Well folks its zombie-o-clock again and, at the time of writing, sitting snugly within the confines of the ‘Top 20 DVD’ shelf in supermarkets nationwide is Justin Timpane’s zero budget and homage laden ZOMBIE CONTAGION.

Randall (Dan Guy) and Herman (Will Stendeback) are two typical American teenage lads. When they are not playing Dungeons and Dragons, Herman is unleashing his one man podcasts to the world while Randall indulges in the odd Satanic Ritual!

One of these ceremonies’ serves to unleash Hells wrath. Well, it brings his dead brother Eric (PJ Megaw) back to life anyway. But as with most resurrections, Eric’s rebirth comes with baggage, mainly the fact that he is now a zombie who can suck the souls out of the living and, in doing so, create more zombies.

So with Randall’s séance’s causing a growing havoc, his task is simple. Destroy Eric and his undead minions will follow. Along with his friends Kyle, Lily, Kara and Katie they face a showdown their Zombiefied foes. How lucky then that 3 of them should be granted the special gift of "Ninja Powers" for the remainder of the movie…

Ok so here we have yet another DVD that has had its title changed for the UK market. But whereas so many discs of this ilk have had the title ‘spiced up’, the more restrained ZOMBIE CONTAGION has been utilised as oppose to its original heading, NINJA’s vs ZOMBIES. It may seem a negligible alteration but considering the Zombies were ultimately borne out of a black magic ritual, the biohazard symbol emblazoned on the UK front cover has no relevance to the actual narrative. For reasons you will soon see, a more fitting example of cover art would have been a fresh glistening chunky slab of doggie plop.

Observing the white and red 15 classification from the BBFC did not bode well for riotous gorefest and my fears were soon confirmed in this respect. The zombies are merely extras with their faces one dimensionally painted while their attacks ‘treated’ the viewer to watching the backs of a hoard of these fiends throwing fake body parts in the air! With a reported budget of a mere $10,000 I guess this is understandable but such a zany idea of merging two genres was surely way too ambitious for a project with such minimal funding.

Then there was the "soul sucking" special effect. The gaudy CG laser effect that was employed is akin to the stuff you see on kids’ television shows which could easily be replicated with moderately priced software.

Now, Ninjas battling Zombies should be a romp and at around the movies midpoint we were treated to the first proper face off. This was a notch above the aforementioned rubber limb throwing exercise from earlier and, "Fighty time" as our protagonists so eloquently put it, was probably the only reason the movie hauled itself above a PG rating. It was limited to a couple of prosthetic heads flying off bodies and the ‘water coloured’ undead drooling out the odd mouthful of fake blood down their chins. But even this soon disintegrated into some garish ‘energy ball’ effects courtesy of a hard drive to end the "Fighty" fun.

In fact the most interesting element of the picture was waiting for the next reference to various Sci Fi movies and TV shows in years gone by. It was great to hear that classic 6 million Dollar man metallic echo sound effect at one point, but all too often the homage’s lacked any originality and were simply well known quotes from popular movies directly lifted and dropped into the script at regular intervals. Still I guess it could make an interesting "drinking game" if along with a few mates you chugged every time you heard a line of dialogue from the Star Wars franchise, Indiana Jones and even Pulp Fiction.

I couldn’t help but notice PJ Magaw who played Eric looked remarkably like Tim Cahill, the ex-Everton midfielder. Remember his little trademark celebration of irritatingly shadow boxing with the corner flag after he scored? Well I am not saying I was bored while watching this turgid slice of tripe, but watching the Aussie Socceroo take on a flag pole over 15 rounds would, I imagine, have been a far more entertaining watch! Damn my wandering mind...

I have relented somewhat lately in my stance on ‘Comedy Horror’, but I am simply not going to find funny such languid dialogue as "Attention Zombie Assholes: Anyone who doesn’t want their asses kicked, start kicking your own as about now!" It was just poor on so many levels I can only see this movie appealing to a certain demographic who are willing to endure poor acting, a ludicrous storyline and amateurish effects.

The DVD is supplemented with minimal extras. A 13 minute "Deleted and Extended Scene" chapter is all we are granted.

All in all a really disappointing movie that, given the title, at least suggested a little gore even if the micro budget limited this to crimson pixels. But you know what the really amazing thing is? A fucking sequel has already been made! Watch this space for Ninjas vs Vampires! Unless of course you are a UK resident, which case, wait with baited breath for something along the lines of Vampire Armageddon! To say I am not overly confident it won’t be yet more brainless tedium is somewhat of an understatement!

Review by Marc Lissenburg

Released by Revolver Entertainment
Region 2
Rated 18
Extras :
see main review