Every three to four years, a new indie filmmaker thinks they can rise up and give a new flavor or angle to “Night of the Living Dead” and provide audiences with a new look at Romero’s classic horror film. “Night of the Living Dead” remakes are cyclical and the last time we had a remotely fresh take on the film was in 1990, and that’s due to the fact that Tom Savini had help from friend George Romero. Every other rehash since has been piss poor, embarrassing, and just damn unnecessary. How many times can we keep watching the same old story? How many new perspectives can you add? It’s impossible to make the 1968 film feel new and original when the first film mastered it, in the first place. “Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection” only has the illusion of presenting itself as a new version of the Romero tale because the entire rehash is now set in the UK. See? It’s not the same old indie filmmakers trying to upstage Romero, it’s new! In truth thiscan’t stand on two legs since it’s anything but a remake.
“Resurrection” is a series of baffling story twists and turns with some of the worst direction I’ve seen in a while. Director Plumb doesn’t seem to know how to handle a camera, and most of the time can’t keep the damn thing in focus to suck us in to what little story there is. Characters walk by scenes obstructing attempted dramatic moments between other characters, zombies are only shown in the dark and blurred, while one zombie even walks around half out of view of the camera for reasons I couldn’t quite understand. There’s also a moment where Plumb cuts to a slanted shot of a window as a woman is crying for at least a minute as I sat there thinking “I have no idea what the hell is going on.” I never quite understood what the opening was even for. It seems Plumb and Andrew Jones wrote a screenplay for a zombie movie, and then someone had the bright idea to include something from “Night of the Living Dead.” So, the writers shoehorn in a cheap fan service to the original film, and then jump right in to their own story with their own characters. When I say the fan service is cheap, I mean it’s ridiculous.
It’s so moronic, you’ll wonder why we spent twenty minutes on it in the first place. When the writers do get in to the actual narrative, the film is really just a melodrama about a dysfunctional country family set amidst the zombie apocalypse. There’s bickering among a small family, and a grandfather reliant on his two grand daughters, not to mention a father and his son in law protecting their house. We rarely ever see the zombies, unless Plumb decides to show small scenes of the walking dead shambling in the darkness aimlessly. The rest is reserved for a lot of sub-plots that are unresolved or seemingly pop out of nowhere. Things go from bad to worse, when son Sam dies and rises as a zombie making the family re-think killing him and the moral implications of putting him down. What’s unusual is why Sam never told his family he was bitten, why they never thought to check him as he complained about being sick. And if they just thought it was an infection that could be cured with enough medical care, why did Sam even hide the bite in the first place? Scenes are set up horribly, set to god awful editing, and whenever director Plumb seems to be aiming for a horrific moment, he simply bows out in favor of more familial melodrama.
At one point, the eccentric grandfather begins reciting passages from the bible about the dead, as the father goes outside to check on the satellite. When you think something shocking is going to occur, the father simply climbs down the ladder and director Plumb cuts to another moment. There’s also the inclusion of a mob of violent teenagers, and a final scene that’s so stupid, I was filled with buyer’s remorse. Realistically, you could have cut out all of the filler and nonsense in this film and come out with a thirty minute zombie movie. And it likely would have been much more entertaining. “Resurrection” is like every other indie zombie film. It’s too weak and tedious to cultivate its own identity, so it uses the “Night of the Living Dead” crutch to seep in to consumers wallets. Director James Plumbs’ zombie picture is yet another terrible and dunderheaded indie zombie film that fails to re-think the sub-genre. And I eagerly await yet another Romero bastardization down the pipeline.
Now Available On Demand.