Main cast: Mariel Hemingway (Dr Lynn Snyder), Chad Lindberg (Kyle), Ethan Suplee (Marshall), LeVar Burton (Dr Dan Halpern), Heather Hemmens (Ashley), Hector Luis Bustamante (Ramon), French Stewart (Dr Arnold), and Danny Trejo (Captain Caspian)
Director: Nick Lyon
Rise of the Zombies is a movie from The Asylum, so yes, one should not expect too much from it, but still, this one is so shockingly bad that I’m actually amazed that it took two people to write the script. This is no doubt an effort to cash in on the popularity of The Walking Dead – its original title was Dead Walking – but still, oh god.
The zombie apocalypse is here, and we focus on a group of survivors holed up in Alcatraz as Dr Lynn Snyder and Dr Dan Halpern attempt to discover a cure for the zombie virus while communicating through a scientist at another part of town, Dr Arnold. Dr Halpern insists that he needs “live” zombies to conduct his experiments, much to the consternation of Captain Caspian who would rather just kill any zombie outright on sight.
This movie opens with a bunch of morons in a car, including a pregnant woman, and this scene is an indication of the idiocy of the whole movie when we have the driver speeding like a lunatic along a very curving road downhill. Why is he speeding? The zombies here are the typical shambling slowly type, so it’s not like they are fleeing for their lives. Alcatraz is within their sight, yes, but unless that car can somehow transform into a boat, they will need to stop and… swim, I suppose, eventually. So while speed is good, the “drive until I can barely control my car” thing here is just pure stupidity in motion. Needless to say, nature always wins, and natural selection works its magic when the driver loses control of the vehicle and sends the car flying into the air and spinning like some Olympic diver on the way down to the ground.
Oh, and later, the zombies somehow manage to swim across the water to Alcatraz, where these slow, shambling things manage to outrun the humans and massacre a delightful number despite moving at the speed of a geriatric granny. How did so many zombies get into a prison facility anyway? Do these morons leave every door and window open, maybe to air the place? Why do they keep all their weapons locked away so that it takes what seems like one hour to locate and retrieve them when they are attacked? Wait, I don’t want to know.
The humans in this story are so hopelessly bad at surviving – to the point that a single one-armed zombie can take down a bunch of heavily armed people just because – that it is actually a kind of mercy culling to be rid of these useless sods. Any stupid decision that one can do, these people would do without hesitation. From just sitting in a prison cell – without even trying to pull the gates shut – so that the zombies can come in and bite that stupid, screaming idiot to everyone being apparently uniformly deaf and blind because the slow, shambling zombies never encounter any problem in sneaking up from behind these idiots – every human here deserves to die. Oh, and don’t forget that idiot who unnecessarily sacrifices herself without actually accomplishing anything other than to demonstrate that it is better to die than to be a moron. Speaking of that one, it’s nice that sitting on a trolley and having it crash into a bus can cause such a lovely explosion – I didn’t know buses are that volatile to impact!
Oh, and my favorite scene. Look, we have the zombie vaccine! But first, let’s chop off the man’s arm, above where he was bitten, and then we administer it!
Mariel Hemingway plays the lead in such a shrill and unlikable way that it’s the final blade into my heart to realize that the most death-worthy idiot in the movie is one of the few who don’t become zombie chow. Oh, and don’t have high hopes of Danny Trejo being kick-ass cool here. His character dies in such a humiliating manner, Mr Trejo is fortunate that this movie is not going to be widely viewed or remembered, or he’d never live that one down.
If Rise of the Zombies demonstrates anything, it’s that it is time to run away screaming when SyFy and The Asylum decide to work together.