Here's the deal with this film: an advanced screener arrived in my mailbox, with no box art and no information about a release date. Searching the web, and it is pretty difficult to find much information other than what is listed on IMDB and some reviews on a handful of websites. In this day and age of seemingly unlimited access to information, when you have any degree of difficulty finding information about a new film, it feels like a bad sign. Don't get me wrong, because I'm not superstitious, but at some point I started feeling like maybe there was some higher force telling me that I should not watch Zombie Wars. And if that's the case, I should have listened.
Written and directed by David Prior, who was responsible for some truly exceptional Z-grade schlock in the 1980s and 90s, Zombie Wars takes place many years after the dead have risen from the grave, and nearly wiped out most of the human race. Small bands survive, mostly foraging for food and hunting the walking dead. In what must have seemed like a clever twist at the time, the zombies keep human slaves that they raise on a farm as a food source. That's right, a zombie farm. Seriously. The should have called the movie Zombie Farm instead.
A rag-tag military unit manages to rescue a group of human slaves from their zombie captors, but when the zombies mount a counter attack, our hero, Brian, is captured and brought back to the farm, where he is put out to stud. (I'm not making this up.) What makes this especially amazing is that the zombies don't really appear to posses any more intelligence than walking rocks. Sure, they grunt and moan at each other, but how they know to breed humans is a mystery. Actually, it's not so much a mystery as it is a lamebrain plot twist that is revealed late in the film, and Brian hatches a plan to get word back to his fellow soldiers, who stage a daring rescue. Well...as daring as the low budget and silly script will allow.
Zombie Wars is not a terrible film in the sense that it is not completely unwatchable. It is, however, a terrible film in that the script is bad, the direction is lackluster, the acting is marginal and the premise, which has hints of Planet of the Apes, is laughable in its execution. This is one of those films where you can't help but wonder why the zombies look like they have oatmeal stuck on their faces, and how come all the human survivors all look so well-fed and clean. This is, after all, years after the zombie apocalypse. Shouldn't people look more malnourished?
Zombie Wars is the sort of film that some people might actually find to be "so bad it is good." Personally, I found the film to be so bad it was bad; but at the same time I did watch it all the way through, and could not stop talking about it for days--that must mean something. (Of course, it may just mean that I'll watch anything.)
The screener disc I was given to review was presented in widescreen. The picture was good, but there was at least one scene with artifacts. I can't comment on the final product.
The screener copy was presented in 2.0. The sound mix was uneven at times, and the audio levels were not consistent throughout. I can't comment on the final product.
There were no bonus materials on the screener disc.
I love zombie movies, and my friends love zombies movies, but I wouldn't exactly encourage them to watch Zombie Wars.
David Walker is the creator of BadAzz MoFo, a nationally published film critic, and the Writer/Director of Black Santa's Revenge with Ken Foree now on DVD [Buy it now]