Thursday, July 24, 2008


A low-budget offering from Australia, ZOMBIE BRIGADE is a 1986 production from directors Carmelo Musca and Barrie Pattison. It's a slight film, as you'll surely tell from the length of this review, and not a very good one, either. The plot centers around a money-grubbing city council who decide to built a science-fiction themed amusement park over the graves of Vietnam servicemen. So it's no surprise when the vets rise from the dead--as both zombies and vampires, but with as little screen time as they're given, I don't see why the directors bothered with the distinction--and express their displeasure.

ZOMBIE BRIGADE has its share of humor, though it's so dry it's hard to tell if it's actually funny. The story moves at a fairly leisurely pace, one that kept me tapping my foot for the undead's arrival, yet once we finally get them they're more concerned with righting the council's wrongs than wreaking any havoc. Call me an ignoramus, but what better way to correct someone than multiple disembowelments?

For a movie that has the desecration of a veterans' memorial at the heart of its story, BRIGADE has little to say about war or military service, preferring to use it as a plot-starter and nothing more. And though we may be exhausted by recent dogmatic war pictures like LIONS FOR LAMBS or STOP-LOSS, a commentary on such things--pro or con--would've added some weight. As it is, ZOMBIE BRIGADE remains an unremarkable film that doesn't offer enough to recommend.

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