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Shadow Walkers, The

Lionsgate Home Entertainment // R // May 22, 2007
List Price: $26.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted May 14, 2007 | E-mail the Author
The Movie



"A bunch of people wake up somewhere dark and grungy, with no idea of how they got there, and must then work together to piece the clues together and get the hell out before something horrible kills them..."



I've been writing a lot of synopses similar to that one over the past few years, thanks mainly to the arrival of the Saw series. It's amusing to note how different filmmakers will start with the same basic framework and then branch out to make a crime thriller like Unknown, a retread like Captivity, or a sorta-zombie flick like The Shadow Walkers. So if the sound of "Saw meets Resident Evil" sounds appealing, you might want to go rent the flick and just stop reading now.



Although it earns a few points for trying to wedge two colorful sub-genres into one gore-soaked package, The Shadow Walkers suffers from the most prevalent of low-budget problems: The acting is weak, the FX are goofy, the sets are drab, the lighting is sketchy and the production value is set firmly on "cheap." And yet...



For all its obvious "inspirations" and low-budget restraints, the flick does manage to deliver a good deal of action -- and while the gore is pretty prevalent, some of the mutant FX are pretty darn cheesy. The characters are a one-note crew across the board: the tough one, the evil one, the busty one, the sweet one, and a bunch of bland ones who exist only as mutant fodder. The screenplay does dole out a little humor here and there (some of it intentional and some of it not), which really helps when your movie is little more than seven people and six mutants wandering through a series of basements and boiler rooms.



If you're a ravenous (and generous) devourer of all things horror-related, you might find just enough in this goofy B-movie to warrant a rental. (Do not mistake the previous sentence for "Scott said it was good!")



The DVD



Audio / Video: Dolby Digital 5.1, although the sound's not exactly one of the flick's strong points. The anamorphic widescreen transfer does little to mask the low-budget leanings, but the movie looks fine, all things considered. Optional subtitles are available in English and Spanish.



Extras: There's a pretty meaty 27-minute "making of" featurette that shows off some backstage footage and lots of cast & crew interviews. As is often the case with this type of movie, the creators seem to take the flick (and themselves) a degree too seriously, but if you're planning to make your very own low-budget genre salad, you might get some tips here. Also included are a bunch of Lionsgate trailers.



Final Thoughts



Meh. I've seen it all before, and done considerably better. While not an aggressively awful little knock-off, I doubt you'd remember much of The Shadow Walkers after you got done watching it.

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