Main cast: Anthony Michael Hall (Patrick Jackson), Daryl Hannah (Birdy Lincoln-Jackson), Alan Ruck (Joseph Madden), Rachel G Fox (Tracie Jackson), Shirley Jones (Nana Barbara Lincoln), Jennifer Taylor (Karin Madden), Daniel Ross (Perry Madden), Gibson Bobby Sjobeck (Nathan Madden), Zoe Canner (Irina), Tia Robinson (Janice), Rogelio T Ramos (Officer Vincent Lopez), and Diane Ayala Goldner (Officer Johnson)
Director: John Gulager
Poor John Gulager, what happened to him? One moment he was touted to be the new director-king of gory horror comedies, and the next thing I know, he’s directing straight-to-Syfy shlock like Zombie Night. Either they must have paid him a lot of money to worth the embarrassment of having his name attached to this thing, or they had blackmail materials so damning that he had to agree to do whatever they tell him to. Either way, attaching his name to a movie starring washed-up has-beens or desperate never-beens is not exactly something a supposedly up-and-coming fellow should be doing. Worse, this movie is pretty awful.
Imagine, if you will, zombies that come out only at night to do their thing, before dying off again come the day. I don’t know why they just don’t make these things vampires, but maybe the screenwriters imagined that they were being original or something. Well, they imagined wrong. Anyway, we have the Jacksons and the Maddens trying to survive the night. The Maddens have a safe bunker built for such a purpose, but the Jacksons are such idiots that by the time they arrive at the Maddens place to gain entry like they have initially planned, the Maddens have been such big idiots themselves that their plan is completely gone to the dogs.
The good thing about this one is that there is ample gore to satisfy fans looking for this thing, and honestly, I don’t know what to say about folks that watch zombie movies but are not looking for gore. Shouldn’t they be… I don’t know, reading books or something? Anyway, gore is the best thing about this movie, but getting to these good parts also means having to sit through a bunch of morons doing absurdly stupid things non-stop.
Right off the bat, the stupidity starts slapping me in the place and sticking its fingers up my nostrils. The Jackson daughter completely ignores her mother’s phone call to tell her father to drive them all to the Maddens’ house because, like, whatever. When zombies start coming out from their graves, the Jackson father stares at the emerging hand up close instead of running away ASAP, and just stands there until the daughter screams. Meanwhile, the mother is at her blind mother’s place, and blind stupid Nana just screams and does all kinds of stupid things that it’s impossible to feel any degree of empathy for her. Meanwhile, at the Maddens’ place, we have a stupid teenage girl determined to break out of the house only to let a zombie in instead, yay. The kid happily unlocks the door keeping the now-zombie idiot girl because, I don’t know, the show wants to tell everyone that kids are horrible menaces that should be preemptively fed to the zombies before they kill everyone else, maybe.
People hiding from zombies behind a flimsy, see-through door—you will never guess what happens next. Morons running away to hot-wire badly a car when they have a perfectly fine car in their garage. Imbeciles that just stand there waving a stick against advancing zombies when these zombies are moving so slowly that these able-bodied morons could have easily outrun them in the first place. People with guns that keep wasting their bullets only to run out of ammo when they absolutely need to shoot. Nearly all the female characters here, except for Birdy because she’s played by likely the highest paid actor of the lot, are emotional imbeciles that are too stupid for words, constantly making horrible decisions. The only likable female character, one that is also smart and genre-savvy to boot, naturally dies after experiencing a freak accident that has her falling right into a zombie horde, while the other imbeciles run rampant and even survive. Characters that should die somehow survive because of, I don’t know, plot armor perhaps.
Really, aside from the gore, most of Zombie Night is unpalatable, especially for folks that are allergic to monstrous stupidity exhibited by the characters.