Whilst the age of camcorders and digital technology has enabled filmmakers to turn in effective movies on relatively small budgets, it has also given birth to a culture of no-budget amateur crap, which has little to no value for even the most undemanding of viewers. Now I don't mean to be cruel, but 'Zombie Chronicles' is the horror equivalent of Dad's camcorder epic of his holiday in the Costa Del Sol. The cast and crew obviously had great fun making the film, but there's really no good reason to inflict it on the rest of mankind - just like there's no sane reason to make the whole family watch Dad's endless shots of seagulls freewheeling in the blue skies of the tropics. He may have enjoyed filming it, but we certainly don't enjoy watching it.

The story, such as there is, tells of Tara Woodley, a young woman out researching the legends of a reportedly haunted desert town. On her travels she encounters the odd Ebenezer Jackson, who regales her with a duo of tales. The first story is of an elaborate murder plot (which is insanely ludicrous) and yields some unexpected results in the form of a visitor from beyond the grave. The second tells of how three young hikers through the woods incur the wrath of an undead Wild West outlaw following their desecration of his resting-place. Having told his tales, Ebenezer promptly disappears and Tara soon after makes an unsettling discovery, which convinces her of the validity of what he has told her.

The film is badly shot, appallingly acted and the script is full of unintentionally hilarious dialogue. There is really little here for me to recommend to you, but I suppose the special effects aren't bad (though they're not exactly great either and wholly unconvincing) and there's certainly plenty of grue and gore on display. Apart from that there's not a lot I can say in its favour. It did make me laugh a lot, so maybe you could always approach it as a comedy…?

The quality of the presentation also leaves a lot to be desired. This DVD was obviously mastered from a tape source - and it shows. In fact, initially I wondered if Hardgore had sourced this DVD from a VHS master they found in the bin round the back. Yes, it really is that bad. To be fair, I have seen worse (rarely, but I have). The colours are faded and washed out and there seems to be a fair bit of interference in the picture frame throughout the first half of the film. At one point there was some very pretty rainbow swirling patterns across the image, but very distracting for someone trying to actually watch the film (I'd already lost interest by this point and found the swirling a pleasant diversion). The movie is presented full-frame, which is undoubtedly the correct ratio - it's just a shame it looks so poor. The audio is little better, being a standard DD 2.0 stereo mix with the sound levels fluctuating wildly throughout. One minute you can barely catch the dialogue and the next it's booming so loudly that the walls are shaking. Granted, this was the probably the best that could be provided in the sound department considering the budgetary origins of the film. Still, it could have been better. Actually, everything could have been the better - the acting, the script, the effects, the plotline, the DVD presentation etc. It's been a while since I've seen anything quite this bad - and no, it's not in the 'so-bad-it's-good' category, it's just plain bad. Sorry guys, better luck next time.

Hang on, I've just thought of something positive to say - it's mercifully short at only 71 minutes long.

Review by C J Otter

Released by Hardgore
Region All PAL
Rated 18
Extras : see main review