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Terror is coming to your home (for a sewage party)

Watched Walking The Dead (not to be confused The Walking Dead; this is the one) It was not very impressive. I wasn’t really in a mood to watch a film to begin with so that might be the reasoning behind my very surly nature throughout it, but it just felt like a slasher-movie-by-numbers.

A journalist goes to a remote village in China after receiving a letter that some guy buried his daughter to keep her safe, and finds that the place is effectively a ghost town. The girl’s mother is also snooping around for her, and the two team up to find the girl and unravel the mysteries surrounding the village. Surprise, everyone inside is dead and are zombies! (Also, the woman’s father is going around with an axe cutting people’s heads off, but that’s not exactly as marketable a threat these days)

Although the packaging tries to market it as a zombie movie, it’s more of a slasher film, as the axe-carrying dad is the main threat, and dead walking (yes, not walking dead, but dead walking. The female lead is very adamant that they aren’t zombies, but doesn’t really do a good job of explaining what the difference is. Especially when the dead walking are pretty unsubstantial; yes, dropping them would change the plot, but given how boring it is, who would notice?) are almost just there as set pieces. To be frank, I’m having difficulty recapping any of the mythos because it just felt like bollocks. There’s a lot of mythos to these dead walking (I am getting sick of referring to them as that) like how they’re controlled by “walkers,” and the eyes are a pathway into controlling them, so dudes cut out their eyes so the walkers can’t hijack their corpses, and all manner of miscellaneous titbits… but none of it really means anything. The zombies basically offer nothing to the story or to the action other than prompting totally forgettable and unnecessary chase sequences. The whole mythos behind them is never used, and only seems to exist so it can pull a totally ridiculous twist at the end.

The woman was dead the whole time, and her daughter was a walker!

And the male lead died at the end as well! But now he’s back because the girl revived him!

OoOooOoooooo!!

Don’t worry, there’s more bullshit plot twists in the eighty minutes before that bombshell is dropped. For instance, it turns out the entire village was built on top of a graveyard!


OoOooOoooooo!!

It’s just not an interesting movie. None of the characters can carry the story. The male lead gets to soak in a bit of mystery, but he hasn’t any means of projecting his suspicion and intrigue because the only other person he gets to talk to, the female lead, knows all the answers. What’s up with this town? Why was the girl buried? Who’s the axe dude? She answers all of them without a pause. Well, shit, way to go. It’s like having a Friday the 13th movie with someone who knows Jason’s pattern, and he hangs out with the victims to warn them “hey, watch out, Jason’s gonna pop out of that doorway in front of you just when you think he’s still at the bottom of the stairs.” None of the action has any… well, action. There’s a lot of chase scenes, but quite often they just feel thrown in so the characters aren’t just doddering around aimlessly for the whole movie.

It’s almost a pity. The film is set in a picturesque rural Chinese village that looks positively beautiful. There’s a very serene, back-to-nature vibe about it that obviously contrasts with the fact they’ve got an axe man and a town full of zombies bouncing around. If they had a better story they could have gotten something great out of it, but it just feels wasted on these crummy actors and their crummy production. Then again, it doesn’t really look like any of them have been in any winners to begin with. They got my £8, and I’m sure that’s all they’re looking for.

If I have any kind words for the film, it’s that I like how the female protagonist changes from a red scarf to a yellow scarf (between scenes!) as soon as it’s fashionably appropriate.

One Comment

  1. MightyKombat wrote:

    Did Shyamalan direct this?

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink