It’s a little sad, I’ll admit, that not only was this the first film that I watched in 2012, but it’s how I spent my New Years Eve. Despite being invited to a huge gathering, I have a toddler, and a wife that had to be up at 5 AM on January 1st. This means going out was not optional. So, once I got the wife and kid to bed, I decided it was time to do a little partying of my own kind. After I got into the right “mindset”, I popped a newly received Blu Ray into the player. It just so happened that The Asylum’s “Zombie Apocalypse” was sitting on top of my backlog pile. I figured, what the hell. I enjoy zombies. Blood and gore in HD is a plus, and it features recognizable faces. What else am I going to do tonight, right? Ving Rhames is entertaining to watch in damn near anything, and on top of being a decent actress, Taryn Manning(Sons of Anarchy) looks just slutty enough to pique my interest.
Have you ever actually sat through a movie released by The Asylum? If you have, then you already know what to expect. Poor production values, a non existent story, terrible special effects, and a decent actor having fun with terrible dialog. All of this exists within Zombie Apocalypse. It just so happens that Ving Rhames can make even the most horrid of dialog, at the very least entertaining. Taryn Manning, unfortunately seems to just phone her performance in. It’s understandable though, considering the material she had to work with. I am usually a fan of manning. She did great during her short recurring role on Sons of Anarchy, and she’s a fairly attractive woman on top of that.
Were we really expecting some sort of groundbreaking practical effects in an Asylum flick? I thought not. 99 percent of the effects in this zombie romp are CGI, and poorly animated at that. And we’re talking reality here. I know a lot of people said that 90 percent of the effects in The Thing (2011) were CGI, but those people are full of shit, and should watch a movie like this to give them a reality check. Thankfully, the poor CGI doesn’t hurt Zombie Apocalypse any more than it’s mere existence already does.
All of that said, was it at least entertaining? Well, the answer would be yes and no. I found myself entertained for the most part, but somewhere along the lines we take a wrong turn, and this silly little made for TV movie decides to start taking its self seriously. Gary Weeks hams it up during the more “dramatic” scenes, acting as if he actually thought he was making something groundbreaking. In reality, it diminishes some of the more campy enjoyment viewers will find within this movie.
As SyFy Channel movies go, Zombie Apocalypse is comparable to the more entertaining films of their archive. It suffers from a few issues, but for the most part, it makes for a decent way to spend your Sunday afternoon hangover. It has some issues, mostly due to the filmmakers feeling as if they were making a more quality film than they actually were, but there is plenty to enjoy as well. Such as… Ving Rhames fighting a zombie tiger…….
What? Yes, you read that correctly, Ving Rhames fights a zombie tiger with his bear hands. This happens, and should immediately appeal to your silly side. Not only does he fight a zombie tiger with his bare hands, but he comes with jokes and one-liners to enhance the situation. In all seriousness, as you can see above, it’s a CGI zombie tiger, and it looks pretty bad, but it’s something that makes this worth checking out, even if it’s for that scene alone. And hey, I’ve seen worse zombie films in recent history. I’d recommend this before I’d recommend George Romero’s Survival of the Dead.