Zombie Zeal

Freya with the letter ZWe’ve finally made it to the last day of the Blogging from A to Z challenge!  There were definitely days I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the end, but I’ll save that for my reflections post next week. For now, it’s Movie Monday and the letter is Z, so you know what that means - zombies!!  Which is kind of ironic considering I feel a bit like a zombie after a month of daily blogging.

I’ve always been a fan of zombie movies.  Zombies may seem slow and bumbling, but their sheer numbers and determination make then pretty dang scary.  Today’s Netflix Watch Instantly selection is called Zombie Apocalypse (in some listings there is a 2012 in the title).  For my previous Monday Movie selections, I picked ones I’d never heard of until the Netflix ratings predictor assured me I was going to love it (and the ratings were always right).  But in this case, Netflix tried to warn me off, saying, “Girl, you are NOT going to like this, turn back now, you could do so much more with this hour and a half, like trim your dog’s toenails.”  Usually I listen to Auntie Netflix because her rating system really ‘gets’ me, but I had another reason for wanting to watch this particular zombie flick.

Jocelyn Rish, Gary Weeks, and Brian RishTwo months ago, my short film Saying Goodbye was screened at the Beaufort International Film Festival.  While there, we met a charming guy named Gary Weeks.  He introduced himself as a screenwriter, but my sister thought he looked familiar, so we looked him up on IMDb.  Turns out he’s also an actor who’s played several parts we remembered, including Fiona’s paramedic boyfriend from Burn Notice.  We chatted with Gary several times over the course of the festival, and he was very nice; so since we are zombie fans, we decided to watch him in action as one of the main characters in Zombie Apocalypse despite Netflix’s dire prediction.

Well, the Netflix rating system enjoyed having another chance to say, “I told you so.”  As much as I wanted to like it because of Gary, I was not a fan.  I think Gary did a great job giving his character depth and pathos because I’m 99% sure none of that was actually on the page since the script was so bad.  It was as blandly typical as a zombie movie gets - a random group of survivors trying to… survive.  The dialog was cringe-worthy to the point I was embarrassed for all the actors who had to deliver the lines.  And there were actually well-known actors involved in the project like Ving Rhames, Taryn Manning, Eddie Steeples (Crabman!), and Lesley-Ann Brandt (aka the gal who left the buzz-worthy show Spartacus to be in American movies. Oops!).  I guess the producers spent their entire budget on hiring familiar faces because the zombie makeup and special effects were bargain basement terrible.

Zombie ApocalypseIt wasn’t all bad.  There were a few creative zombie kills, and the characters actually wore sports gear when wandering around to protect themselves from potential zombie bites (I don’t recall seeing that in previous zombie movies I’ve watched, but I’ve now added looting a sporting goods store to the top of my to-do list when the zombie apocalypse actually happens… ‘cause you know it’s coming!).  Also, there was one character who got some funny one-liners, but I actually think it was more the actor’s delivery than the lines themselves.  Annnd… that’s about it as far as bright spots.

So even though I thought Gary was a great guy, I can’t recommend this movie.  But I will be checking out some of Gary’s other movies and following his career as both a filmmaker and an actor.  


Have you seen Zombie Apocalypse?   What did you think of it?  Any really good zombie movie recommendations?  How Zonked is Freya with her letter Z (just like I feel!)?


Lucy Adams's picture

My children had an honest to goodness argument at breakfast the other morning about zombies. Specifically, they debated, heatedly, whether zombies can go up stairs or not.

Congratulations on finishing the challenge.


Jocelyn Rish's picture

Ha! That's awesome.  Hmm... I think it might depend on how steep the stairs are.  I don't think their joints bend very well, so I don't think they could climb steep ones, but they can probably shuffle up shallow ones.  

mj's picture

congrats on finishing the A to Z challenge!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thank!  You too!

Nicki's picture

Woo - zombies!

I dare say I would not run up stairs when faced with zombies. They did an admirable job making it up after that girl in the 2nd Resident Evil movie right in the beginning.

I would worry more, however, about traveling in groups. When you're with people you've got more people to watch your back, but also tend to get comfortable easier (see Resident Evil 3 and the crows). Plus, you're pooling your resources to sustain a larger group, and then your supplies run out and you get all heroic and say, "No, go ahead, I'll stay here to fight them off and you save yourself!"

Nuh-uh. I'm all about living as long as I can.

Hypothetically speaking, anyway. :)

Yay for the A to Z Zombies!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Nicki, I love how much thought you've put into your zombie survival plan!  I'm with you though, being part of a group seems to get most people dead except for the protagonist.

Robyn Campbell's picture

I haven't seen it. And I probably won't try to see it either. But Gary sounds like a bodacious guy. I bet he's got a bright future ahead. :-)

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Gary was really nice, and he's won recognition for his screenwriting, so he has many avenues for success.  

Georgina Morales's picture

That's so sad! I love the poster and I kinda had my heart set on watching it, but I trust your judgment. I'll stay clear of this one. Thanks for the advise!

Congrats on getting to Z!!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

The poster is really cool.  Unfortunately much cooler than anything that happens in the movie.  :-(

Jolie du Pre's picture

Hey there,

Yes, the challenge is to take the typical zombie template and make it creative. It's a shame the movie didn't do that. I guess you can sort of tell by the unoriginal title. LOL!

That will be my goal when I write my zombie novel - to make it creative.

Congrats on finishing the challenge!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Yeah, the title is the first warning sign. :-)   I wish you the best on your zombie novel!

J.C. Martin's picture

I'm not a big fan of zombie films, but Zombieland was entertaining, mainly because of Woody Harrelson's tough-guy, Twinkies-obsessed character. And I loved Bill Murray's cameo!

Well done on completing the Challenge!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Zombieland is a good one.  My favorite horror movies are the ones that combine horror and humor.  

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