It’s never been more popular than to be an anime fan, as now it’s been widely accepted and has become pretty much a mainstream fixture. What was once a niche genre on the fringes, is now something everyone can get in on. Whether it’s PG rated fun, or more complex adult entertainment, it’s there for the taking. Mill Creek repackages some of their anime titles from Sony’s library from 2012 for a 3 DVD series collection of some of the more notable anime series to come out of the gates.
You can tell the studios basically ran out of ideas with this third installment of the “Chucky” series, so they pretty much just ripped off “Friday the 13th” part five this time around. This series was begging to be rebooted by the time we reached this new installment, as “Child’s Play 3” is filled with such a bland set piece, and pretty weak character motivations overall. For no real explanation there’s a very young boy in a military academy filled with people in their twenties, and Chucky seems to be running thin on reasons to kill. In the past he killed people that complicated his larger goals, now he kills because people decide to annoy him. Even for a psychopath that gets kind of boring.
Director Mark Lester’s giant monster movie is a mix of rock bottom budgets and mediocre common sense. It’s a classic B monster movie about muscle bound pirates, busomy scientists, and a military battling a gigantic monster while operating out of a tool shed with only three people manning the helm. You also have to love how so much hoopla is raised about Poseidon Rex, with the military set to nuke the entire island that’s held Poseidon Rex, only for our busomy heroine to kill it single handedly with a missile launcher. How did no one think of that? What of its eggs in the bottom of the ocean? Also, how can divers talk while their lips are wrapped around air regulators?
I’m still not entirely sure if “Zombie Massacre” knows how utterly idiotic it is, or if it’s in on the joke. In one instance, Uwe Boll appears on a television as the American president, German accent and all, discussing the zombie conspiracy and how he wants to get back to golfing and vacation. It’s a perplexing moment, because I’m not sure if the writers and Boll thought the scene would be a wonderful bit of biting social commentary, or if they were just pulling our leg through the cameo. Yes, we Americans love our golfing and vacationing. Good one, Boll! You’re such a witty satirist, you are.
Clandestine government, chemical accident, zombie apocalypse, characters with nothing to lose, you’ve seen it all before, and “Zombie Massacre” brings it in spades. The prologue is solid with the accident at a power plant affecting an entire town thanks to chemicals falling from the sky. Whatever comes in contact with bare skin turns its victims in to flesh eating deformed zombies. But that’s immediately contradicted when we later see zombies dressed in Hazmat suits, so that’s ultimately irrelevant to the narrative. The rest of “Zombie Massacre” is a half assed amalgam of “The Dirty Dozen” and “Mission Impossible,” with the government composed of mostly Eastern European men bringing together a team of rogue soldiers.
They all have their special talents, and oddly enough they, too, are Eastern European. They’re all vicious and cold soldiers, and surely enough we have to know that because they spend a lot of time talking. I mean, they spend obscene amounts of time standing around talking, and conversing about sex and life. The narrative introduces a silent female warrior who is a master with a samurai sword, not to mention a conflicted leader who is being allowed freedom for his crimes if he pulls off the operation. And yet the film is still so painfully boring to endure. Mid-way when it becomes apparent this team can barely pull off their mission as half of them die from a zombie attack, we’re introduced to a mysterious scientist who may have the answers to the infection (original!).
To make things even more grueling, there’s a red neck couple that joins the team to help fend off the zombies. I was never sure if I was supposed to find this twist ridiculous or offensive, but clearly the producers of the movie don’t have a flattering idea of America. For some contrived reason, the pair of redneck gun nuts are visiting Eastern Europe, get caught in the zombie apocalypse, and decide to help the team finish their job. “Zombie Massacre” is too tedious to be taken as an action movie, and much too boring to taken as a zombie film. The zombie rampaging only occurs in mild bursts, offering little to no gore, while the action is only sporadic. “Zombie Massacre” is a ridiculous and tepid attempt at a zombie film, one that really doesn’t re-invent the formula, nor does it seem to want to.
The Blu-Ray from E1 comes with a two minute Storyboard Prologue, the one minute storyboards presentation, and two trailers. There’s also “Superfreak,” a forty minute glossy making of featurette with typical production tidbits and interviews.
When I was a kid I was introduced to a plethora of fighting kids movies, all of which featured children who could very well either kick the crap out of me, or kick the crap out of someone for me. I always marveled at the talent and display seen in films like “3 Ninjas” and it’s nice to know with a certain movie about a karate kid starring Will Smith 2.0 getting all the hype, we can marvel at true talent like the variety displayed in “Power Kids.” The Thai martial arts film from Krissanapong Rachata barely clocks in at seventy minutes and possesses about two fold the raw talent displayed in the previously mentioned stink fest. Kroo Lek and his family of orphans are a proud clan, people who earn their keep and train each other in the fine art of Thai Boxing.
I really can’t understand why companies on tight budgets insist on attempting to create humongous epics on such a small pittance. “Supercroc” is part rip-off of “Primeval,” a part rip-off of “Alligator,” and a part rip-off of “Godzilla.” But mostly, it’s just an animals-on-a-rampage flick typical of low budget fare these days. And as all low budget fare, the animal in question does very little. As I’ve seen with many low budget movies, the film thinks it can base the story around our characters, so the audience won’t notice that the thing they came for only appears every twenty minutes and does very little. And this would be well and good, were the writing worth something. I mean, hell, the first ten minutes of this snooze fest involves soldiers on a mission on… I want to say a lake resort.