Saturday, July 5, 2008


Todd Sheets's ZOMBIE BLOODBATH series concludes with the 2000 entry ZOMBIE ARMAGEDDON. By now any critique would sound just as redundant as the movies themselves, so I'll try to avoid the obvious (acting, writing, etc.) and stick to the flaws unique to this particular picture.

Kicking off with yet another prologue, the third installment begins as a gaggle of zombies are rounded onto a space shuttle and--in cheesy, primitive CGI--are blasted into space. And while I would've loved to have seen a cheap, amateur-hour zombies-in-orbit film, Sheets keeps the action on terra firma, with a group of BREAKFAST CLUB-inspired high school misfits stuck in detention. (I was pleasantly shocked to see that Sheets's dialogue had improved a little since the last film--though that's a bit like saying your sucking chest wound has finally stopped bleeding--but man, he has GOT to find a better crop of actors.) Sneaking out from under the nose of their pervy, porn-viewing teacher (who's no match for the late, great Paul Gleason, I assure you), the motley band of troublemakers discover the prologue's space shuttle in the bowels of the school.

You may think you've read that wrong, so I'll repeat: the motley band of troublemakers discover A FUCKING SPACE SHUTTLE IN THE BOWELS OF THE SCHOOL.

So the zombies get released and eat people and yadda yadda yadda . . . you guys can be writing these reviews by yourselves at this point. The dimestore gore is splashed around with great abandon, though after three movies it all blurs into one big Karo-saturated mess. What I was more interesting in was where does Sheets find all these extras? There's literally hundreds of zombies in each separate film; I guess plenty of people would jump at the chance to be a cinematic zombie, no matter how insipid or addle-brained. (And, truth be told, the same could be said about me.)

Sheets proves that his plotting abilities still haven't grown, ending the film some stupidity involving the space-time continuum to essentially "erase" the events of the film. (Lord, how I wish I could've done the same with this movie.) He also hasn't figured how to close a story, letting the film linger on much longer than needed before launching into a neverending stream of chuckleheaded outtakes.

I'd like to state for the record that I HATE outtakes at the end of movies. Every once and while there'll be an exception, but more often than not they exist just so the stars can indulge their inner hams. (Here's a fun exercise: the next time you see outtakes over the end credits, watch the actors. The more fun they seem to be having, the crappier the movie itself tends to be.) And that's with movies that're relatively good. Coming at the end of a badly-made, piss-poor shot-on-video atrocity like this, it reveals the filmmakers' ignorance and lack of professionalism. (This reminds me of a similar film set I once visited, where the director was more concerned with getting a good gag reel than making a competent picture.)

With that out of the way, if wall-to-wall bloodshed is your thing, you'll probably find the ZOMBIE BLOODBATH films worth checking out, assuming you can look past their considerable liabilities. (A feat most gorehounds have perfected.) I, however, buckled under the strain.

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