I have to admit, True Believers, it’s possible to get jaded from anything, no matter how pleasurable, if you do it enough times. Even watching zombie movies. Nowadays, five minutes into them, and I’m 90% certain of where it’s going and how derivative it will be and how many adjectives for “bad” I’ll have to look up for the review.
Fortunately, you can stumble across a few pleasant surprises every now and then, either because of their novel storyline or the quality of the acting, or the decent special effects. Or, in the case of THE REZORT (previously known as GENERATION Z), a British-Spanish co-production just released and directed by Steve Barker (OUTPOST, OUTPOST: BLACK SUN), a combination of all three, with mixed but otherwise positive results.
One novel idea is starting its story not at the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse, but ten years after the plague has decimated the human race, but the human race has survived and rebuilt society. The last zombies still intact have been moved to a Mediterranean island, where a corporation, EvilCo, have set up a luxury resort (or reZort) where customers can come and shoot real live zombies in a controlled environment (as EvilCo’s CEO Wilton (Claire Goose) puts it, “Every Apocalypse deserves an After Party.” Here at reZort, guests are monitored and supervised by a team of highly proficient specialists and the best computers in the world.
And nothing can possibly go worng…
One of the latest guests is Mel (Jessica De Gouw), suffering from PTSD after she lost her entire family to zombies, and with her boyfriend Lewis (Martin McCann) comes to the island to help her face her literal demons. Then there’s Archer – not the super cool animated spy, but a character played by Dougray Scott, one of those laconic types who we later learn was a top zombie hunter Back in the Day, but now can’t fit in properly in a world where the undead no longer feast on the living. There’s also some obnoxious teenage gamers who won a contest to visit ReZort, and some other nobodies whose names and backgrounds don’t really matter.
Anyhoo, a virus infects the computer systems, and before you can say “Holy Westworld, Batman!”, the security systems are offline, the zombies are loose and take over the control centre, the guests are on their own, and an automatic fail-safe, the Brimstone Protocol, is set in motion, with a fleet of napalm-laden jets on their way to turn the ReZort into Fire Island…
Once the shit hits the fan and the survivors are making their way to the coast to escape the zombies and impending firebombing, REZORT settles into a fairly brisk action thriller/disaster movie, quickly hitting the expected targets (so to speak) with regard to the usual characters (evil corporate head, innocent employee, coward, timid heroine transforming into capable fighter) as well as the expected zombie movie tropes (a mix of slow shamblers and speedy sprinters, the usual scenes were someone is bit and asks to not end up like One Of Them.
There’s some decent lines in this (Lewis: “Hey, who made you leader?” Archer: “You did, when you decided to follow me.”) Scott and de Gouw lead the cast (which is good as the rest of them, well…) The scope is wide (and I’m amazed at the quality of the effects, especially for the wide shots involving hundreds of zombies chasing people). There’s also a strong political drive reminiscent of Romero, though I don’t want to go into detail for Spoiler reasons.
It’s not exactly flawless, however; apart from the two leads, the rest of the cast is forgettable, there are some plot holes (Really, EvilCo? You invest all your security in computer-controlled fences when a few burly guys and dogs would be cheaper?). There is a post-production issue with the sound, with scenes where the dialogue is barely audible (and other scenes that look like they were dubbed over with music entirely as a result). And can I just put a big middle finger up to the trope of the zombie that appears inanimate, not reacting to people literally brushing past them until the very last guy? Kthanxbye
Still, it’s a good, watchable movie. A release date has not been confirmed in the US yet, but we’ll keep you informed here at Anythinghorror. The trailer (under its original title) is below.
Director: Steve Barker
Plot: 3 out of 5 stars
Gore: 5 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 4 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Deggsy