell Is It About?
According to the FrightFest booklet;
Known in the UK as the new Ridley and Tony Scott because of their similar commercial backgrounds, the Ford Brothers now burst on the high-class scare scene as a fresh force in the horror fantasy arena. In the very near future most of the world has succumbed to a living dead virus. After crashing off the coast of Africa in a plane, Lt. Brian Murphy battles for survival across inhospitable parched terrain in search of a way to get back to his beloved family in America. Saved by local military man Sgt. Daniel Dembele, who is also searching for his son, both men join forces to fight the ever present flesh-eating threat stalking the bush. Starring West African superstar Prince David Osei and Rob Freeman from Saving Private Ryan, The Dead features stunningly shot burnished landscapes, brilliant special make-up and visual effects and terrific dust devil zombies.
Was It Any Good?
Whilst the zombies in this film provide a seemingly suffocating amount of suspense, that doesn't mean the Ford brothers have skimped out on the gore. Quite the opposite in fact, there's plenty of gore to sink your decaying jaws into. From innovative (un)deaths to incredible head shots, gore hounds will not be disappointed. The make-up on the zombies themselves are equally impressive. Perhaps one of the biggest influences over the gore and make-up was not just the Ford brothers love for zombie cinema, but also the circumstances The Dead was filmed in. Shot in such a dangerous and potentially life-threatening domain in which the crew were actually guarded by gunmen, the brothers told the FrightFest crowd that they had seen several rotting corpses during the course of the filming. Even more creepy is the fact that several of the corpses in the film are actually real!
However, whilst these emotional-driven scenes are very welcome, there are a couple of scenes, which I won't spoil here, that have next to nothing to do with the film's plot, most notably one involving a random woman. The ending is also problemised by this, but I won't go into that since I saw the World Premiere and I would not want to spoil anything. The film, in my opinion, does begin tocrumble and fall apart during the last 15-20 minutes. There are a couple of moments that really defy the film's logic and a rather unneeded and awkward scene (which takes place out of Africa) just doesn't fit at all. But these are still very minor issues.
Overall, this is one heck of a film, let alone being one heck of a zombie film. Easily the best entry into the ever growing genre in the past few years. If Shaun Of The Dead was the UK's answer to zombie comedies, then this is without doubt the UK's answer to straight zombie films. Well worth checking out for all zombie freaks out there and those just looking for a great film.