Who? Timothy Olyphont (sheriff), Radha Mitchell (screamer), Joe Anderson (on edge)
What’s it about? A remake of the 1973 film. After a blank-eyed farmer walks into the local town’s baseball game with a shotgun, the sheriff (Olyphont taking up his former Deadwood role perfectly) is forced to shoot him. Right in the head. The same, deadened violence starts to appear in the other townsfolk of Ogden Marsh, as noticed by the sheriff’s doctor wife (Mitchell).
Before anything can be done the military arrive and begin separating the infected from the to-be-evacuated-healthy. The sheriff refuses to leave his apparently infected wife and heads back – with his willing deputy (Anderson) to save her. Zombie survival horror ensues.
What’s good about it? It’s a new take on the brain eating zombie film genre but doesn’t try to over-reach. It’s tongue-in-cheek so there can be silly scenes - like someone backing away from a stray circular saw propelling itself along the floor to his groin; or someone being suddenly and shockingly hung from the inside of the back of a car; or a person being stabbed in the neck by a man with a knife through his own hand. If anything the film is all the better for these feats of mind-stretching acts of violence. You’re constantly steeling yourself ready for the next shock, be it graphic or yet another loud sphincter-tightening sound.
What’s bad about it? Zombie films are usually inherently good as they not only feature cool violence, but also are a social commentary on how humans can easily be reduced to animals when they are forced to fight for survival. As this isn’t strictly zombies, but infected people, and doesn’t get that dark, you don’t see a lot of that. But then depth really isn’t what you’re looking for in a survival action-adventure film.
Verdict: Excellent, eye-straining, ear-exploding, nerve-shredding action and survival entertainment. Everything an emotive survival film should be.