Main cast: Erica Sturdefant (Brooke Sullivan), Jonathon Buckley (Randy Hock), Jarrid Masse (Toronto), Terra Strong (Jezel), and Jumarcus Mason (KD)
Director: Glenn R Miller
Was Zoombies such a hit that the world needs Zoombies 2? That or the prop people of The Asylum were about to throw away the moldy stuffed props from the first movie that someone thought, “Aha! Let’s squeeze one more turd out before we throw away these things for good!”
That or there are actually people clamoring for the origins of the weird virus-like thing that caused animals to turn into flesh-eating crazies, as this movie is actually a prequel that reveals how the cause of the “zoombie” (“zoo” and “zombie” combined, get it?) is actually a serum created by poacher Jezel. She uses it to sedate her team’s targets, only it also turns them into, well, you know. Yes, Jezel is a scientist-type that ends up poaching because of some hurt in her past. Here, she and fellow poacher Randy Hock are doing their thing in a wildlife reserve when the animals turn into zoombies, forcing them to team up with the staff of the wildlife reserve just to stay alive and stop the zoombie plague.
Oh boy, this one gives me a newfound appreciation for Roger Corman, as while he is infamous for squeezing out turds on an extremely constipated budget, his movies could have some campy charm to them. Here, this one is super cheap, but it’s also badly executed that it is without any hint of camp or charm whatsoever that could have redeemed it. The entire wildlife reserve only have what seems like five staff members, and the animal attacks are spaced far and between, no doubt because special effects are too expensive for them and they couldn’t use free booze as a lure to draw in extras. The special effects are really, really bad; they look like they are ripped out of a twenty-year old Playstation game. They likely blow their entire budget on renting an actual hippo for one scene.
The story has bad science galore, which is to be expected, but the good guys here come off really badly. The “good” researcher Brooke Sullivan acts like she knows everything, but Jezel has to remind her to get her wounds disinfected in case of rabies. Boy, a lead researcher that doesn’t know this basic thing! It also doesn’t help that the actors playing the good guys act like they are actually mannequins with facial movements added in during post-production. Jonathan Buckley is way out-acted by the actor playing his character’s “bad” counterpart, as he has problems talking or acting like a human being. However, Erica Sturdefant raises the bar for putrid acting by showing only one expression throughout the movie and uttering all her lines as if she’d reading them off a teleprompter and she barely understands what she is reading.
The worst of all, and the one that tips this movie to one-oogie territory, is that character KD. It’s likely not Jumarcus Mason’s fault as he’s generally doing what the script and director dictate him to, but KD is the usual nasty stereotype of the loud, cowardly, non-stop black blabbermouth guy that is believed to be an endearing trope in many horror and monster movies. I don’t know why this trope keeps existing, but oh my god, KD is one of the worst examples of this trope.
He is always shouting at the top of his voice when they are being stalked by crazed man-eating monsters, complaining about dumb things like having to walk to safety when their vehicle dies down. KD also acts entitled, engages in pointless personal attacks, and has zero survival instinct. This is one character that will stop in the middle of a race to survival to shout insults at everyone else for no reason other than the script probably thinking that such action is funny. This guy is excruciating to watch, because he is useless, incompetent, whiny, needlessly argumentative, and, ugh, survives for way too long in this movie. Mind you, other characters point out his uselessness and constant whining, so KD is such a character by design. Hence, this is one self-inflicted nail on the coffin where I am concerned.
Zoombies 2 is everything awful about Zoombies distilled and concentrated into one brain-destroying serum. Sad thing is, just like with the previous movie, with a bigger budget and KD stricken out with extreme prejudice, this one could have been a great thing to behold. With it ending up as what it is, though, it’s just too awful for words.