Apocalypse Z A.K.A. Zombie Massacre (2013) – Review

2 Stars


Produced by Germany’s Roger Corman, Uwe Boll, Apocalypse Z attempts to cash-in on the current zombie craze. Capitalizing on the box office success and popularity of World War Z, Apocalypse Z went through a business-smart name change from Zombie Massacre. Even though the name(s) suggest a lot of zombie carnage, there is neither much of a massacre nor an apocalypse here. Instead this is a pick off the main characters one by one kind of plot. While that’s not far off from popular zombie fare like TVs The Walking Dead, Apoc Z‘s script is missing the necessary touches to humanize its characters during the long dialogue scenes before, in-between and after zombie attacks.

A U.S. military bio-agent used in a program to create super-soldiers has gotten loose in a small Eastern European town transforming all the residents into zombies. In a bid to cover up the disaster the government decides to set off a nuclear bomb in a nearby nuclear power plant, making it seem as if the plant had a melt down and destroying the infected town. A team of oddities and mercenaries are put together to accomplish the task. But can the government keep the truth from its hired guns? Who will survive and who will be zombified?

After the initial town infection opening credit screen, we don’t see another zombie for thirty minutes. Yes, the first third of a movie with a big Z in it that stands for zombies is essentially zombie-less. Instead we’re treated to poorly shot dialogue scenes to fill us in on the team of mercenaries being assembled. It’s not that the sets are bad per say, they’re just incredibly bare. The CGI effects are laughably bad, but I must confess to enjoying the practical zombie makeup effects, especially the super-zombie at the end of the flick. If only there had been a real face-off end fight sequence between the super-zombie and the Jack Stone character. I would suggest that the directors and writers of Apoc Z should watch a few more B movie horror and action flicks before attempting to make one of their own. They miss a lot of the chances for fun that could have been had.

And what of Uwe Boll in all this mess? He’s producing sure, but we also are treated to his excellent acting chops in a small cameo role as the President of the United States. Naturally in Boll style it’s way over the top – he uses his thick German accent and acts a little George W. arrogant, which seems a little late in the game to making these types of jokes. Hell you had almost an entire decade, but you’re about fours years too late. I’m not sure why the U.S. is even in here and not a European government, as there’s practically no Americans in the entire movie. I suppose Uwe couldn’t pass up the chance to poke fun at a country of movie-goers that seem to dislike his style so much. I still like Boll as a director, and it’s clear he didn’t direct this, but there is a little bit of Boll in it. He’s one of the few director’s that can use violence in an excessive yet necessary way.

In the end these B movie zombie flicks tend to look like a high school video class production. You either go with them or you don’t. Apocalypse Z tries to pull you in with interesting characters and good dialogue. Unfortunately those pages of the script were lost just before shooting. But hey, at least they didn’t kill the dog.

Director: Luca Boni, Marco Ristori
Stars: Jon Campling, Christian Boeving, Mike Mitchell, Tara Cardinal, Uwe Boll

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