We've seen countless films in which zombies have taken over the planet. Since Romero's great NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD dragged the zombie film through an outright apocalypse, there's been no stopping the staggering dead from biting, eating, and turning us all into reanimated corpses. Through his sequels DAWN OF THE DEAD, DAY OF THE DEAD and LAND OF THE DEAD, the zombies have gone far beyond terrorising rural Pennsylvania! There should be no doubt, then, that earth is the true zombie planet. Therefore, no one should be surprised that ZOMBIE PLANET is not a space opera involving the walking dead, set on a ravaged, futuristic earth as it is. An unfortunate example of the 'camcorder epic', ZOMBIE PLANET is a tedious, overlong and amateurish effort that - as with so many others - should be credited as a video rather than a film.

In the zombie ravaged landscape in one of America's southern states, laconic loner Kane falls in with a ragbag group of survivors called the Dregs. Not only must the Dregs deal with the flesh eating undead, who only come out at night, they must survive on meagre government rations and deal with a powerful rival faction who call themselves the Upper Class. When Kane helps his friends stand up to the thuggish Upper Class, he unwittingly creates a conflict between the oppressors of the Dregs, and the walking, talking, eating dead as well.

One of the first major images of ZOMBIE PLANET is that of a bare breasted blond - with the face of a flattened led balloon and an appetite for human flesh. But don't be fooled, it's far more ambitious than the usual gore fest interspersed with T&A. Perhaps that's the biggest problem of the film. It's far too ambitious, and like Brian Paulin's AT DAWN THEY SLEEP, tries to do far too much considering that a) it's an early career effort and b) in the light of the limitations of the budget, causing the film to be shot on unprofessional-looking digital video. Despite some intimidating zombies - particularly a big ugly one that Kane fights early in the film, framed in the foreground to make it appear more of a physical force - the inexpertly edited fight scenes (leather clad Kane doing his best impression of Don 'The Dragon' Wilson's turn as Jack Cutter in the little scene vampire film NIGHT HUNTER) are far to leaden to raise the viewer's pulse. At two hours long, the muddy visuals and bad acting are far too much too withstand, and the apparent class conflict amounts to little more than a bunch of Nazi punks bullying a bunch of mostly unattractive dropouts.

Dialogue is uniformly poor, ranging from the Dregs' leader's mouthful of an introduction to Kane - "These are my friends, my family, the last of civilisation. Who are you?" - to the laughable exchange between the same men later on: when asked if he's "been in a cave for the last four years", an uninformed Kane replies in the affirmative, prompting his interrogator to press, "You're not serious?" Information is distributed unevenly across the film, the plot machinery firmly in evidence when the backstory is revealed. In fact, the whole film stops dead for a number of characters to take it in turns to tell Kane - and thus, us - what's been happening, which turns out to be an outrageous story in which the drug for a low carb diet causes an overwhelming taste for protein in its users, preferably from meat and blood! Reanimation of the dead is explained with even less sense, and is papered over somewhat, which might be a good thing. Featuring the usual technical gripes seen in video features, such as lens flare and uneven sound levels, this won't be professional enough for most viewers. It's neither provocative nor exciting enough, either.

Review by Matthew Sanderson

Released by Odeon Entertainment
Region 2 - PAL
Rated 18
Extras :
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